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Have found him, view'd him, tasted him, but find
140 Of my success with Eve in Paradise Deceive ye to persuasion over-sure Of like succeeding here; I summon all Rather to be in readiness, with hand Or counsel to assist; left I who erst
145 Thought none my equal, now be over-match’d.
So spake th’old Serpent doubting, and from all With clamor was assur'd their utmost aid At his command; when from amidst them rose Belial, the dissolutes Spirit that fell,
150 The sensuallest, and after Asmodai The fleshliest Incubus, and thus advis'd.
Set woman in his eye, and in his walk; Among daughters of men the fairelt found; Many are in each region passing fair
155 As the noon sky; more like to Goddesses Than mortal creatures, graceful and discreet, Expert in amorous arts, inchanting tongues
Persuasive, virgin majesty with mild
To whom quick answer Satan thus return'd.
, Before the flood thou with thy lusty crew, False titled sons of God, roaming the earth Cast wanton eyes on the daughters of men, 180 And coupled with them, and begot a race. Have we not seen, or by relation heard, In courts and regal chambers how thou lurk'st, In wood or grove by mosly fountain side, In valley or green meadow, to way-lay 185 Some beauty rare, Calisto, Clymene,
Daphne, or Semele, Antiopa,
205 Than Solomon, of more exalted mind, Made and set wholly on th’accomplishment Of greatest things; what woman will you find, Though of this age the wonder and the fame, On whom his leisure will vouchsafe an eye Of fond desire? or should she confident, As sitting queen ador'd on beauty's throne, Descend with all her winning charms begirt T'enamour, as the zone of Venus once
Wrought that effect on Jove, so fables tell; 215
every sudden slighting quite abash'd:
230 And now I know he hungers where no food Is to be found, in the wide wilderness; The rest commit to me, I shall let pass No' advantage, and his strength as oft assay.
He ceas'd, and heard their grant in loud acclame; Then forthwith to him takes a chosen band 236 Of Spirits likeft to himself in guile To be at hand, and at his beck
appear, If cause were to unfold fome 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'd,
Where will this end? four times ten days I've pass'd
250 Though needing, what praise is it to indure? But now I feel I hunger, which declares Nature hath need of what she asks; yet God Can satisfy that need some other way, Though hunger still remain: so it remain
255 Without this body's wasting, I content me, And from the sting of famin 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 260 Commun’d in silent walk, then laid him down Under the hospitable covert nigh Of trees thick interwoven; there he slept, And dream’d, as appetite is wont to dream, Of meats and drinks, nature's refreshment sweet; 265 Him thought, he by the brook of Cherith stood And saw the ravens with their horny beaks Food to Elijah bringing ev'n and morn, (brought: Though ravenous, taught t'abstain from what they He saw the prophet also how he fled