Imágenes de páginas

In me is no delay; with thee to go,

kind. Pursuing his meditations he narrates, in Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,

a soliloquy, what divine and philanthropic imIs to go hence unwilling; thou to me

pulses he had felt from his early youth, and how Art all things under Heaven, all places thou, his mother Mary, on perceiving these dispositions Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence, in him, had acquainted him with the circumstances This further consolation yet secure

of his birth, and informed him that he was no I carry hence; though all by me is lost,

less a person than the Son of God; to which he Such favour I unworthy am vouchsaf”d,

adds what his own inquiries and reflections had By me the promis'd Seed shall all restore."

supplied in confirmation of this great truth, and So spake our mother Eve; and Adam heard particularly dwells on the recent attestation of it Well pleas'd, but answer'd not : for now, too nigh at the river Jordan. Our Lord passes forty days, The arch-angel stood ; and from the other hill fasting, in the wilderness, where the wild beasts To their fix'd station, all in bright array

become mild and harmless in his presence. Satan The cherubim descended ; on the ground

now appears under the form of an old peasant; Gliding meteorous, as evening-mist

and enters into discourse with our Lord, wonder. Ris'n from a river o'er the marish glides,

ing what could have brought him alone into so And gathers ground fast at the labourer's heel dangerous a place, and at the same time professing Homeward returning. High in front advanc'd to recognize him for the person lately acknowThe brandish'd sword of God before them blazd, ledged by John, at the river Jordan, to be the Son Fience as a comet ; which with torrid heat,

of God. Jesus briefly replies. Satan rejoins And tapour as the Libyan air adust,

with a description of the difficulty of supporting Began to parch that temperate clime; whereat life in the wilderness; and entreats Jesus, if he In either hand the hastening angel caught

be really the Son of God, to manifest his divine Our lingering parents, and to the eastern gate power, by changing some of the stones into bread. Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast

Jesus reproves him, and at the same time tells To the subjected plain ; then disappear’d.

him that he knows who he is. Satan instantly They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld avows himself, and offers an artful apology for Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,

himself and his conduct. Our blessed Lord War'd over by that flaming brand; the gate

severely reprimands him, and refutes every part With dreadful faces throng'd, and fiery arms : of his justification. Satan, with much semblance Same natural tears they dropt, but wip'd them soon; of humility, still endeavours to justify himself; The world was all before them, where to choose and professing his admiration of Jesus and his Their place of rest, and Providence their guide : regard for virtue, requests to be permitted at a They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, future time to hear more of his conversation ; but Through Eden took their solitary way.

is answered, that this must be as he shall find permission from above. Satan then disappears, and the book closes with a short description of night

coming on in the desert.

I, who ere while the happy garden sung

By one man's disobedience lost, now sing

Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,
Book I.

By one man's firm obedience fully tried

Through all temptation, and the tempter foil'd The Argument.

In all his wiles, defeated and repuls’d,

And Eden rais'd in the waste wilderness. The subject proposed. Invocation of the Holy Thou Spirit, who ledst this glorious eremite

Spirit — The poem opens with John baptizing at Into the desert, his victorious field, the river Jordan. Jesus coming there is baptized; Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence and is attested, by the descent of the Holy Ghost, By proof the undoubted Son of God, inspire, and by a voice from Heaven, to be the Son of As thou art wont, my prompted song, else mute, God. Satan, who is present, upon this imme- And bear through height or depth of Nature's diately flies up into the regions of the air : where,

bounds, surmoning his infernal council, he acquaints with prosperous wing full summ’d, to tell of deeds them with his apprehensions that Jesus is that Above heroic, though in secret done, Seed of the Woman, destined to destroy all their And unrecorded left through many an age ; power, and points out to them the immediate Worthy to have not remain'd so long unsung. Decessity of bringing the matter to proof, and of Now had the great proclaimer, with a voice attempting, by snares and fraud, to counteract More awful than the sound of trumpet, cried and defeat the person, from whom they have so Repentance, and Heaven's kingdom nigh at hand much to dread. This office he offers himself to To all baptiz’d: to his great baptism flock'd undertake ; and, his offer being accepted, sets out with awe the regions round, and with them came on his enterprise. - In the meantime God, in the From Nazareth the son of Joseph deem’d assembly of holy angels, declares that he has given To the flood Jordan ; came, as then obscure, up his Son to be tempted by Satan; but foretels Unmark’d, unknown; but him the Baptist soon that the tempter shall be completely defeated by Descried, divinely warn'd, and witness bore

