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I who erewhile the happy garden sung,
By one man's disobedience lost, now sing
Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,
By one man's firm obedience fully tried
Through all temptation, and the Tempter foil'd
In all his wiles, defeated and repuls'd, ..
And Eden rais'd in the waste wilderness.

Thou spirit who ledst this glorious Eremite
Into the desert, his victorious field-
Against the spiritual foe, and brought him thence
By proof th' undoubted Son of God, inspire,
As thou art wont, my prompted song, else mute,
And bear through height or depth of Nature's bounds
With prosp'rous wing full summ’d, to tell of deeds
Above heroic, though in secret done,
And unrecorded left through many an age,
Worthy t' have not remain'd so long unsung!''

Now had the great Proclaimer, with a voice More awful than the sound of trumpét, cried Repentance, and heav'n's kingdom nigh at hand To all baptiz'd: to this great baptism flock'd With awe the regions round, and with them came From Nazareth the son of Joseph deem'd, To the flood Jordan, came as then obscure, Unmark'd, unknown; but him the Baptist soon

Descried, divinely warn'd, and witness bore
As to his worthier, and would have resign'd
To him his heavenly office ; nor was long
His witness unconfirm'd: on him baptiz'd
Heaven open'd, and in likeness of a dove
The Spirit descended, while the Father's voice
From heaven pronounc'd him his beloved Son.
That heard the adversary, who roving still
About the world, at that assembly fam'd : !
W-uld not be last, and with the voice divine
Nigh thunder-struck, th' exalted Man, to whom
Such high attest was given, awhile survey'd
With wonder; then, with envy fraught and rage,
Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid-air
To council summons all his mighty peers,
Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involv'd,
A gloomy consistory; and them amidste
With looks aghast and sad he thus bespake :

O ancient powers of air and this wide world,
For much more willingly I mention air,
This our old conquest, than remember hell,
Our hated habitation; well ye know
How many ages, as the years of men,
This universe we have possess'd, and rul'd
In manner at our will th' affairs of earth,
Since Adam and his facile consort Eve
Lost Paradise, deceiv'd by me, though since
With dread attending when that fatal wound
Shall be inflicted by the seed of Eve
Upon my head : long the decrees of heaven
Delay, for longest time to him is short:
And now too soon for us the circling hours
This dreaded time have compass'd, wherein we
Must bide the stroke of that long threaten'd wound,
At least if so we can, and by the bead
Broken be not intended all our power
To be infring'd, our freedom and our being
In this fair empire won of earth and air;
For this ill news I bring, the woman's Seed

Destin'd to this, is late of woman born: His birth to our just fear gave no small cause, But his growth now to youth's full flower, displaying All virtue, grace, and wisdom, to achieve Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear. Before him a great prophet, to proclaim His coming, is sent harbinger, who all Invites, and in the consecrated stream Pretends to wash off sin, and fit them so Purified, to receive him pure; or ratherTo do him honour as their king: all come, And he himself among them was baptiz'd; Not thence to be more pure, but to receive The testimony of heaven, that who he is .' Thenceforth the nations may not doubt. I saw The prophet do him reverence, on him rising Out of the water, heaven above the clouds Unfold her chrystal doors, thence on his head A perfect dove descend, whate'er it meant, And out of heaven the Sov'reign voice I heard, This is my Son belov'd, in him am pleas’d. His mother then is mortal, but his sire - ' He who obtains the monarchy of heaven, And what will he not do t'advance his Son ? His first-begot we know and sore have felt, When his fierce thunder drove us to the deep; Who this is we must learn, for man he seems 'In all his lineaments, though in his face The glimpses of his Father's glory shine. Ye see our danger on the utmost edge . Of hazard, which admits no long debate, But must with something sudden be oppos'd, Not force, but well couch'd fraud, well woven snares Ere in the head of nations he appear . Their king, their leader, and supreme on earth. I, when no other durst, sole undertook The dismal expedition to find out And ruin Adam, and th’exploit perform'd Successfully; a calmer voyage now

Will waft me: 'and the way found prosp'rous once, Induces best to hope of like success.

He ended, and his words impression left ; Of much amazement to the infernal crew, Distracted and surpris'd with deep dismay At these sad tidings; but no time was then For long indulgence to their fears or grief: . Unanimous they all commit the care And management of this main enterprise To him their great dictator, whose attempt At first against mankind so well had thriv'd In Adam's overthrow, and led their march From hell's deep-vaulted den to dwell in light, Regents and potentates, and kings, yea gods . Of many a pleasant realm and province wide. So to the coast of Jordan he directs His easy steps, so ded with snaky wiles, , Where he might likeliest find this new declar'd, This Man of men, attested Son of God, as Temptation, and all guile, on him to try; So to subvert whom he suspected rais'd To end his reign on earth, so long enjoy'd ; But contrary, unweeting he fulfillid The purpos'd counsel, pre-ordain'd and fix'd es Of the Most high, who in full frequence bright Of angels, thus to Gabriel, smiling, spake :

Gabriel this day by proof thou shalt behold, Thou and all angels conversant on earth With man or men's affairs, how I begin To verify that solemn message late, si On which I sent thee to the Virgin pure : In Galilee, that she should bear a Son i Great in renown, and call'd the Son of God; Then told'st her doubting how these things could be To her a virgin, that on her should come The Holy Ghost, and the power of the Highest O'er-shadow her; this Man born, and now upgrown, To show him worthy of his birth divine And high prediction, henceforth I expose

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