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Bow'd their stiff neeks, 'loaden with stormy

blasts, Or torn up sheer: ill waft thou shrouded then, O patient Son of God, yet only stood'It 420 Unhaken; nor yet stay'd the terror there, Infernal ghosts, and Hellish furies, round Environd thee, some howi'd, fome yellid,

some shriek’d, Some bent at tee their fiery darts, while thou Sadft unappall'd in calm and finless peace. 425 Thus pass'd the night so foul, till morning fair Came fort with pilgrim steeps in amice gray, Who with her radiant finger stilld the roar. Of thunder, chas'd the clouds, and laid the

winds, And grifly spectres, which the fiend had

rais'd

430 To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire. And now the fun with more effectual beams Had cheard the face of earth , and dry'd wet From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the

birds, Who all things now behold more fresh and

green,

435 After a night of storm fo ruinous, Clear'd up their choicest notes in bush and

spray To gratulate the sweet return of morn; Nor yet amidst this joy and brightest morn Was absent, after all his mischief done, 440

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The prince of darkness, glad would also seem
Of this fair change, and to our Saviour carne,
Yet with no new device, they all were spent,
Rather by this his last affront resolv'd,
Desp'rate of better cours, to vent his rage, 445
And mad despite to be so oft repelld.
Him walking on a sunny hill he found,
Back'd on the north and west by a thick

wood;
Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape,
And in a careless mood thus to him said.

450 Fair morning yet betides thee, Son of

God,
After a dismal night; I heard the wrack
As earth and sky would mingle; but myself
Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals

fear them
As dang'rous to the pillar'd frame of Hea-

ven,

455
Or to the earth's dark balis underneath,
Are to the main as inconsiderable,
And harmless, if not wholsome, as a snecze
To man's less universe, and soon are gone;
Yet as being oft times noxious where they

light

460
On man, beast, plant, wastful and turbulent,
Like turbulencies in th' affairs of inen,
Over whose heads they roar, and seem to

point,
They oft fore - fignify and threaten ill:

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This tempest at this desert most was bent; 465
Of men at thee, for only thou here dwell'It.
Did I not tell thee, if thou didst reject
The perfect season offer'd with my aid
To win thy destin'd seat, but wilt prolong
All to the push of fate, pursue thy way 470
Of gaining David's throne no man knows

when, For both the when and how is no where told, Thou shalt be, what thou art ordain'd, no

doubt; For Angels have proclam'd it, but concealing The time and means: each act is rightliest

done;

475 Not when it must, but when it may be best. If thou observe not this, be sure to find, What I foretold thee, many a hard allay Of dangers, and adversities, and pains, Ere thou of Israel's scepter get fast hold; 480 Whereof this ominous night, that clos’d thee

round, So many terrors , voices, prodigies Many warn thee, as a sure fore- going lign.

So talk'd he, while the Son of God went on And stay'd not, but in brief him answer'd

thus :

485 Me worse than wet thou find'st not other

harm Those terrors which thou speak’st of, did me

none;

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God,

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I never fear'd they could, though noising loud
And threatning nigh; what they can do as fings
Betokening, or ill boding. I contemn 490
As false portents, not fent from God, but thee;
Who knowing I shall reign past thy preventing,
Obtrud'st thy offer'd aid, that I accepting
At least might seem to hold all pow'r of thee,
Ambitious Spi'rit, and woulst be thought my

495
And storm'st refus'd, thinking to terrify
Me to thy will; defift, thou art discern'd
And toil'ft in vain, nor me in vain molest.
To whom the Fiend now I'woln with rage

reply'd.
Then hear, O Son of David, Virgin born; 500
For Son of God to me is yet in doubt:
Of the Melliah I have heard foretold
By all the Prophets; of thy birth at length
Aunounc'd by Gabriel with the first I knew,
And of th’angelic song in Bethlem field, 505
On thy birth - night, that sung thee Saviour

born.
From that time seldom have I ceas'd to eye
Thy infancy, thy childhood, and thy youth,
Thy manhood last, though yet in private bred;
Till at the ford of Jordan whither all 510
Flock'd to the Baptist, I among the rest,
Though not to be baptiz'd, by voice from

Heaven

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Heard thee pronunc'd the Son of God belov'd. Thenceforth I thought thee worth my nearer

view And narrower scrutiny, that I might learn 515 In what degree or meaning thou art call'd The Son of God, which bears no fingle sense; The Son of God I also am, or was, Aud if I was, I am; relation stands; All

Sons of God; yet thee I thought

520 In some respect far higher so declar'd. Therefore I watch'd thy footsteps from that

hour, And follow'd thee still on to this waste wild ; Where by all best conjectures I collect 'Thou art to be my fatal enemy

525 Good reason then, if I before-hand seek To understand my adversary, who And what he is : his wisdom, pow'r, intent; By parl, or composition, truce, or league To win him, or win from him what I

530 And opportunity I here have had To try thee, lift thee, and confess, have found

thee Proof against all temptation, as a rock Of adamant, and as à center, firm, To th'utmost of mere man both wife and

good,

535

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