- upon which the angels sing a hymn of As to his worthier, and would have resign'd triumph. Jesus is led up by the Spirit into the To him his heavenly office; nor was long wilderness, while he is meditating on the com- His witness unconfirm'd: on bim baptiz'd mencement of his great office of Saviour of man- | Heaven open'd, and in likeness of a dove,


The Spirit descended, while the Father's voice I, when no other durst, sole undertook
From Heaven pronounc'd him his beloved Son. The dismal expedition to find out
That heard the adversary, who, roving still And ruin Adam; and the exploit perform'd
About the world, at that assembly fam’d

Successfully: a calmer voyage now
Would not be last, and, with the voice divine Will waft me ; and the way, found prosperous ence,
Nigh thunder-struck, the exalted man, to whom Induces best to hope of like success."
Such high attest was given, a while survey'd

He ended, and his words impression left With wonder ; then, with envy fraught and rage, Of much amazement to the infernal crew, Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air

Distracted, and surpris'd with deep dismay To council summons all his mighty peers,

At these sad tidings; but no time was then Within thick clouds and dark ten-fold involv'd, Por long indulgence to their fears or grief'; A gloomy consistory; and then amidst,

Unanitnous they all commit the care With looks aghast and sad, he thus bespake. And management of this main enterprise

“ O ancient powers of air, and this wide world, To him, their great dictator, whose attempt (For much more willingly I mention air,

At first against mankind so well had thriv'd This our old conquest, than remember Hell, In Adam's overthrow, and led their march Our hated habitation,) well ye know

From Hell's deep-vaulted den to dwell in light, How many ages, as the years of men,

Regents, and potentates, and kings, yea gods,
This universe we have possess’d, and rul'd, Of many a pleasant realın and province wide.
In manner at our will, the affairs of Earth, So to the coast of Jordan he directs
Since Adam and his facile consort Eve

His easy steps, girded with snaky wiles,
Lost Paradise, deceiv'd by me; though since Where he might likeliest find this new-declar'd,
With dread attending when that fatal wound This Man of men, attested Son of God,
Shall be inflicted by the seed of Eve

Temptation and all guile on him to try; Upon my head. Long the decrees of Heaven So to subvert whom he suspected rais'd Delay, for longest time to him is short ;

To end his reign on Earth, so long enjoy'd : And now, too soon for us, the circling hours But, contrary, unweeting he fulfill'd This dreaded time have compass'd, wherein we The purpos'd council, pre-ordain'd and fix'd, Must bide the stroke of that long-threaten’d wound, Of the Most High ; who, in full frequence bright (At least if so we can, and by the head

Of angels, thus to Gabriel smiling spake. Broken be not intended all our power

“ Gabriel, this day by proof thou shalt behold, To be infring'd, our freedom and our being Thou and all angels conversant on Earth In this fair empire won of Earth and air,)

With man or men's affairs, how I begin
For this ill news I bring, the woman's seed To verify that solemn message, late
Destin'd to this, is late of woman born.

On which I sent thee to the virgin pure
His birth to our just fear gave no small cause : In Galilee, that she should bear a son,
But his growth now to youth's full flower displaying Great in renown, and call'd the Son of God;
All virtue, grace, and wisdom to achieve

Then told'st her, doubting how these things could be
Things highest, greatest multiplies my fear To her a virgin, that on her should come
Before him a great prophet, to proclaim

The Holy Ghost, and the power of the Highest His coming, is sent harbinger, who all

O'ershadow her. This man, born and now upInvites, and in the consecrated stream

grown, Pretends to wash off sin, and fit them, so

To show him worthy of his birth divine Purified, to receive him pure, or rather

And high prediction, henceforth I expose To do him honour as their king : all come, To Satan; let him tempt, and now assay And he himself among them was baptiz'd; His utmost subtlety, because he boasts Not thence to be more pure, but to receive

And vaunts of his great cunning to the throng The testimony of Heaven, that who he is

Of his apostacy : he ght have learnt "Thenceforth the nations may not doubt ; I saw Less overweening, since he fail'd-in Job, The prophet do him reverence ; on him, rising Whose constant perseverance overcame Out of the water, Heaven above the clouds Whate'er his cruel malice could invent. Unfold her crystal doors : thence on his head He now shall know I can produce a man, A perfect dove descend, (whate'er it meant,) Of female seed, far abler to resist And out of Heaven the sovran voice I heard, All his solicitations, and at length • This is my Son belov'd, in him am pleas'd.' All his vast force, and drive him back to Hell ; His mother then is mortal, but his Sire

