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PARADISE REGAIN'D.

BOOK II.

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TEAN while the new-baptiz’d, who yet re

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At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen

Him whom they heard so late expresly call'd Jesus Messiah Son of God declar'd, And on that high Authority had believ'd, And with him talkt, and with him lodg’d, I mean Andrew and Simon, famous after known, With others though in Holy Writ nor nam'd, Now missing him their Joy so lately found, So lately found, and so abruptly gone, Began to doubt, and doubted many days, And as the days increas'd, increas'd their doubt : Sometimes they thought he might be only shewn, And for a time caught up to God, as once Moses was in the Mount, and missing long;

15 And the great Thisbite who on fiery wheels Rode up to Heav'n, yet once again to come. Therefore as those young Prophets then with care Sought lost Elijah, so in each place these Nigh to Bethabara ; in Jerico The City of Palms, Anon, and Salem Old, Macharus and each Town or City wall’d

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On

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On this side the broad lake Genezaret,
Or in Perea, but return'd in vain.
Then on the bank of Jordan, by a Creek,
Where Winds with Reeds and Osiers whisp'ring play,
Plain Fishermen, no greater men them call,
Close in a Cottage low together got,
Their unexpected loss and plaints out breath’d.
Alas, from that high hope to what relapse
Valook'd for are we fall’n, our Eyes beheld
Mefliah certainly now come, so long
Expected of our Fathers; we have heard
His words, his wisdom full of grace and truth,
Now, now, for sure, deliverance is at hand,
The Kingdom shall to Ifracl be restor'd:
Thus we rejoyc'd, but soon our Joy is turn'd
Into perplexity and new amaze:
For whither is he gone, what accident
Hath rapt him from us? will he now retire

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After appearance; and again prolong
Our expectation? God of Israel,
send thy Messiah forth, the time is come;
Behold the Kings of th’Earth how they oppress
Thy chosen, to what heighth their Pow'r unjust 45
They have exalted, and behind them caft
All fear of thee, arise and vindicate
Thy Glory, free thy people from their yoke,
But let us wait ; thus far he hath perform’d,
Sent his Anointed, and to us reveal'd him,
By his great Prophet, pointed at and shown,
In publick, and with him we have convers’d;
Let us be glad of this, and all our fears
Lay on his Providence; he will not fail
Nor will withdraw hiin now, nor will recall,

55 Mock us with his blest fight, then snatch him hence, Soon we shall see our hope, our joy return.

Thus they out of their plaints new hope resume To find whom at the first they found unsought: But to his mother Mary, when the law

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Others return'd from Baptism, not her Son,
Nor left at Jordan, tidings of him none;
Within her breast, though calm; her breast, though
Motherly cares and fears got head, and rais'd
Some troubled thoughts, which the in sighs thus clad.
O what avails me now that honour high

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To have conceiv'd of God, or that salute
Hale highly favour'd, among Women bleft;
While I to Sorrows am no less advanc'd,
And fears as eminent, above the lot
Of other Women, by the birth i bore,
In such a season born when scarce a Shed
Could be obtain'd to shelter him or me
From the bleak air; a Stable was our warmth,
A Manger his, yet soon enforc'd to fly

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Thence into Egypt, till the Murd'rous King
Were dead, who fought his life, and missing filld
With Infant blood the streets of Bethlehem;
From Egypt home return'd, in Nazareth
Hath been our dwelling many years, his life 8.
Private, unactive, calm, contemplative,
Little suspicious to any King; but now
Full grown to Man, acknowledg'd, as I hear,
By John the Baptist, and in publick shown,
Son own'd from Heaven by his Father's voice;
I look'd for some great change; to Honour? no,
But trouble, as old Simeon plain fore-cold,
That to the fall and rising he should be
Of

many in Israel, and to a sign
Spoken against, that through my very Soul
A sword shall pierce, this is my favour'd lot,
My Exaltation to Afflictions high ;
Afflicted I may be, it seems, and bleft;
I will not argue that, nor will repine.
But where delays he now? some great intent
Conceals him: when twelve years he scarce had seen,
I lost him, but so found, as well I saw
He could not lose himself; but went about

His

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His Fæser's buis:fs; what be meant I mus'd,
Since understand; much more his absence non

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Thus long to fore great purpote be obscares.
But Ito wait with patience am inu'd;
My hean hath been a store-house long of things
And sayings laid up, pontending ftrange events.

Tłus Mary pond'ring oft, and oft to mind IOS Recalling what remarkably had pass’d Since first her Saluration heard, with thoughts Meekly compos'd awaited the fulfilling: The while her Son tracing the Desart wild, Sole but with holieft Meditations fed, Into himself descended, and at once All his great work to come before him fet; How to begin, how to accomplish beft His end of being on Earth, and mission high: For Satan with fly preface to return

115 Had left him vacant, and with speed was gone Up to the middle Region of thick Air, Where all his Potentates in Council sate; There without sign of boast, or sign of joy Sollicitous and blank he thus began.

Princes, Heav'ns ancient Sons, Ætherial Thrones, Demonian Spirits now, from th' Element Each of his reign allotted, rightlier callid, Pow'rs of Fire, Air, Water, and Earth beneath, So may we hold our place and these mild seats

I25 Without new trouble; such an Enemy Is risen to invade us, who no less Threatens our expulsion down to Hell ; 1, as I undertook, and with the vote Consenting in full frequence was impowrid, Have found him, view'd him, tafted him, but find Far other labour to be undergon Than when I dealt with Adam first of Men, Though Adam by his Wife's allurement fell, However to this Man inferior far,

135 If he be Man by Mother's side at least,

With

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With more than humane gifts from Heav'n adorn'd,
Perfections absolute, Graces divine,
And amplitude of mind to greatest Deeds.
Therefore I am return'd, left confidence
Of my success with Eve in Paradise

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Deceive ye to persuasion over-sure
Of like succeding here; I summon all
Rather to be in readiness, with hand
Or counsel to affift ; left I who erst
Thought none my equal, now be over-match'd,

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So Spaketh? old Serpent doubting, and from all
With clamour was assur'd their utmost aid
At his command; when from amidst them rose
Belial, the diffolutest Spirit that fell,
The sensualleft, and, after A modai,

150 The fleshliest Incubus, and thus advis’d.

Set women in his eye, and in his walk,
Among daughters of men the faireft found;
Many are in each Region passing fair
As the noon Sky; more like to Goddeffes
Than Mortal Creatures, graceful and discreet,
Expert in am'rous Arts, enchanting tongues
Persuasive, Virgin majesty with mild
And sweet allayd, yet terriblet' approach,
Skill'd to retire, and in retiring draw

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Hearts after them tangl’d in Amorous Nets.
Such object hath the pow'r to soft'n and tame
Severest temper, smooth the rugged'st brow,
Enerve, and with voluptuous hope dissolve,
Draw out with credulous desire, and lead

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At will the manliest, resolutest breaft,
As the Magnetic hardest Iron draws.
Women, when nothing else, beguild the heart
Of wiseft Solomon, and made him build,
And made him bow to the Gods of his Wives.

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To whom quick answer Satan thus return'd:
Belial, in much uneven scale thou weigh'ft
All others by thy self; because of old

Thou

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!

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