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Then to the Desart takes with these his flight;
Where still from fhade to shade the Son of God
After forty days fasting had remain'd,
Now hungring first, and to himself thus faid.

Where will this end? four times ten days I've pass’d
Wandring this woody maze, and human Food
Nor tasted, nor had appetite; that Fast
To Virtue I impute not, or count part
Of what I suffer here? if Nature need not,
Or God support Nature without repast
Though needing, what praise is it to endure?
But now I feel I hunger, which declares
Nature hath need of what she asks; yet God
Can satisfie that need some other way,
Though hunger still remain: so it remain
Without this body's wasting, I content me,
And from the sting of Famine fear no harm,
Nor mind it, fed with better thoughts that feed
Me hungring more to do my Father's will..

It was the hour of night, when thus the Son
Commun'd in silent walk, then laid him down
Under the hospitable covert nigh
Of trees thick interwoven; there he flept,
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And dream’d, as appetite is wont to dream,
Of meats and drinks, Nature's refreshment sweet;
Him thought, he by the Brook of Cherith stood
And saw the Ravens with their horny beaks
Food to Elijah bringing Even and Morn,
Though ray’nous, taught t'abstain from what they
He saw the Prophet also how he fled

Into the Defart, and how there he slept
Under a Juniper; then how awak’d,
He found his Supper on the coals prepar'd,
And by the Angel was bid rise and eat,
And eat the second time after repose,
The strength whereof fuffic'd him forty days;
Sometimes that with Elijah he partook,
Or as a guest with Daniel at his Pulse.
Thus wore out night, and now the Herald Lark
Left his ground-nest, high tow’ring to descry
The morn's approach, and greet

her with his Song: As lightly from his graslie couch up

Our Saviour, and found all was but a dream,
Fasting he went to sleep, and fasting wak’d.
Up to a hill anon his steps he rear'd,
From whose high top to ken the prospect round,

If Cottage were in view, Sheep-cote or Herd;
But Cottage, Herd, or Sheep-cote none he saw,
Only in a bottom saw a pleasant Grove,
With chaunt of tuneful Birds resounding loud;
Thither he bent his way, determin’d there
To rest at noon, and enter'd soon the shade
High rooft and walks beneath, and alleys brown
That open'd in the midst a woody Scene,
Nature's own work it seem'd (Nature taught Art)
And to a Superstitious eye the haunt
Of Wood-Gods and Wood-Nymphs; he vicw'd it
When suddenly a man before him stood,

Not rustic as before, but seemlier clad,
As one in City, or Court, or Palace bred,
And with fair speech these words to him address’d.

With granted leave officious I return,
But much more wonder that the Son of God
In this wild folitude so long should bide
Of all things destitute, and well I know,
Not without hunger. Others of some note,
As story tells, have trod this Wilderness;
The fugitive Bond-woman with her Son
Out-cast Nebaioth, yet found here relief


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By a providing Angel; all the race
Of Israel here had familh'd, had not God
Rain'd from Heav'n Manna, and that Prophet bold
Native of Thebes wandring here was fed
Twice by a voice inviting him to eat;
Of thee these forty days none hath regard,
Forty and more deserted here indeed.

To whom thus Jesus; what conclud'st thou hence They all had need, I as thou seest have none.

How hast thou hunger then ? Satan reply'd,
Tell me if Food were now before thee set,
Would'st thou not eat? Thereafter as I like
The giver, answer'd Jesus. Why should that
Cause thy refusal, said the subtle Fiend,
Hast thou not right to all Created things,
Owe not all Creatures by just right to thee
Duty and service, not to stay 'till bid,
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 proffer'd by an Enemy, though who
Would fcruple that, with want opprest? Behold
Nature alham'd, or better to express,


eyes beheld

Troubl'd that thou should'st hunger, hath purvey'd
From all the Elements her choicest store
To treat thee as beseems, and as her Lord
With honour, only deign to fit and eat. ·

He spake no dream, for as his words had end, Our Saviour lifting up

his In ample space under the broadest shade A Table richly spred, in Regal mode, With dishes pild, and meats of noblest sort And favour, Beasts of chase, or Fowl of game, In Pastry-built, or from the fpit, or boild, Gris-amber-steam'd; all Fish from Sea or Shore, Freshet, or purling Brook, of shell or fin, And exquisitest name, for which was drain'd Pontus and Lucrine Bay, and Afric Coast. Alas how fimple, to these Cates compard, Was that crude Apple that diverted Eve! And at a stately side-board by the wine That fragrant smell diffusd, in order stood Tall ftripling youths rich clad, of fairer hew Than Ganymed or Hylas, distant more Under the Trees now trip'd, now folemn stood Nymphs of Diana's train, and Naiades



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