Winning, by conquest, what the first man lost, He who obtains the monarchy of Heaven : By fallacy surpris’d. But first I mean And what will he not do to advance his Son ? To exercise him in the wilderness; His first-begot we know, and sore have felt, There he shall first lay down the rudiments When his fierce thunder drove us to the deep : Of his great warfare, ere I send him forth Who this is we must learn, for Man he seems To conquer Sin and Death, the two grand foes, In all his lineaments, though in his face

By humiliation and strong sufferance : The glimpses of his father's glory shine.

His weakness shall o'ercome Satanic strength Ye see our danger on the utmost edge

And all the world, and mass of sinful flesh, Of hazard, which admits no long debate,

That all the angels and ethereal powers, But must with something sudden be oppos’d, They now, and men hereafter, may discern, (Not force, but well-couch'd fraud, well-woven From what consummate virtue I have chose snares)

This perfect man, by merit call'd my Son, Ere in the head of nations he appear,

To earn salvation for the sons of men." Their king, their leader, and supreme on Earth. So spake the Eternal Father, and all Heaven

Admiring stood a space, then into hymns

Conceiv'd in me a virgin; he foretold, Burst forth, and in celestial measures mov'd, Thou should'st be great, and sit on David's throne, Circling the throne and singing, while the hand And of thy kingdom there should be no end. Sung with the voice, and this the argument. At thy nativity, a glorious quire

# Victory and triumph to the Son of God, Of angels, in the fields of Bethlehem, sung Now entering his great duel, not of arms,

To shepherds, watching at their folds by night, But to vanquish by wisdom hellish wiles !

And told them the Messiah now was born, The Father knows the Son; therefore secure Where they might see him, and to thee they came, Veatures his filial virtue, though untried,

Directed to the manger where thou lay'st, Against whate'er may tempt, whate'er seduce, For in the inn was left no better room : Allure, or terrify, or undermine.

A star, not seen before, in Heaven appearing, Be frustrate, all ye stratagems of Hell,

Guided the wise men thither from the east, And, devilish machinations, come to naught!". To honour thee with incense, myrrh, and gold;

So they in Heaven their odes and vigils tun'd: By whose bright course led on they found the place, Meanwhile the Son of God, who yet some days Affirming it thy star, new-graven in Heaven, Lodg'd in Bethabara, where John baptiz’d, By which they knew the king of Israel born. Musing, and much revolving in his breast,

Just Simeon and prophetic Anna, warn'd How best the mighty work he might begin By vision, found thee in the temple, and spake, Of Saviour to mankind, and which way first Before the altar and the vested priest, Publish his God-like office now mature,

Like things of thee to all that present stood.' One day forth walk'd alone, the Spirit leading This having heard, straight I again revolvid And his deep thoughts, the better to converse The law and prophets, searching what was writ With solitude, till, far from track of men,

Concerning the Messiah, to our scribes Thought following thought, and step by step led on, Known partly, and soon found, of whom they spake He enter'd now the bordering desert wild,

I am ; this chiefly, that my way must lie And, with dark shades and rocks environ'd round, Through many a hard assay, even to the death, His holy meditations thus pursued.

Ere I the promis'd kingdom can attain, “0, what a multitude of thoughts at once Or work redemption for mankind, whose sins Awakened in me swarm, while I consider

Full weight must be transferr'd upon my head. What from within I feel myself, and hear

Yet, neither thus dishearten'd or dismay'd,
What from without comes often to my ears, The time prefix'd I waited; when behold
"Il sorting with my present state compar'd ! The Baptist, (of whose birth I oft had heard;
Wben I was yet a child, no childish play

Not knew by sight,) now come, who was to come
To me was pleasing ; all my mind was set Before Messiah, and his way prepare !
Serious to learn and know, and thence to do I, as all others, to his baptism came,
What might be public good ; myself I thought Which I believ'd was from above; but he
Born to that end, born to promote all truth, Straight knew me, and with loudest voice proclaim'd
All righteous things: therefore, above my years, Me him, (for it was shown him so from Heaven,)
Tbe law of God I read, and found it sweet, Me him, whose harbinger he was; and first
Made it my whole delight, and in it grew

