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There flowery hill Hymettus, with the sound

Of bees' industrious murmur, oft invites

To studious musing; there Ilissus rolls

His whispering stream; within the walls then view

The schools of ancient sages; his who bred

Great Alexander to subdue the world,

Lyceum there, and painted Stoa next:

There thou shalt hear and learn the secret power

Of harmony, in tones and numbers hit

By voice or hand, and various-measured verse,

jEolian charms and Dorian lyric odes,

And his who gave them breath, but higher sung,

Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer call'd,

Whose poem Phcebus challenged for his own.

Thence what the lofty grave tragedians taught

In chorus or iambic, teachers best

Of moral prudence, with delight received

In brief sententious precepts, while they treat

Of fate, and chance, and change in human life;

High actions and high passions best describing.

Thence to the famous orators repair,

Those ancient, whose resistless eloquence

Wielded at will that fierce democracy,

Shook the arsenal, and fulmined over Greece,

To Macedon, and Artaxerxes' throne:

To sage philosophy next lend thine ear,

From heaven descended to the low-roofd house

Of Socrates; see there his tenement,

Whom well inspired the oracle pronounced

Wisest of men; from whose mouth issued forth

Mellifluous streams, that water d all the schools

Of Academics, old and new, with those

Surnamed Peripatetics, and the sect

Epicurean, and the Stoic severe;

These here revolve, or, as thou likest, at home,

Till time mature thee to a kingdom's weight;

These rules will render thee a king complete

Within thyself, much more with empire join'd.

To whom our Saviour sagely thus replied: Think not but that I know these things, or think I know them not; not therefore am I short Of knowing what I ought: he who receives Light from above, from the fountain of light, No other doctrine needs, though granted true; But these are false, or little else but dreams, Conjectures, fancies, built on nothing firm. The first and wisest of them all profess'd To know this only, that he nothing knew; The next to fabling fell, and smooth conceits; A third sort doubted all things, though plain sense; Others in virtue placed felicity, But virtue join'd with riches and long life;

In corporal pleasure he, and careless ease;
The Stoic last, in philosophic pride,
By him call'd virtue; and his virtuous man,
Wise, perfect in himself, and all possessing,
Equal to God, oft shames not to prefer,
As fearing God nor man, contemning all
Wealth, pleasure, pain or torment, death and life,
Which, when he lists, he leaves, or boasts he can,
For all his tedious talk is but vain boast,
Or subtle shifts conviction to evade.
Alas ! what can they teach and not mislead,
Ignorant of themselves, of God much more,
And how the world began, and how man fell,
Degraded by himself, on grace depending?
Much of the soul they talk, but all awry,
And in themselves seek virtue, and to themselves
All glory arrogate, to God give none;
Rather accuse him under usual names,
Fortune and Fate, as one regardless quite
Of mortal things. Who therefore seeks in these
True wisdom, finds her not, or by delusion
Far worse, her false resemblance only meets,
An empty cloud. However, many books
. Wise men have said are wearisome; who reads
Incessantly, and to his reading brings not
A spirit and judgment equal or superior,
And what he brings, what need he elsewhere seek?
Uncertain and unsettled still remains,
Deep versed in books, and shallow in himself,
Crude or intoxicate, collecting toys,
And trifles for choice matters, worth a sponge
As children gathering pebbles on the shore.
Or if I would delight my private hours
With music or with poem, where so soon
As in our native language can I find
That solace? All our law and story strew'd
With hymns, our psalms with artful terms inscribed,
Our Hebrew songs and harps in Babylon,
That pleased so well our victor's ear, declare
That rather Greece from us these arts derived;
III imitated, while they loudest sing
The vices of their deities and their own
In fable, hymn, or song, so personating
Their gods ridiculous, and themselves past shame.
Remove their swelling epithets, thick laid
As varnish on a harlot's cheek, the rest,
Thin sown with aught of profit or delight,
Will far be found unworthy to compare
With Sion's songs, to all true tastes excelling,
Where God is praised aright, and godlike men,
The holiest ot holies, and his saints;
Such are from God inspired, not such from thee,

J

Unless where moral virtue is express'd

By light of nature not in all quite lost.

