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Cast thyself down ; safely, if Son of God :
For it is written, 'He will give command
Concerning thee to his angels, in their hands
They shall up lift thee, lest at any time
Thou chance to dash thy foot against a stone.'
To whom thus Jesus : “Also it is written
* Tempt not the Lord thy God.”” He said, & stood.
But Satan, smitten with amazement, fell.
As when Earth's son, Antæus, to compare
Small things with greatest, in Irassa strove
With Jove's Alcides, and oft foild, still rose,
Receiving from his mother Earth new strength,
Fresh from his fall, and fiercer grapple join’d,
Throttled at length in th' air, expir'd and fell;
So, after many a foil, the tempter proud,
Renewing fresh assaults, amidst his pride,
Fell whence he stood to see his victor fall :
And as that Theban monster, that propos'd
Her riddle, and him who solv'd it not devour'd,
That once found out and solv’d,
for grief and spite Cast herself headlong from th' Ismenian steep; So, struck with dread and anguish, fell the fiend, And to his crew, that sat consulting, brought (Joyless triumphals of his hop'd success), Ruin, and desperation, and dismay, Who durst so proudly tempt the Son of God. So Satan fell: and straight a fiery globe Of Angels on full sail of wing flew nigh, Who on their plumy vans receiv'd him soft From his uneasy station, and upbore, As on a floating couch, through the blithe air ; Then, in a flowery valley, set him down On a green bank, and set before him spread A table of celestial food, divine Ambrosial fruits, fetch'd from the tree of life, And, from the fount of life, ambrosial drink, That soon refresh'd him wearied, and repair'd What hunger, if aught hunger, had impair'd, Or thirst; and, as he fed, angelic quires Sung heavenly anthems of his victory Over temptation and the Tempter proud.
“ True image of the Father; whether thron'd In the bosom of bliss, and light of light Conceiving, or, remote from Heaven, enshrin'd In fleshly tabernacle, and hum form, Wandering the wilderness; whatever place, Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing
The Son of God, with godlike force endued
Against the attempter of thy Father's throne,
And thief of Paradise ! him long of old
Thou didst debel, and down from Heaven cast
With all his army; now thou hast aveng'd
Supplanted Adam, and, by vanquishing
Temptation, hast regain'd lost Paradise,
And frustrated the conquest fraudulent.
He never more henceforth will dare set foot
In Paradise to tempt; his snares are broke ;
For, though that seat of earthly bliss be fail'd,
A fairer Paradise is founded now
For Adam and his chosen sons, whom thou,
A Saviour, art come down to reinstall,
Where they shall dwell secure, when time shall be,
Of tempter and temptation without fear.
But thou, infernal Serpent! shalt not long
Rule in the clouds; like an autumnal star,
Or lightning, thou shalt fall from Heaven, trod down
Under his feet : for proof, ere this thou feel'st
Thy wound, yet not thy last & deadliest wound,
By this repulse receiv'd, and hold'st in Hell
No triumph: in all her gates Abaddon rues
Thy bold attempt. Hereafter learn with awe
To dread the Son of God: he, all unarmid,
Shall chase thee, with the terror of his voice,
From thy demoniac holds, possession foul,
Thee and thy legions ; yelling they shall fly,
And beg to hide them in a herd of swine,
Lest he command them down into the deep,
Bound, and to torment sent before their time.
Hail, Son of the Most High, heir of both worlds,
Queller of Satan! on thy glorious work,
Now enter; and begin to save mankind."
Thus they the Son of God, our aviour meek,
Sung victor, and, from heavenly feast refresh'd,
Brought on his way with joy; he, unobserv’d,
Home to his mother's house private return’d.
THE END OY PARADISE REGAINED,
Tragedia est imitatio actionis seriæ, &c. per miseric liam et
meturn perficiens talium affectuum lustrationem.