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Where by all best conjectures I collect
Thou art to be my fatal enemy.

Good reason then, if I beforehand seek
To understand my adversary, who

And what he is; his wisdom, power, intent;
By parle, or composition, truce, or league,
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, Not 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 hippogrif, 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 be 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 Now show thy progeny; if not to stand, [best: 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 bis 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 the 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 ought hunger had impair'd,
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, insurin'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 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 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.





Samson made captive, blind, and now in the prison at Gaza, there to labour as in a common work-house, on a festival day, in a general cessation from labour, comes forth into the open air, to a place nigh, somewhat retired, there to sit awhile and bemoan his condition. Where he happens at length to be visited by certain friends and equals of his tribe, which makes the Chorus, who seek to comfort him what they can; then by his old father Manoah, who endeavours the like, and withal tells him his purpose to procure his liberty by ransom; lastly, that this feast was proclaimed by the Philistines as a day of thanks. giving for their deliverance from the hands of Samson, which yet more troubles him. Manoah then departs to prosecute his endeavour with the Philistian hords for Samson's redemption; who in the meanwhile is visited by other persons; and lastly, by a public officer to require his coming to the feast before the lords and people, to play and show his strength in their pre.. sence: he at first refuses, dismissing the public officer with ab solute denial to come; at length persuaded inwardly that this was from God, he yields to go along with him, who came now the second time with great threatenings to fetch him: the Chorus yet remaining on the place, Manoah returns full of joy. ful hope, to procure erelong his son's deliverance: in the midst of which discourse an Hebrew comes in haste, confusedly at first, and afterward more distinctly relating the catastrophe, what Samson had done to the Philistines, and by accident to himself; wherewith the tragedy ends.

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