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Made and set wholly on th' accomplishment
230 And now I know he hungers where no food Is to be found, in the wide wilderness : The rest coinmit to me, I shall let pass No advantage, and his strength as oft assay.
He ceased, and heard their grant in loud acclaim; Then forth with to him takes a chosen band 236 Of spirits likest to himself in guile To be at hand, and at his beck appear, If cause were to unfold some active scene Of various persons, each to know his part , 240 Then to the desert takes with these his flight; Where still from shade to shade the Son of God After forty days' fasting had remain's, Now hung'ring first, and to himself thus said:
Where will this end? four times ten days I've pass'd Wand'ring this woody maze, and human food 246 Nor tasted, nor had appetite ; that fast 344. An inaccuracy has been pointed out in this line, as our
Saviour did not now first hunger.
To virtue I impute not, or count part
It was the hour of night, when thus the Son 200
Thus wore cut night, and now the herald lark
259. Jonn iv. 34. 266. Him thought, as we say, me thought. 1 Klugs xvil. -, el
and xix. 4. Dan. i.
But cottage, herd, or sheep-cote none he saw
300 And with fair speech these words to him address'd :
With granted leave officious I return,
310 of Israel here had famish'd, had not God Rain'a from Hear'n manna ; and that prophet bold Native of Thebez, wand'ring here was fed Twice by a voice inviting him to eat: Of thee these forty days none hath regard, 315 Forty and more deserted here indeed.
To whom thus Jesus: What conclud'st thou hence ? They all had need, 1, as thou seest, have none.
How last thou hunger then? Satan replied: Tell me, if food were now before thee set, 320 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 325 308. Gen. xvi. 6. Nehaioth was the eldest son of Ishmael,
and it is supposed is here put hy mistake for the latter. 313. Thelez, T'ixhbe, where Elijah was born, hence the allusion. The wilderness in which our Savivur was at this time, was not the same with those in which Hagar, &c. are represented as wanJerius
Duty and service not to stay till bid,
He spake no dream, for as his words had end,
345 And exquisitest name, for which was drain'd Pontus, and Lucrine bay, and Afric coast. Alas! how simple, to these cates compared, Was that crude apple that diverted Eve! And at a stately side-board, by the wine
350 That fragrant smell diffused, in order stood Tall stripling youths rich clad, of fairer hue Than Ganymed or Hylas ; distant more Under the trees now tripp'd, now solemn stood, Nymphs of Diana's train, and Naiades,
355 With fruits and flow'rs from Amalthea's horn, And ladies of th' Hesperides, that seem'd Fairer than feign’d of old, or fabled since Of faery damsels met in forest wide By knights of Logres, or of Lyones,
360 Lancelot, or Pelléas, or Pellenore : And all the while harmonious airs were heard Of chiming strings, or charning pipes, and winds Of gentlest gale Arabian odours fann'd
314. Gris-amber, Ambergris was formerly used to great excest in the Aavouring of certain dishes.
317. The places here mentioned were famous in antiquity for their fish. 349. Diverter, in the Latin sense, turned aside.
From their soft wings, and Flora's earliest smells. 338
What doubts the Son of God to sit and eat!
375 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 withholds my power that right to use ? 380 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 soon as thou, Command a table in this wilderness, And call swift flights of angels ministrant Array'd in glory on my cup to 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,
390 And count thy specious gifts no gifts but guiles.
To whom thus answer'd Satan malecontent: That I have also power to give thou seest; If of that power I bring thee voluntary What I might have bestow'd on whom I pleased, 395 And rather opportunely in this place Chose to impart to thy apparent need, Why shouldst thou not accept it? but I see What I can do or offer is suspect; Of these things others quickly will dispose, 400 Whose pains have earn'd the far-fet spoil. With that Both table and provision vanish'd quite With sound of harpies' wings, and talons heard ;
873. Defends; as in Par. Lost, like the French defendre, to forbid. 385. So in Shakspeare's Hamlet, Act , Sc. 6.
401. Fet, instead of fetched, for softness; the word is used by Chaucer, Spenser, &c.