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Send thy Messiah forth, the time is come 5

Behold the kings of the earth, how they oppress

Thy chosen; to what highth their power unjust

They have exalted, and behind them cast

All fear of thee; arise, and vindicate

Thy glory; free thy people from their yoke.

But let us wait; thus far he hath perform'd,

Sent his Anointed, and to us reveal'd him,

By his great Prophet, pointed at and shown

In publick, and with him we have convers'd;

Let us be glad of this, and all our fears

Lay on his Providence; he will not fail,

Nor will withdraw him now, nor will recall,

Mock us with his blest sight, then snatch him hence;

Soon we shall see our Hope, our Joy, return.

Thus they, out of their plaints, new hope resume To find whom at the first they found unsought: But, to his mother Mary, when she saw Others return'd from Baptism, not her son, Nor left at Jordan, tidings of him none, Within her breast though calm, her breast though pure,

Motherly cares and fears got head, and rais'd Some troubled thoughts, which she in sighs thus clad.

0, what avails me now that honour high To have conceiv'd of God, or that salute. "Hail highly favour'd, among women blest I" While I to sorrows am no less advanc'd,

And fears as eminent, above the lot

Of other women, by the birth I bore;

In such a season born, when scarce a shed

Could be obtain'd to shelter him or me

From the bleak air; a stable was our warmth,

A manger his; yet soon enforc'd to fly

Thence into Egypt, till the murderous king

Were dead, who sought his life, and missing fill'd

With infant blood the streets of Bethlehem;

From Egypt home return'd, in Nazareth

Hath been our dwelling many years; his life

Private, unactive, calm, contemplative,

Little suspicious to any king; but now,

Full grown to man, acknowledg'd, as I hear,

By John, the Baptist, and in publick shown,

Son own'd from Heaven by his Father's voice,

I look'd for some great change; to honour? no,

But trouble, as old Simeon plain foretold,

That to the fall and rising he should be

Of many in Israel, and so a sign

Spoken against, that through my very soul

A sword shall pierce: This is my favour'd lot,

My exaltation to afflictions high;

Afflicted I may be, it seems, and blest;

I will not argue that, nor will repine.

But where delays he now? some great intent

Conceals him: when twelve years he scarce had seen

I lost him, but so found, as well 1 saw
He could not lose himself, but went about
His Father's business; what he meant I mus'd,
Since understand; much more his absence now
Thus long to some great purpose he obscures.
But I to wait with patience am mur'd;
My heart hath been a store-house long of things
And sayings laid up, portending strange events.

Thus Mary, pondering oft, and oft to mind
Recalling what remarkably had pass'd
Since first her salutation heard, with thoughts
Meekly compos'd awaited the fulfilling^
The while her son, tracing the desart wild.
Sole, but with holiest meditations fed.
Into himself descended, and at once
All his great work to come before him set;
How to begin, how to accomplish best
His end of being on earth, and mission high:
For Satan, with sly preface to return,
Had left him vacant, and with speed was gone
Up to the middle region of thick air,
Where all his potentates in eotmcil sat;
There, without sign of boast, or sign of joy,
Solicitous and blank, he thus began.

Princes, Heaven's ancient Sons, ethereal Thrones;
Demonian Spirits now, from the element
JEach of his reign allotted, rightlier call'd
Powers of fire, air, water, and earth beneath?

(So may we hold our place and these mild seats

Without new trouble,) such an enemy

Is risen to invade us, who no less

Threatens than our expulsion down to Hell;

I, as I undertook, and with the vote

Consenting in full frequence was impower'd,

Have found him, view'd him, tasted him ; but find

Far other labour to be undergone

Than when I dealt with Adam, first of Men,

Though Adam by his wife's allurement fell,

However to this Man inferiour far;

If he be Man by mother's side, at least

With more than human gifts from Heaven adorn'd,

Perfections absolute, graces divine,

And amplitude of mind to greatest deeds.

Therefore I am return'd, lest confidence

Of my success with Eve in Paradise

Deceive ye to persuasion over-sure

Of like succeeding here: I summon all

Rather to be in readiness, with hand

Or counsel to assist; lest I, who erst

Thought none my equal, now be over-match'd.

So spake the old Serpent, doubting; and from all With clamour was assured their utmost aid At his command: when from amidst them rose Belial, the dissolutest Spirit that fell, The sensuallest, and, after Asmodai, The fleshliest Incubus; and thus advis'd.

Set women in his eye, and in his walk,
Among the daughters of men the fairest found i
Many are in each region passing fair
As the noon sky; more like to Goddesses
Than mortal creatures, graceful and discreet,
Expert in amorous arts, enchanting tongues
Persuasive, virgin majesty with mild
And sweet allay'd, yet terrible to approach,
Skill'd to retire, and, in retiring, draw
Hearts after them tangled in amorous nets.
Such object hath the power to soften and tame
Severest temper, smooth the ragged'st brow,
Enerve, and with voluptuous hope dissolve,
Draw out with credulous desire^ and lead
At will the manliest, and resolutest breast,
As the magnetiek hardest iron draws.
Women, when nothing else, beguil'd the heart
Of wisest Solomon, and made him build,
And made him bow, to the Gods of his wives.

To whom quick answer Satan thus return'd.
Belial, in much uneven scale thou weigh'st
All others by thyself; because of old
Thou thyself doat'st on womankind, admiring
Their shape, their colour, and attractive grace
None are, thou think'st, but taken with such
toys.

Before the Flood thou with thy lusty crew,
False titled sons of God, roaming the earth

VOL. IV. D

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