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Have found him, view'd him, tasted him, but find
Far other labor to be undergone
Than when I dealt with Adam first of Men,
Though Adam by his wife's allurement fell,
However to this man inferior far,

If he be man by mother's side at least,
With more than human gifts from Heav'n adorn'd,
Perfections absolute, graces divine,
And amplitude of mind to greatest deeds.
Therefore I am return'd, left confidence

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
And sweet allay'd, yet terrible t'approach, 160
Skill'd to retire, and in retiring draw
Hearts after them tangled in amorous nets.
Such object hath the pow'r to soft'n and tame
Severest temper, smooth the rugged'st brow,
Enerve, and with voluptuous hope dissolve, 165
Draw out with credulous desire, and lead
At will the manliest, resolutest breast,
As the magnetic hardest iron draws.
Women, when nothing else, beguild the heart
Of wisest Solomon, and made him build, 170
And made him bow to the Gods of his wives.

To whom quick answer Satan thus return'd.
Belial, in much uneven scale thou weigh'st
All others by thyself; because of old
Thou thyself doat’dst on womankind, admiring 175
Their shape, their color, and attractive grace,
None are, thou think it, but taken with such toys.

, 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,


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Daphne, or Semele, Antiopa,
Or Amymone, Syrinx, many more
Too long, then lay'st thy scapes on names ador'd,
Apollo, Neptune, Jupiter, or Pan,

Satir, or Faun, or Sylvan? But these haunts
Delight not all; among the sons of men,
How many have with a smile made small account
Of beauty and her lures, easily scorn'd
All her assaults, on worthier things intent? 195
Remember that Pellean conqueror,
A youth, how all the beauties of the cast
He slightly view'd, and slightly overpass’d;
How he sirnam'd of Africa dismiss'd
In his prime youth the fair Iberian maid.
For Solomon, he liv'd at ease, and full
Of honor, wealth, high fare, aim'd not beyond
Higher design than to enjoy his state;
Thence to the bait of women lay expos’d:
But he whom we attempt is wiser far

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




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Wrought that effect on Jove, so fables tell; 215
How would one look from his majestic brow
Seated as on the top of virtue's hill,
Discount'nance her despis'd, and put to rout
All her array; her female pride deject,
Or turn to reverent awe? for beauty stands
In th'admiration only of weak minds
Led captive; cease to’ admire, and all her plumes
Fall flat and shrink into a trivial toy,

every sudden slighting quite abash'd:
Therefore with manlier objects we must try 225
His constancy, with such as have more show
Of worth, of honor, glory', and popular praise;
Rocks whereon greatest men have oftest wreck'd;
Or that which only seems to satisfy
Lawful desires of nature, not beyond;

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,
Now hungring first, and to himself thus faid.

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
To virtue I impute not, or count part
Of what I suffer here; if nature need not,
Or God support nature without repast

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


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