Refus'd on me his baptism to confer,
To such perfection, that, ere yet my age

As much his greater, and was hardly won :
Had measur'd twice six years, at our great feast But, as I rose out of the laving stream,
I went into the temple, there to hear

Heaven opened her eternal doors, from whence The teachers of our law, and to propose

The Spirit descended on me like a dove; What might improve my knowledge or their own; And last, the sum of all, my Father's voice, And was admir'd by all : yet this not all

Audibly heard from Heaven, pronounc'd me his,
To which my spirit aspir'd; victorious deeds * Me his beloved Son, in whom alone
Flam'd in my heart, heroic acts ; one while He was well pleas'd ;' by which I knew the time
To rescue Israel from the Roman yoke,

Now full, that I no more should live obscure,
Then to subdue and quell, o'er all the Earth, But openly begin, as best becomes,
Brute violence and proud tyrannic power,

The authority which I deriv'd from Heaven.
Till truth were freed, and equity restor'd :

And now by some strong motion I am led Te held it more humane, more heavenly, first Into this wilderness, to what intent Bę winning words to conquer willing hearts, I learn not yet; perhaps I need not know, And make persuasion do the work of fear; For what concerns my knowledge God reveals." At least to try, and teach the erring soul,

So spake our Morning-star, then in his rise, Not wilfully misdoing, but unaware

And, looking round, on every side beheld Misled; the stubborn only to subdue.

A pathless desert, dusk with horrid shades; These growing thoughts my mother soon perceiving, The way he came not having mark’d, return By words at times cast forth, inly rejoic'd,

Was difficult, by human steps untrod;
and said to me apart, · High are thy thoughts, And he still on was led, but with such thoughts
O son, but nourish them, and let them soar Accompanied of things past and to come
To what height sacred virtue and true worth Lodg’d in his breast, as well might recommend
Can raise them, though above example high ; Such solitude before choicest society.
By matchless deeds express thy matchless sire, Full forty days he pass'd, whether on hill
For know, thou art no son of mortal man ; Sometimes, anon on shady vale, each night
Though men esteem thee low of parentage, Under the covert of some ancient oak,
Thy father is the Eternal King who rules

Or cedar, to defend him from the dew,
All Heaven and Earth, angels and sons of men; Or harbour'd in one cave, is not reveal'd;
A messenger from God foretold thy birth

Nor tasted human food, nor hunger felt

Till those days ended; hunger'd then at last That he might fall in Ramoth, they demurring,
Among wild beasts : they at his sight grew mild, I undertook that office, and the tongues
Nor sleeping him nor waking harm's; his walk Of all his flattering prophets glibb’d with lies
The fiery serpent fled and noxious worin,

To his destruction, as I had in charge;
The lion and fierce tiger glar'd aloof.

For what he bids I do. Though I have lost But now an aged man in rural weeds,

Much lustre of my native brightness, lost Following, as seem'd, the quest of some stray ewe, To be belov'd of God, I have not lost Or wither'd sticks to gather, which might serve To love, at least contemplate and admire, Against a winter's day, when winds blow keen, What I see excellent in good, or fair, To warm him wet return'd from field at eve, Or virtuous; I should so have lost all sense : He saw approach, who first with curious eye What can then be less in me than desire Perus’d him, then with words thus utter'd spake. To see thee and approach thee, whom I know “ Sir, what ill chance hath brought thee to this Declar'd the Son of God, to hear attent place

Thy wisdom, and behold thy God-like deeds?
So far from path or road of men, who pass Men generally think me much a foe
In troop or caravan? for single none

To all mankind : why should I ? they to me
Durst ever, who return'd, and dropt not here Never did wrong or violence; by them
His carcase, pin'd with hunger and with drought. I lost not what I lost, rather by them
I ask the rather, and the more admire,

I gain'd what I have gain'd, and with them dwell,
For that to me thou seem'st the Man, whom late Copartner in these regions of the world,
Our new baptizing prophet at the ford

If not disposer; lend them oft my aid, Of Jordan honour'd so, and call'd thee Son


my advice by presages and signs, Of God: I saw and heard, for we sometimes And answers, oracles, portents, and dreams, Who dwell this wild, constrain’d by want, come Whereby they may direct their future life. forth

Envy they say excites me, thus to gain
To town or village nigh, (nighest is far,)

