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Conceals him: when twelve years he fcarce had feen,
I loft him, but fo found, as well I faw

He could not lofe himself; but went about
His Father's bufinefs; what he meant I mus'd,
Since understand; much more his abfence now 100
Thus long to fome great purpose he obfcures.
But I to wait with patience am inur'd;
My heart hath been a ftore-house long of things
And fay'ings laid up, portending strange events.
Thus Mary pond'ring oft, and oft to mind 105
Recalling what remarkably had pafs'd
Since firft her falutation heard, with thoughts
Meekly compos'd awaited the fulfilling:
The while her fon tracing the defert wild,
Sole but with holieft meditations fed,
Into himself defcended, and at once
All his great work to come before him fet;
How to begin, how to accomplish best
His end of being on earth, and mission high:
For Satan with fly preface to return



Had left him vacant, and with speed was gone
Up to the middle region of thick air,
Where all his potentates in council fat;

There without fign of boaft, or sign of joy,

Solicitous and blank he thus began.


Princes, Heav'n's ancient Sons, ethereal Thrones,

Demonian Spirits now, from th' element

Each of his reign allotted, rightlier call'd

Pow'rs of fire, air, water, and earth beneath,

So may we hold our place and these mild feats 125 Without new trouble; fuch an enemy

Is rifen to invade us, who no lefs

Threatens than our expulfion down to Hell;
I, as I undertook, and with the vote

Confenting in full frequence was impower'd, 130

Have found him, view'd him, tasted him, but find Far other labor to be undergone

Than when I dealt with Adam firft of Men,

Though Adam by his wife's allurement fell,
However to this man inferior far,

If he be man by mother's fide at least,


With more than human gifts from Heav'n adorn'd,
Perfections abfolute, graces divine,

And amplitude of mind to greatest deeds.
Therefore I am return'd, left confidence
Of my fuccefs with Eve in Paradise
Deceive ye to persuasion over-fure
Of like fucceeding here; I fummon 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.


So fpake th' old Serpent doubting, and from all

With clamor was affur'd their utmost aid

At his command; when from amidst them rose
Belial, the diffoluteft Spirit that fell,
The fenfualleft, and after Afmodai
The fleshlieft Incubus, and thus advis'd.
Set women in his eye, and in his walk,
Among daughters of men the fairest found;
Many are in each region passing fair
As the noon fky; more like to Goddeffes
Than mortal creatures, graceful and discreet,
Expert in amorous arts, inchanting tongues
Perfuafive, virgin majefty with mild
And sweet allay'd, yet terrible t' approach,
Skill'd to retire, and in retiring draw
Hearts after them tangled in amorous nets,
Such object hath the pow'r to foft'n and tame
Severeft temper, fmooth the rugged ft brow,
Enerve, and with voluptuous hope diffolve,







Draw out with credulous defire, and lead
At will the manlieft, refolutest breast,
As the magnetic hardest iron draws.

Women, when nothing else, beguil'd the heart
Of wifeft Solomon, and made him build,
And made him bow to the Gods of his wives.
To whom quick answer Satan thus return'd.
Belial, in much uneven fcale thou weigh'st
All others by thyfelf; because of old



Thou thyfelf doat'dft on womankind,admiring 175
Their fhape, their color, and attractive grace,
None are, thou think'ft, but taken with fuch toys.
Before the flood thou with thy lufty crew,
Falfe titled fons of God, roaming the earth
Caft wanton eyes on the daughters of men,
And coupled with them, and begot a race.
Have we not feen, or by relation heard,
In courts and regal chambers how thou lurk'st,
In wood or grove by moffy fountain fide,
In valley or green meadow, to way-lay
Some beauty rare, Califto, Clymene,
Daphne, or Semele, Antiopa,

Or Amymone, Syrinx, many more


Too long, then lay'ft thy fcapes on names ador'd,

Apollo, Neptune, Jupiter, or Pan,

Satir, or Faun, or Sylvan? But these haunts
Delight not all; among the fons of men,


How many have with a fmile made small account
Of beauty and her lures, eafily fcorn'd
All her affaults, on worthier things intent?
Remember that Pellean conqueror,

A youth, how all the beauties of the east
He flightly view'd, and flightly overpass'd;
How he firnam'd of Africa difmifs'd
In his prime youth the fair Iberian maid.


200 For

For Solomon, he liv'd at ease, and full



Of honor, wealth, high fare, aim'd not beyond
Higher defign than to enjoy his ftate;
Thence to the bait of women lay expos'd:
But he whom we attempt is wifer far
Than Solomon, of more exalted mind,
Made and fet wholly on th' accomplishment
Of greatest things; what woman will you find,
Though of this age the wonder and the fame,
On whom his leifure will vouchsafe an eye
Of fond defire? or fhould the confident,
As fitting queen ador'd on beauty's throne,
Defcend with all her winning charms begirt
T'enamour, as the zone of Venus once
Wrought that effect on Jove, fo fables tell;
How would one look from his majestic brow
Seated as on the top of virtue's hill,
Discount'nance her defpis'd, and put to rout
All her array; her female pride deject,
Or turn to reverent awe? for beauty ftands
In th' admiration only of weak minds




Led captive; ceafe to admire, and all her plumes
Fall flat and fhrink into a trivial toy,
At every fudden flighting quite abash'd:
Therefore with manlier objects we must try
His conftancy, with fuch as have more fhow
Of worth, of honor, glory', and popular praise ;
Rocks whereon greatest men have ofteft wreck'd;
Or that which only feems to fatisfy
Lawful defires of nature, not beyond;
And now I know he hungers where no food
Is to be found, in the wide wilderness ;
The reft commit to me, I fhall let pafs
No advantage, and his ftrength as oft affay.
He ceas'd, and heard their grant in loud acclame;
Then forthwith to him takes a chosen band


Of Spirits likeft to himself in guile


To be at hand, and at his beck appear,
If caufe were to unfold fome active scene
Of various perfons, each to know his part;
Then to the defert takes with these his flight;
Where ftill from fhade to fhade the Son of God
After forty days fafting had remain'd,
Now hungring firft, and to himself thus faid.
Where will this end? four times ten days I've pafs'd
Wand'ring this woody maze, and human food 246
Nor tafted, nor had appetite; that fast
To virtue I impute not, or count part
Of what I fuffer here; if nature need not,
Or God fupport nature without repast
Though needing, what praise is it to indure?
But now I feel I hunger, which declares
Nature hath need of what she asks; yet God
Can fatisfy that need fome other way,
Though hunger ftill remain: fo it remain
Without this body's wafting, I content me,
And from the fting of famin fear no harm,
Nor mind it, fed with better thoughts that feed
Me hungring more to do my Father's will.



It was the hour of night, when thus the Son 260 Commun'd in filent walk, then laid him down Under the hofpitable covert nigh

Of trees thick interwoven; there he flept,
And dream'd, as appetite is wont to dream,
Of meats and drinks, nature's refreshment sweet;
Him thought, he by the brook of Cherith stood 266
And faw the ravens with their horny beaks
Food to Elijah bringing ev'n and morn, [brought:
Though ravenous, taught t'abstain from what they
He faw the prophet alfo how he fled
Into the defert, and how there he slept
Under a juniper; then how awak'd,



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