Their orators thou then extoll'st, as those

The top of eloquence, statists indeed

And lovers of their country, as may seem;

But herein to our prophets far beneath,

As men divinely taught, and better teaching

The solid rules of civil government,

In their majestic unaffected style,

Than all the oratory of Greece and Rome.

In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,

\Vhat makes a nation happy, and keeps it so,

What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities fiat;

These only with our law best form a king.

So spake the Son of God; but Satan, now, Quite at a loss, for all his darts were spent, Thus to our Saviour with stern brow replied:

Since neither wealth, nor honour, arms, nor arts, Kingdom, nor empire pleases thee, nor aught By me proposed in life contemplative Or active, tended on by glory or fame, What dost thou in this world? The Wilderness For thee is fittest place; I found thee there, And thither will return thee; yet remember What I foretell thee, soon thou shalt have cause To wish thou never hadst rejected thus Nicely or cautiously my offer'd aid, Which would have set thee in short time with ease On David's throne, or throne of all the world, Now at full age, fulness of time, thy season, When prophecies of thee are best fulfiU'd. Now contrary, if I read aught in heaven, Or heaven write aught of fate, by what the stars, Voluminous, or single characters, In their conjunction met, give me to spell, Sorrows, and labours, opposition, hate, Attend thee, scorns, reproaches, injuries, Violence, and stripes, and lastly cruel death; A kingdom they portend thee, but what kingdom, Real or allegoric, I discern not; Nor when, eternal sure, as without end, Without beginning; for no date prefix'd Directs me in the starry rubric set.

So saying, he took, for still he knew his power Not yet expired, and to the wilderness Brought back the Son of God, and left him there, Feigning to disappear. Darkness now rose, As daylight sunk, and brought in lowering night, Her shadowy offspring, unsubstantial both, Privation mere of light and absent day. Our Saviour, meek and with untroubled mind After his aery jaunt, though hurried sore, Hungry and cold, betook him to his rest,

Wherever, under some concourse of shades,

Whose branching arms thick intertwined might shield

From dews and damps of night his shelter'd head,

But shelter'd slept in vain, for at his head

The tempter watch'd, and soon with ugly dreams

Disturb'd his sleep: and either tropic now

'Gan thunder, and both ends of heaven the clouds

From many a horrid rift abortive pour'd

Fierce rain with lightning mix'd, water with fire

In ruin reconciled: nor slept the winds

Within their stony caves, but rush'd abroad

From the four hinges of the world, and fell

On the vexYl wilderness, whose tallest pines,

Though rooted deep as high, and sturdiest oaks

Bow'd their stiff necks, laden with stormy blasts,

Or torn up sheer. Ill wast thou shrouded then,

O patient Son of God, yet only stood'st

Unshaken; nor yet stay'd the terror there,

Infernal ghosts and hellish furies round

Environ'd thee; some howl'd, some yell'd, some shritk'd,

Some bent at thee their fiery darts, while thou

Sat'st unappall'd in calm and sinless peace.

Thus pass'd the night so foul, till morning fair

Came forth with pilgrim steps in amice gray,

Who with her radiant finger still'd the roar

Of thunder, chased the clouds, and laid the winds,

And grisly spectres, which the fiend had raised

To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire.

And now the sun with more effectual beams

Had cheer'd the face of earth, and dried the wet

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 resolved,

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 rack As earth and sky would mingle, but myself Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals fear them 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 ofttimes 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 desert 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 destined 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 nowhere told,

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

For angels have proclaim'd it, but 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 essay

Of dangers, and adversities, and pains,

Ere thou of Israel's sceptre get fast hold;

Whereof this ominous night that closed thee round

So many terrors, voices, prodigies,

May warn thee, as a sure foregoing sign.

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

Me worse than wet thou find'st not; other harm Those terrors, which thou speak'st of, did me none; I never fear'd they could, though noising loud And threatening nigh; 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, Obtrudest 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 refused, 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 swollen 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 Announced by Gabriel with the first I knew, And of the angelic song in Bethlehem field, On thy birth-night, that sung thee Saviour born.

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