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A spirit and judgment equal or superior,
(And what he brings, what needs he elsewhere seek ?)
Uncertain and unsettled still remains,
Deep vers'd in books and shallow in himself,
Crude or intoxicate, collecting 'toys,
And trifles for choice matters, with a spunge ;
As children gathering pebbles on the shore.

Or if 'I would delight my private hours
With music or with poem's, where so soon
As in our native language 'can I find
That solace ? all our law and story strow'd
With hymns, our psalms with artful terms inscribid,
Our Hebrew songs and harps in Babylon,
That pleas'd so well our victor's ear, declare
That'rather Greece from us these arts deriv'd;
Ill imitated, while they loudest sing
The vices of their deities, and their own 340
In fable, hymn, or song, so personating
Their gods ridiculous, and themselves past shame.
Remove their swelling epithets thick laid
As varnish on a harlot's cheek, the rest,
Thin sown with ought of profit or delight,
Will far be found unworthy to compare
With Sion's song, to all'true tastes excelling,
Where God is prais'd aright, and godlike men,
The holiest of holies, and his saints;
Such are from God inspir'd, not such from thee, 350
Unless where moral virtue is express'd
By light of Nature not in all quite lost.
Their orators thou then extoll'st, as those

The top of eloquence, statists indeed,
And lovers of their country as may seem ;
But herein to our Prophets far beneath,
As men divinely taught, and better teaching
The solid rules of civil government
In their majestic unaffected stile
Than all th' oratory of Greece and Rome. 360
In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,
What makes a nation happy', and keeps it so,
What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat ;
These only with our law best form a king.

So spake the Son of God; but Satan now
Quite at a loss, for all his darts were spent,
Thus to our Saviour with stern brow reply'd.

Since neither wealth, nor honour, arms nor arts, Kingdom nor empire pleases thee, nor ought Bý ine propos'd in life contemplative,

370 Or active, tended on by glory', or fame, What dost thou in this world ? the wilderness For thee is fittest place; I found thee there, And thither will return thee; yet remember What I foretel thee, soon thou shalt have cause To wish thou never hadst rejected thus Nicely or cautiously my offer'd aid, Which would have set thee in short time with ease On David's throne, or throne of all the world, Now at full age, fulness of time, thy season, 380 When prophecies of thee are best fulfill'd. Now contrary, if I read ought in Heav'n, Or Heav'n write ought of Fate, by what the stars

Voluminous, or single characters,
In their conjunction met, give me to spell,
Sorrows, and labours, opposition, hate
Attends thee, scorns, reproaches, injuries,
Violence and stripes, and lastly cruel death ;
A kingdom they portend thee, but what kingdom,
Real or allegoric I discern not,

Nor when, eternal sure, as without end,
Without beginning; for no date prefix'd
Directs me in the starry rubric sct.

So saying he took (for still he kņew his power Not yet expir’d) and to the wilderness , Brought back the Son of God, and left him there, Feigning to disappear. Darkness now rose, As day-light sunk, and brought in louring Night Her shadowy offspring, unsubstantial both, Privation mere of light and absent day. 400 Our Saviour meek and with untroubled mind After this aery jaunt, though hurried sore, Hungry and cold, betook him to his rest, Wherever, under some concourse of shades, Whose branching arms thick intertwin'd might shield From dews and damps of night his shelter'd head But shelter'd, slept in vain, for at his head The Tempter watch'd, and soon with ugly dreams Disturbid his sleep ; and either tropic now 409 'Gan thunder, and both ends of Heav'n, the clouds From many a horrid rift abortive pour’d Fierce rain with lightning mix’d, water with fire In ruin reconcil'd: nor slept the winds

Within their stony caves, 'but rush'd abroad
From the four hinges of the world, and fell
On the vex'd wilderness, whose tallest pines,
Though rooted deep as high, and sturdiest oaks
Bow'd their stiff necks, loaded with stormy blasts ;
Or torn up sheer: ill wast thou shrouded then,
Opatient Son of God, yét only stood’st 420
Unshaken ; 'nor 'yet'stay'd the terror there,
Infernal ghosts, and hellish furies, tound
Environd thee, some howl'd, some yella, some

Some bent at thee their fiery darts, while thou
Sat'st 'unappall'd in calm and sinless peace.
Thus pass'd the night so foul, till Morning fair
Came forth with pilgrim steps in amiće gray,
Who with her radiant finger still'd the roar
Of thunder, chas'd the clouds, and laid the winds,
And grisly spectres, which the Fiend had raisid 430
To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire.
And now the sun with more effectual beams
Had cheer'd the face of earth, and dry'd the wet
From drooping plant, 'or dropping tree ; the birds,
Who all things now behold more fresh and green,
After a night of storm so 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
The Prince of Darkness, glad would also scem
Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came,

Yet with no new device, they all were spent,
Rather by this his last affront resolv'd,
Desp'rate of better course, to vent his rage,
And mad despite to be so oft repell’d.
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 dangʻrous to the pillar'd frame of Heav'n,
Or to the Earth's dark basis underneath,
Are to the main as inconsiderable
And harmless, if not wholesome, as a sneeze
To man's less universe, and soon are gone ;
Yet as being oft times noxious where they light 460
On man, beast, plant, wasteful and turbulent,
Like turbulencies in tb' affairs of men,
Over whose heads they roar, and seem to point,
They oft fore-signify and threaten ill:
This tempest at this desert most was bent;
Of men at thee, for only thou bere dwell'st.
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,

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