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From their soft wings and Flora's earliest smells.
Such was the fplendor, and the Tempter now 365
His invitation earnestly renow'd.
What doubts the Son of God to fit and ear.
These are not fruits forbidden, no interdict
Defends the touching of these Viands pure,
Their taste no knowledge works at least of evil, 370
But life preserves, destroys life's enemy,
Hunger, with sweet restorative delight.
All these are Spirits of Air, and Woods, and Springs,
Thy gentle Ministers, who come to pay
Thee homage, and acknowledge thee their Lord: 375
What doubt'ft thou Son of God fit down and eat,
To whom thus Jesus temp'rately reply'd; Said'ft thou not that to all things I had right? And who with-holds my pow's that right to use: Shall I receive by gift what of my own,
380 When and where likes me best, I can command? I can at will, doubt not, as soon as thou, Coinmand a Table in this Wilderness, And call swift flights of Angels ministrant Array'd in Glory on my Cup t'attend:
385 Why shouldft thou then obtrude this diligence, In vain, where no acceptance it can find, And with my hunger what hast thou to do? Thy pompous Delicacies I contemn, And count thy specious gifts no gifts but guiles. 390
To whom thus answer'd Satan malecontent: That I have also pow'r to give thou seeft, If of that pow'r I bring thee voluntary What I might have bestow'd on whom I pleasid, v And rather opportunely in this place simples Chose to impart to thy apparent need, it does why shouldst thou not accept it; but I see What I can do or offer iş suspęęt; Of these things others quickly will dispose Whose pains have carn d the tar fet spoil. Wich that Both Table and Provisjou vanish'd guite, no 401
With sound of Harpies wings, and Talons heard ;
Only th’importune Tempter still rem ain’d,
And with these words his Temptation pursu'd.
By hunger, that each other Creature tames,
Thou art not to be harm'd, therefore not mov'd;
Thy temperance invincible besides,
For no allurement yields to appetite,
And all thy heart is set on high designs,
High actions; but wherewith to be atchiev'd?
Great acts require great means of enterprise,
Thou art unknown, unfriended, low of Birth,
A Carpenter thy Father known, thy self,
Bred up in poverty and streights at home;
Loft in a Dclart here and hunger bit :
Which way or from what hope doft thou aspire
To greatness? whence Authority deriv'it,
What Followers, what Retinue canst thou gain,
Or at thy heels the dizzy Multitude,
Longer than thou canst feed them on thy cost?
Mony brings honour, Friends, Conquest and Realms;
What rais'd Antipater the Edomite,
And his Son Herod plac'd on Judah's Throne;
(Thy Throne) but gold that got him puiffant friends ?
Therefore, if at great things thou wouldst arrive,
425 Get Riches first, get Wealth, and Treasure heap, Not difficult, if thou hearken to me, Riches are mine, Fortune is in my hand; They whom I favour thrive in wealth amain, While Virtue, Valour, Wisdom, fit in want.
To whom thus Jesus patiently reply'd; Yet Wealth without these three is imporent To gain dominion, or to keep it gain'd. Witness those ancient Empires of the Earth, In heigth of all their flowing wealth diffolv'd: 435 But men endu'd with these, have oft attain'd In lowest poverty to highest deeds ; Gideon and Feptha, and the Shepherd lad, Whose Off-spring on the Throne of Judah sat
So many Ages, and shall yet regain
That seat, and reign in Israel without end.
Among the Heathen, (for throughout the World
To me is not unknown what hath been done
Worthy Memorial) canst thou not remember
Quintus, Fabricius, Curius, Regulus ?
For I esteem those names of men so poor,
Who could do mighty things, and could contemn
Riches though offer'd from the hand of Kings.
And what in me seems wanting, but that I
May also in this poverty as soon
Accomplish what they did, perhaps and more?
Extol not Riches then, the toyl of Fools,
The wise man's cumbrance, if not snare, more apt
To llacken Virtue, and abate her edge,
Than prompt her to do aught may mcrit praise. 455
What if with like aversion I reject
Riches and Realms ; yet not for that a Crown,
Golden in ihew, is but a wreath of thorns,
Brings dangers, troubles, cares, and fleepless nights
To him who wears the Regal Diadem,
When on his shoulders each man's burden lies;
For therein stands the Office of a King,
His Honour, Virtue, Merit and chief Praise,
That for the Publick all this weight he bears.
Yet he who reigns within himself, and rules 465
Paffions, Delires, and Fears, is more a King;
Which ev'ry wife and virtuous man attains :
And who attains not, ill aspires to rule
Cities of men, or head-strong multitudes.
Subje& himselfco Anarchy within,
Orlawless Passions in him which he serves.
But to guide Nations in the way of truth
By saving Doctrine, and from error lead
To know, and knowing worship God aright,
Is yet more Kingly, this attracts the Soul,
Governs the inner-man, the nobler part,
That other o'er the body only reigns,
And oft by force, which to a gen'rous mind
So reigning can be no fincere delight.
Besides to give a Kingdom hath been thought
Greater and nobler done, and to lay down
Far more magnanimous, than to assume.
Riches are needless then, both for themselves,
And for thy reason why they should be fought,
To gain a Scepter, ofteft betrer miss'd.
The End of the Second Book.
O fpake the Son of God, and Satan Atood
A while as mute, confounded what to fay,
What to reply, confuted and convinc'd
Of his weak arguing, and fallacious drift;
At length colle&ting all his Serpent wiles,
With soothing words renew'd, him thus accosts.
I see thou know'st what is of use to know,
What best to say canst say, to do canft do ;
Thy actions to thy words accord, thy words
Tothy large heat give utterance due, thy heart
Contains of good, wise, juft, the perfe& shape.
Should Kings and Nations from thy mouth consult,
Thy Counsel would be as the Oracle
Vrim and Thummim, those oraculous gems
On Aaron's breast; or tongue of Seers old
Infallible; or wert thou sought to deeds
That might require th' array of war, thy skill
Of conduct would be such, that all the world
Could not sustain thy prowess, or fubfift
In battle, though against thy few in arms.
These God-like Virtues wherefore doft thou hide:
Affecting private life, or more obscure