Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

How haft thou hunger then ? Saran reply'd, Tell me if Food were now before thee fet, Would'A thou not eat? Thereafter as I like 320 The giver, answerd Jesus. Why thould that Cause thy refusal, said the subtle Fiend, Hast thou not right to all Creared things, Owe not all Creatures by just right to chee Duty and service, not to ftay till bid,

325 But tender all their pow'r: nor mention I Meats by the Law unclean, or offer'd first To Idols, those young Daniel could refuse; Nor proferd by an Enemy, though who Would scruple that, with want opprest? Behold 330 Nature afham’d, or better to express, Troubl'd that thou Mould'st hunger, hath purvey'd From all the Elements her choiceft store To treat thee as þeseems, and as her Lord With honour, only deign to fit and eat. 335

He spake no dream, for as his words had end, Our Saviour lifting up his eyes beheld In ample space under the broadest hade A Table richly spred, in Regal mode, With dishes pild, and meats of noblest fort

340 And favour, Beasts of chase, or Fowl of game, In Paftry-built, or from the fpit, or boild, Gris-amber-steam'd; all Fish from Sea or Shore, Freshet, or purling Brook, of thell or fin, And exquisitest nanie, for which was drain'd 345 Pontus and Lucrine Bay, and Afric Coaft. Alas how. simple, to the sc Caces comparid,

Was that crude Apple that diverted Eve!
And at a fately lide-board by the wine
That fragranc (mell diffus'd, in order ftood 350
Tall Atripling youths rich clad, of fairer hue
Than Ganymed or Hylas, diftant more
Under the Trees now trippd, now solemn food
Nymphs of Diana's train, and Naiades
With fruits and flow'rs from Amalthea's horn, 355
And Ladies of th' Hesperides, that seem'd
Fairer than feign'd of old, or fabľd since
Of Fairy Damsels met in forest wide
By Knights of Logres, or of Lyones,
Lancelot, or Pelleas, or Pellenore,

360 And all the while harmonious Airs were heard Of chiming Atrings, or charming pipes and winds of gentlest gale Arabian odours fann'd From their soft wings, and Flora's earliest smells. Such was the splendor, and the Tempter now 365 His invitation earnestly renew'd.

What doubts the Son of God to fit and cat? These are not fruits forbidden, no interdict Defends the touching of these Viands pure, Their taste no knowledge works at least of evil, 379 But life preserves, destroys life's enemy, Hunger, with fweet restorative delight. All these are Spirits of Air, and Woods, and Springs, Thy gentle Ministers, who come to pay Thee homage, and acknowledge thee their Lord : 375 What doubl’ft thou Son of God? Git down and cat,

polg

Paradise Regain’d.

BOOK II.

M

Ean while the new-baptiz'd, who yét remain'd

At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen Him whom they heard so late exprelly callid Jesus Melliah Son of God declar'd, And on that high Authority had believ'd, 5 And with him talkt, and with him-lodg'd, I mean Andrew and Simon, famous after known, With others though in Holy Writ not nam'd, Now missing him their Joy lo larely found, $o lately found, and so abruptly gone, Began to doubt, and doubced many days, And as the days increas'd, increas'd theis doubt : Sometimes they thought he might be only newn, And for a time caught up to God, as once Mofes.

s was in the Mount, and missing long : And the great Thisbite who on fiery wheels Rode op.to Heav'n, yet once again to come. Therefore as those young Prophets then with care

[ocr errors]

To whom thus Jesus temp’rately reply'd: Said'lt thou not that to all things I had right? And who with-holds my pow'r that right to use? Shall I receive by gift what of my own, 380 When and where likes me beft, I can command: I can at will, doubt not, as soon as thou, Command a Table in this Wilderness, And call swift Aights of Angels miniftrant Array'd in Glory on my Cup t'attend: 385 Why shouldft thou then obtrude this diligence, In vain, where no acceptance it can find, . And with my hunger what haft chou to do? Thy pompous Delicacies I contemn, And count thy specious gifts no gifts but guiles. 390

To whom thus answer'd Satan malecontent: That I have also pow'r to give thou seeft, If of that pow'r I bring thee voluntary What I might have bestow'd on whom I pleas’d, And rather opportunely in this place

395 Chofe to impart to thy apparent need, Why shouldst thou not accept it but I see What I can do or offer is suspeat; Of these things others quickly will dispose Whose pains have earn’d the far fet spoil. With that Both Table and Provifion vanish'd quite 401 With sound of Harpies wings, and Talons heard ; Only th' importune Tempter still remain'd, And with these words his Temptation pursu'd.

By hunger, that each other Creature tames, 465 Thou art not to be harm'd, therefore not mov'di

« НазадПродовжити »