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With fruits and flow'rs from Amalthea's horn,
And Ladies of th’ Hesperides, that seem'd
Fairer than feign'd of old, or fabld since
Of Fairy Damsels met in forest wide
By Knights of Logres, or of Lyones,
Lancelot or Pelleas, or Pellenore,
And all the while harmonious Airs were heard
Of chiming strings, 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
His invitation earnesily renew'd.
What doubts the Son of God to sit and eat?
These are not fruits forbidden, no interdict
Defends the touching of these Viands pure,
Their taste no knowledge works at least of evil,
But life preserves, destroys life's enemy,
Hunger, with sweet 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:
What doubt'st thou Son of God? sit down and eat,
To whom thus Jesus temp’rately reply'd: Said'st 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, When and where likes me best, I can command? I can at will, doubt not, as foon as thou, Command a Table in this Wilderness, And call swift flights of Angels ministrant Array'd in Glory on my Cup t'attend: Why shouldst thou then obtrude this diligence, In vain, where no acceptance it can find, And with my hunger what hast thou to do? Thy pompous Delicacies I contemn, And count thy specious gifts no gifts but guiles.
To whom thus answer'd Satan malecontent: That I have also pow'r to give thou seest, 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 Chose to impart to thy apparent need, Why shouldst thou not accept it? but I fee What I can do or offer is suspect ; Of th:se things others quickly will dispose
Whose pains have earn’d the far fet spoil. With that s
Both Table and Provision vanish'd quite
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,
Thou art not to be harm’d, therefore not mov'd;
Thy temperance invincible besides,
For no allurement yields to appetite,
And all thy heart is set on high designs,
High actions, but wherewith to be atchiev'd?
Great acts require great means of enterprise,
Thou art unknown, unfriended, low of Birth,
A Carpenter thy Father known, thy self
Bred up in poverty and streights at home;
Loft in a Desart here and hunger-bit:
Which way or from what hope dost thou aspire
To greatness? whence Authority deriv'st,
What Followers, what Retinue canst thou gain,
Or at thy heels the dizzy Multitude,
Longer than thou canst feed them on thy cost?
Mony brings Honour Friends, Conquest andRealms;
What rais'd Antipater the Edomite,
And his Son Herod plac'd on Juda's Throne;
(Thy Throne) butgold thatgot him puissant friends?
Therefore, if at great things thou would'st arrive,
Get Riches first, get Wealth, and Treasure heap,
Not difficult, if thou hearken to me,
Riches are mine, Fortune is in my hand;
They whom I favour thrive in wealth amain,
While Virtue, Valour, Wisdom fit in want.
To whom thus Jesus patiently reply'd;
Yet Wealth without these three is impotent
To gain dominion, or to keep it gain'd.
Witness those ancient Empires of the Earth,
In heighth of all their flowing wealth diffolv'd;
But men endu'd with these, have ofr attain’d
In lowest poverty to highest deeds ;
Gideon and Jephtha, and the Shepherd lad,
Whose Off-spring on the Throne of Judah fat
So many Ages, and shall yet regain
That seat, and reign in Ifrael without end.
Among the Heathen, (for throughout the Wor!
To me is not unknown what hath been done
Worthy Memorial) canst thou not remember
Quintus, Fabricius, Curius, Regulus?
For I cíteem those names of men so poor
Who could do mighty things, and could contemn
Riches though offer'd from the hand of Kings.
And what in me seems wanting, but that I
May also in this poverty as soon
Accomplish what they did, perhaps and more?
Extol not Riches then, the toyl of Fools,
The wise man's cumbrance, if not snare, more apt
To Nacken Virtue, and abate her edge,
Than prompt her to do aught may merit praise.
What if with like aversion I reject
Riches and Realms; yet not for that a Crown,
Golden in fhew, is but a wreath of thorns,
Brings dangers, troubles, cares, and sleepless nights
To him who wears the Regal Diadem,
When on his shoulders each mans burden lies;
For therein stands the Office of a King,
His Honour, Virtue, Merit and chief Praise,
That for the Publick all this weight he bears.
Yet he who reigns within himself, and rules
Passions, Desires, and Fears, is more a King;
Which ev'ry wise and virtuous man attains:
And who attains not, ill aspires to rule