Companions of my misery and woe.
Where aught we hear, and curious are to hear, At first it may be ; but, long since with woe
What happens new ; fame also finds us out. Nearer acquainted, now I feel, by proof,
To whom the Son of God. “Who brought me That fellowship in pain divides not smart,

Nor lightens aught each man's peculiar load.
Will bring me hence; no other guide I seek." Small consolation then, were man adjoin'd: [Man

“ By miracle he may,” replied the swain; This wounds me most, (what can it less ?) that “ What other way I see not ; for we here

Man fall’n shall be restor'd, I never more. Live on tough roots and stubs, to thirst inur'd To whom our Saviour sternly thus replied. More than the camel, and to drink go far,

“ Deservedly thou griev'st, compos'd of lies Men much misery and hardship born :

From the beginning, and in lies wilt end; But, if thou be the Son of God, command

Who boast'st release from Hell, and leave to come That out of these hard stones be made thee bread, Into the Heaven of Heavens: thou com'st indeed So shalt thou save thyself, and us relieve

As a poor miserable captive thrall
With food, whereof we wretched seldom taste." Comes to the place where he before had sat
He ended, and the Son of God replied.

Among the prime in splendour, now depos’d, “ Think'st thou such force in bread ? Is it not | Ejected, emptied, gaz’d, unpitied, shunn'd, written,

A spectacle of ruin, or of scorn, (For I discern thee other than thou seem'st) To all the host of Heaven: the happy place • Man lives not by bread only, but each word Imparts to thee no happiness, no joy, Proceeding from the mouth of God, who fed Rather inflames thy torment: representing Our fathers here with manna ?' in the mount Lost bliss, to thee no more communicable, Moses was forty days, nor eat, nor drank;

So never more in Hell than when in Heaven. And forty days Elijah, without food,

But thou art serviceable to Heaven's King. Wander'd this barren waste : the same I now : Wilt thou impute to obedience what thy fear Why dost thou then suggest to me distrust, Extorts, or pleasure to do ill excites ? Knowing who I am, as I know who thou art ?" What but thy malice mov'd thee to misdeem Whom thus answer'd the arch-fiend, now undis- of righteous Job, then cruelly to afflict him guis’d.

With all inflictions ? but his patience won. “ 'Tis true I am that Spirit unfortunate,

The other service was thy chosen task, Who, leagu'd with millions more in rash revolt, To be a liar in four hundred mouths Kept not my happy station, but was driven For lying is thy sustenance, thy food. With them from bliss to the bottomless deep, Yet thou pretend'st to truth; all oracles Yet to that hideous place not so confin'd

By thee are given, and what confess'd more true By rigour unconniving, but that oft,

Among the nations ? that hath been thy craft, Leaving my dolorous prison, I enjoy

By mixing somewhat true to vent more lies. Large liberty to round this globe of earth,

But what have been thy answers, what but dark, Or range in the air; nor from the Heaven of Ambiguous, and with double sense deluding, Heavens

Which they who ask'd have seldom understood. Hath he excluded my resort sometimes.

And not well understood as good not known? I came among the sons of God, when he

Who ever by consulting at thy shrine Gave up into my hands Uzzean Job

Return'd the wiser, or the more instruct, To prove him, and illustrate his high worth; To fly or follow what concern'd him most, And, when to all his angels he propos'd

Apd run not sooner to his fatal snare ? To draw the proud king Ahab into fraud

For God hath justly given the nations up

To thy delusions; justly, since they fell

cumstances respecting the birth and early life of Idolatrous: but, when his purpose is

her son.

Satan again meets his infernal council, Among them to declare his providence

reports the bad success of his first temptation of To thee not known, whence hast thou then thy truth, our blessed Lord, and calls upon them for But from him, or his angels president

counsel and assistance. Belial proposes the In every province, who, themselves disdaining tempting of Jesus with women. Satan rebukes To approach thy temples, give thee in command Belial for his dissoluteness, charging on him all What, to the smallest tittle, thou shalt say

the profligacy of that kind ascribed by the poets * To thy adorers? Thou, with trembling fear, to the heathen gods, and rejects his proposal as Or like a fawning parasite, obey'st :

in no respect likely to succeed. Satan then Then to thyself ascrib’st the truth foretold.

suggests other modes of temptation, particuBut this thy glory shall be soon retrench'd;

larly proposing to avail himself of the circumNo more shalt thou by oracling abuse

stance of our Lord's hungering; and, taking The Gentiles; henceforth oracles are ceas'd,

a band of chosen spirits with him, returns to And thou no more with pomp and sacrifice

resume his enterprise. — Jesus hungers in the Shalt be inquir'd at Delphos, or elsewhere;

desert. - Night comes on ; the manner in which At least in vain, for they shall find thee mute. our Saviour passes the night is described. — God hath now sent his living oracle

Morning advances.

