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Of th’enterprize so hazardous and high;
With that (such pow'r was giv'n him then) he took The Son of God up to a Mountain high. It was a Mountain at whose verdant feet A spacious plain out-stretch'd in circuit wide Lay pleasant; from his Gde two rivers flow'd, Th’one winding, th’other ftraight, and left between Fair Champain with less rivers interveia’d,
Then meeting join'd their Tribute to the Sea,
Well have we speeded, and o'er hill and dale,
275 Sev'ral days journey, built by Ninus old, Of that first golden Monarchy che seat, And seat of Salmanafür, whose success Ifrael in long captivity Itill mourns; There Babylon the wonder of all tongues, 280 As ancient, but rebuilt by him who twice Judah and all thy Father David's house Led captive, and Jerusalem laid waste, Till Cyrus set them free; Persepolis His City there chou seeft, and Badra there; 235 Esbatana her structure vast there thews, And Hecatompylos her hundred gates,
There Safa by Choafpes, amber stream,
395 That Empire, under his dominion holds, From the luxurious Kings of Antioch won. And just in time thou com'ft to have a view Of his great Pow'r; for now the Parthias King In Ctefiphon hath gather'd all his Hoft
300 Against the Scythian, whose Incursions wild Have wasted Sogdiana ; to her aid He marches now in haste; see, though from far, His thousands, in what Martial equipage They issue forth, Steel Bows, and Mafts their arms 305 Of equal dread in flight, or in pursuit ; All Horsemen, in which fight they most excel; See how in warlike Mufter they appear, In Rhombs and wedges, and half-moons and wings.
He lookt and saw what numbers numberless 319 The City gates out-pour’d, light armed Troops In coats of Mail and Military pride; In Mail their horses clad, yet fleet and strong, Prauncing their riders bore, the flow's and choice. of many Provinces from bound to bound; 315 From Arachofia, from Gandaor Eaft, And Margiana to the Hircanian cliffs
Of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales,
330 A multitude with Spades and Axes arm’d To lay hills plain, fell woods, or vallies fill, Or where plain was raise hill, or overlay With bridges rivers proud, as with a yoke; Mules after these, Camels and Dromedaries, 335 And Waggons fraught with Utensils of war. Such forces met not, nor so wide a Camp, When Agrican with all his Northern pow'rs Belegʻd Albracca, as Romances tell ; The City of Gallaphrone, from thence to win 340 The fairest of her Sex Angelica His daughter, sought by many Prowest Knights, Both Paynim, and the Peers of Charlemane. Such and so numerous was their Chivalry ; At light whereof the Fiend yet more prelum'd, 345 And to our Saviour thus his words renew’d.
That thou may'ft know I seek not to engage Thy virtue, and not ev'ry way secure On no flight grounds thy fafety; hear, and mark Towhat end I have brought thee hither and fewn 350 All this fair fight ; thy Kingdom though foretold By Prophet or by Angel, unless thou Endeavour, as thy Father David did, Thou never shalt obrain; predi&tion ftill In all things, and all men, fuppposes means, 355 Without mcans us'd, what it predicts revokes. But say thou wert poffefs'd of David's Throne By free consent of all, none opposite, Samaritan or Jedo; how could'st thou hope Long to enjoy it quiet and secure,
360 Between two such enclosing enemies Roman and Parthian ? therefore one of these Thou must make sure thy own, the Parthian first By my advice, as nearer and of late Found able by invasion to annoy
365 Thy country, and captive lead away her Kings Antigonus, and old Hyrcanus bound, Maugre the Roman: it fall be my task To render chee the Parthian at dispose; Chuse which thou wilt by conquest or by league. 370 By him thou shalt regain, without him not, That which alone can truly reinstal thee In David's royal Seat, his true Succeflor, Deliv’rance of thy brethren, those ten Tribes Whose oft-spring in his Territory yet serve 375 In Habor, and among the Medes dispers'd