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To gratulate the fweet return of morn;

yet amidst this joy and brightest morn
Was abfent, 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 resolv❜d,
Defp'rate of better course, to vent his rage,
And mad despite to be so oft repell❜d.
Him walking on a funny hill he found,
Back'd on the north and weft by a thick wood;
Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape,



And in a careless mood thus to him faid.


Fair morning yet betides thee, Son of God,

gil, where Neptune is reprefented with his trident laying the ftorm which Æolus had raised, ver. 142.

Sic ait, et dicto citius tumida æquora placat,


430. And grilly Spe&res,] Very injudicious to retain this popular fuperftition in this place.

Warburton. 432. And now the fun &c] There

Collectafque fugat nubes, folem- is in this defcription all the bloom of Milton's youthful fancy. See an evening scene of the fame kind in the Paradife Loft. II. 488.

que reducit.

There is the greater beauty in the English poet, as the fcene he is defcribing under this charming figure is perfectly confiftent with the courfe of nature, nothing being more common than to fee a ftormy night fucceeded by a pleafant ferene morning,


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After a difinal night; I heard the wrack,
As earth and sky would mingle; but myself
Was diftant; and these flaws, though mortals fear them
As dang'rous to the pillar'd frame of Heaven,
Or to the earth's dark bafis underneath,
Are to the main as inconfiderable,

And harmless, if not wholesome, as a fneeze
To man's lefs universe, and soon are gone;


Yet as being oft times noxious where they light 460
On man, beast, plant, wasteful and turbulent,
Like turbulencies in th' affairs of men,

Over whofe heads they roar, and feem to point,
They oft fore-fignify and threaten ill :

This tempeft at this desert most was bent;
Of men at thee, for only thou here.dwell'ft.
Did I not tell thee, if thou didst reject
The perfect season offer'd with my aid
To win thy deftin'd feat, but wilt prolong
All to the push of fate, pursue thy way

453. As earth and Sky would mingle] Virgil Æn. I. 137.

Jam cælum terramque, meo fine numine, venti,



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Of gaining David's throne no man knows when,
For both the when and how is no where told,
Thou shalt be what thou art ordain'd, no doubt;
For angels have proclam'd it, but concealing

The time and means: each act is rightlieft done, 475
Not when it muft, but when it may be beft.
If thou observe not this, be fure to find,
What I foretold thee, many a hard affay
Of dangers, and adverfities, and pains,
Ere thou of Ifrael's scepter get fast hold;
Whereof this ominous night that clos'd thee round,
So many terrors, voices, prodigies

May warn thee, as a fure fore-going fign.

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 noifing loud And threatning nigh; what they can do as figns

if this fail, The pillar'd firmament is rotten

nefs. In both, no doubt, alluding to Job XXVI. 11. The pillars of Heaven


tremble, and are aftonish'd at his re-

467. Did I not tell thee, &c] This fentence is dark and perplex'd, having no proper exit.

501. For

Betokening, or ill boding, I contemn


As falfe portents, not fent from God, but thee
Who knowing I fhall reign past thy preventing,
Obtrud'ft thy offer'd aid, that I accepting
At least might seem to hold all pow'r of thee,
Ambitious Spirit, and wouldft be thought my God,
And ftorm'ft refus'd, thinking to terrify


Me to thy will; defift, thou art difcern'd

And toil'ft in vain, nor me in vain moleft.

To whom the Fiend now fwoln with rage reply'd.

Then hear, O Son of David, Virgin-born;


For Son of God to me is yet in doubt:

Of the Meffiah I have heard foretold

By all the Prophets; of thy birth at length
Announc'd by Gabriel with the first I knew,

And of th' angelic fong in Bethlehem field,


On thy birth-night, that fung thee Saviour born.
From that time feldom have I ceas'd to eye


"501. For Son of God to me is yet in doubt:] The Tempter had heard Chrift declar'd to be Son of God by a voice from Heaven. He allows him to be virgin-born. He hath no fcruples about the annunciation, and the truth of what Ga

briel told the bleffed woman (Luke I. 35. The Holy Ghoft fhall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest fall overshadow thee; therefore allo that holy thing which shall be born of thee fhall be called the Son of God,) and yet he doubts of his being the


Thy infancy, thy childhood, and thy youth,
Thy manhood laft, though yet in private bred;
Till at the ford of Jordan whither all

Flock to the Baptift, I among the rest,


Though not to be baptiz'd, by voice from Heaven
Heard thee pronounc'd the Son of God belov❜d.
Thenceforth I thought thee worth my nearer view
And narrower scrutiny, that I might learn
In what degree or meaning thou art call'd
The Son of God, which bears no fingle fenfe;
The Son of God I also am, or was,

And if I was, I am; relation ftands;


All men are Sons of God; yet thee I thought 520 In some respect far higher so declar'd.

Therefore I watch'd thy footsteps from that hour,

And follow'd thee ftill on to this waste wild;

Where by all beft conjectures I collect
Thou art to be my fatal enemy.

Son of God notwithstanding. This is eafily accounted for. On the terms of the annunciation Chrift might be the Son of God in a fenfe very particular, and yet a mere man as to his nature: but the doubt

525 Good

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