Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

220

[ocr errors]

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, At 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 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

С

After

a

After forty days fasting had remain’d,
Now hungring 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
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

270 Into

Into the desert, and how there he slept
Under a juniper; then how awak’d,
He found his supper on the coals prepar’d,
And by the Angel was bid rise and eat,
And eat the second time after repose,

275
The strength whereof suffic'd him forty days;
Sometimes that with Elijah he partook,
Or as a guest with Daniel at his pulse.
Thus wore out night, and now the herald lark
Left his ground-nest, high tow'ring to descry 280
The morn's approach, and greet

her with his song: As lightly from his grally couch up

rose
Our Saviour, and found all was but a dream,
Fasting he went to sleep, and fasting wak’d.
Up to a hill anon his steps he rear’d,

285
From whose high top to ken the prospect round,
If cottage were in view, sheep-cote or herd;
But cottage, herd, or sheep-cote none he saw,
Only' in a bottom saw a pleasant grove,
With chaunt of tuneful birds resounding loud; 290
Thither he bent his way, determin'd there
To rest at noon, and enter'd foon the shade
High rooft, and walks beneath, and alleys brown,
That open'd in the midst a woody scene;
Nature's own work it seem'd (nature taught art) 295
And to a superstitious eye the haunt (round,
Of Wood-Gods and Wood-Nymphs; he view'd it
When suddenly a man before him stood,
C 2

Not

Not rustic as before, but seemlier clad,
As one in city', or court, or palace bred, 300
And with fair speech these words to him address’d.

With granted leave officious I return,
But much more wonder that the Son of God
In this wild folitude so long should bide
Of all things destitute, and well I know, 305
Not without hunger. Others of some note,
As story tells, have trod this wilderness;
The fugitive bond-woman with her son
Out-caft Nebaioth, yet found here relief
By a providing Angel; all the race

310
Of Israel here had familh'd, had not God
Rain'd from Heav'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 Jefus. What conclud'st thou hence?
They all had need, I as thou seest have none.

How hast thou hunger then? Satan reply'd.
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.
Haft thou not right to all created things?
Owe not all creatures by just right to thee 325
Duty and service, not to stay till bid,

But

[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

But tender all their pow'r? nor mention I
Meats by the Law unclean, or offer'd first
To idols, those young Daniel could refuse;
Nor proffer’d by an enemy, though who

330
Would scruple that, with want oppress’d? Behold
Nature asham'd, or better to express,
Troubled that thou should'At hunger, hath purvey'd
From all the Elements her choicest store
To treat thee as beseems, and as her Lord

335 With honor, only deign to fit and eat.

He spake no dream, for as his words had end,
Our Saviour lifting up

his
eyes

beheld In ample space under the broadest shade A table richly spread, in regal mode,

340 With dishes pil'd, and meats of noblest sort And favor, beasts of chase, or fowl of game, In pastry built, or from the spit, or boil'd, Gris-amber-steam'd; all fish from sea or shore, Freshet, or purling brook, of shell or fin,

345 And exquisitest name, for which was drain’d Pontus, and Lucrine bay, and Afric coast. Alas how simple, to these cates compar’d, Was that crude apple that diverted Eve! And at a stately side-board by the wine

350 That fragrant smell diffus’d, 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

C 3

« EdellinenJatka »