Imágenes de páginas

From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the birds,
Who all things now behold more fresh and green,
After a night of storm so ruinous,
Clear'd up their choicest notes in bush and spray,
To gratulate the sweet return of morn.
Nor yet, amidst this joy and brightest morn,
Was absent, after all his mischief done,
The Prince of Darkness; glad would also seem
Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came;
Yet with no new device, (they all were spent,)
Rather by this his last affront resolv'd,
Desperate of better course, to vent his rage
And mad despite to be so oft repell'd.
Him walking on a sunny hill he found,
Back'd on the north and west by a thick wood;
Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape,
And in a careless mood thus to him said.

Fair morning yet betides thee, Son of God,
After a dismal night: I heard the wrack,
As earth and sky would mingle; but myself
Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals fear

As dangerous to the pillar'd frame of Heaven,

Or to the earth's dark basis underneath,

Are to the main as inconsiderable

And harmless, if not wholesome, as a sneeze

To man's less universe, and soon are gone;

Yet, as being oft times noxious where they light


On man, beast, plant, wasteful and turbulent,

Like turbulencies in the affairs of men,

Over whose heads they roar, and seem to point,

They oft fore-signify and threaten ill:

This tempest at this desart most was bent;

Of men at thee, for only thou here dwell'st.

Did I not tell thee, if thou didst reject

The perfect season offer'd with my aid

To win thy destin'd seat, but wilt prolong

All to the push of fate, pursue thy way

Of gaining David's throne, no man knows when,

For both the when and how is no where told?

Thou shalt be what thou art ordain'd, no doubt;

For angels have proclaim'd it, concealing

The time and means. Each act is rightliest done,

Not when it must, but when it may be best:

If thou observe not this, be sure to find,

What I foretold thee, many a hard assay

Of dangers, and adversities, and pains,

Ere thou of Israel's scepter get fast hold;

Whereof this ominous night, that clos'd thee round,

So many terrours, voices, prodigies,

May warn thee, as a sure fore-going sign.

So talk'd he, while the Son of God went on And staid not, but in brief him answer'd thus.

Me worse than wet thou find'st not; other harm Those terrours, which thou speak'st of did me none; I never fear'd they could, though noising loud

And threatening high : What they can do, as signs'

Betokening, or ill boding, I contemn

As false portents, not sent from God, but thee;

Who, knowing, I shall reign past thy preventing,

Obtrud'st thy offer'd aid, that I, accepting,

At least might seem to hold all power of thee,

Ambitious Spirit! and wouldst be thought my God;

And storm'st refus'd, thinking to terrify

Me to thy will! desist, (thou art discern'd,

And toil'st in vain,) nor me in vain molest.

To whom the Fiend, now swoln with rage, replied.'

Then hear, O Son of David, Virgin-born, For Son of God to me is yet in doubt; Of the Messiah I had heard foretold By all the Prophets; of thy birth at length, Announc'd by Gabriel, with the first 1 knew,. And of the angelic song in Bethlehem field, On thy birth-night that sung thee Saviour born. From that time seldom have I ceas'd to eye Thy infancy, thy childhood, and thy youth, Thy manhood last though yet in private bred; Till at the ford of Jordan, whither all 'Flock to the Baptist, I among the rest, (Though not to be baptiz'd,) by voice from Heaven Heard thee pronoune'd the Son of God belov'd. Thenceforth I thought thee worth my nearer view And narrower scrutiny, that I might learn . ''

In what degree or meaning thou art call'd

The Son of God; which bears no single sense.

The Son of God I also am, or was;

And if I was, I am; relation stands;

All men are Sons of God; yet thee I thought

In some respect far higher so declar'd:

Therefore I watch'd thy footsteps from that hour,

And follow'd thee still on to this waste wild;

Where, by all best conjectures, I collect

Thou art to be my fatal enemy:

Good reason then, if I before hand seek

To understand my adversary, who

And what he is; his wisdom, power, intent;

By pari or composition, truce or league,

To win him, or win from him what I can:

And 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 center, firm;

To the 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, topt with golden spires:
There, on the highest pinnacle, he 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,;
(last 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 up lift 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

But Satan, smitten with amazement fell.
As when Earth's son Antaeus, (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 the air, expir'd and fell;
So, after many a foil, the Tempter proud,

« AnteriorContinuar »