Satan again appears to Into the world to teach his final will,

Jesus, and, after expressing wonder that he And sends his Spirit of Truth henceforth to dwell should be so entirely neglected in the wilderness, In pious hearts, an inward oracle

where others had been miraculously fed, tempts To all truth requisite for men to know."

him with a sumptuous banquet of the most luxuSo spake our Saviour, but the subtle fiend,

rious kind. This he rejects, and the banquet Though inly stung with anger and disdain,

vanishes, Satan, finding our Lord not to be Dissembled, and this answer smooth return'd. assailed on the ground of appetite, tempts him “ Sharply thou hast insisted on rebuke,

again by offering him riches, as the means of And urg'd me with hard doings, which not will acquiring power : this Jesus also rejects, proBut misery hath wrested from me. Where

ducing many instances of great actions perEasily canst thou find one miserable,

formed by persons under virtuous poverty, and And not enforc'd oft-times to part from truth, specifying the danger of riches, and the cares and If it may stand him more in stead to lie,

pains inseparable from power and greatness. Say and unsay, feign, flatter, or abjure ? But thou art plac'd above me, thou art Lord; MEANWHILE the new-baptiz'd, who yet remain'd From thee I can, and must submiss, endure, At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen Check, or reproof, and glad to 'scape so quit. Him whom they heard so late expressly callid Hard are the ways of Truth, and rough to walk, Jesus Messiah, Son of God declar'd, Smooth on the tongue discours d, pleasing to the ear, And on that high authority had believ'd, And tuneable as sylvan pipe or song ;

And with him talk'd, and with him lodg’d; I mean What wonder then if I delight to hear

Andrew and Simon, famous after known, Her dictates from thy mouth ? Most men admire With others, though in Holy Writ not nam’d; Virtue, who follow not her lore : permit me Now missing him, their joy so lately found, To bear thee when I come, (since no man comes,) (So lately found, and so abruptly gone,) and talk at least, though I despair to attain. Began to doubt, and doubted many days, Thy Father, who is holy, wise, and pure,

And, as the days increas’d, increas'd their doubt. Suffers the hypocrite or atheous priest

Sometimes they thought he might be only shown, To tread his sacred courts, and minister

And for a time caught up to God, as once about liis altar, handling holy things,

Moses was in the mount and missing long, Praying or vowing: and vouchsafid his voice And the great Thisbite, who on fiery wheels To Balaam reprobate, a prophet yet

Rode up to Heaven, yet once again to come: Inspir'd: disdain not such access to me.'

Therefore, as those young prophets then with care To whomı our Saviour, with unalter'd brow : Sought lost Elijah, so in each place these * Thy coming hither, though I know thy scope, Nigh to Bethabara ; in Jericho I bid not, or forbid ; do as thou find'st

The city of palms, Ænon, and Salem old, Pernission from above; thou canst not more.' Machærus, and each town or city wall'd He added not; and Satan, bowing low

On this side the broad lake Genezaret, llis gray dissimulation, disappear’d

Or in Peræa ; but return'd in vain. Into thin air diffus'd : for now began

Then on the bank of Jordan, by a creek Night with her sullen wings to double-shade Where winds with reeds and osiers whispering play, The desert; fowls in their clay-nests were couch'd; Plain fishermen, (no greater men them call,) And now wild beasts came forth the woods to roam. Close in a cottage low together got,

Their unexpected loss and plaints outbreath’d.

“ Alas, from what high hope to what relapse

Unlook'd for are we fall’n! our eyes beheld
Book II.

Messiah certainly now come, so long
The Argument.

Expected of our fathers: we have heard

His words, his wisdom full of grace and truth; The disciples of Jesus, uneasy at his long absence, Now, now, for sure, deliverance is at hand,

Teason amongst themselves concerning it. Mary The kingdom shall to Israel be restor’d;
also gives vent to her maternal anxiety: in the Thus we rejoic'd, but soon our joy is turn'd
expression of which she recapitulates many cir- Into perplexity and new amaze :

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