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To win him, or win from him what I can.
An opportunity I here have had
To try thee, sift thee, and confess have found thee
Proof against all temptation, as a rock
Of adamant, and as a centre, firm :
To th' utmost of mere man both wise and good,
Nor more ; for honours, riches, kingdoms, glory,
Have been before contemn'd, and may again :
Therefore to know what more thou art than man,
Worth naming Son of God by voice from heaven,
Another method I must now begin.

So saying, he caught him up, and without wing
Of hippogriff, bore through the air sublime
Over the wilderness and o'er the plain ;
Till underneath them fair Jerusalem,
The holy city, lifted high her towers,
And higher yet the glorious temple rear'd
Her pile, far off appearing like a mount
Of alabaster, topp'd with golden spires :
There on the highest pinnacle he set
The Son of God, and added thus in scorn :

There stand, if thou wilt stand; to stand upright'
Will ask thee skill : I to thy father's house
Have brought thee, and highest plac'd ; highest is

best :
Now show thy progeny ; if not to stand,
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 uplift 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, and 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 foil'd 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 impaird,
Or thirst; and as he fed, angelic choirs
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, inshrin'd
In fleshly tabernacle, and human form,
Wand'ring the wilderness, whatever place,
Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing
The Son of God, with godlike force endu'd
Against th' attempter of thy Father's throne,
And thief of Paradise ; him long of old :
Thou didst defeat, 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 re-instal,
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 and 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 unarm'd, .
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 Saviour 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.








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