« PředchozíPokračovat »
His wasted country freed from Punic rage; The temple, oft the law, with foul affronts,
To whom the Tempter murmuring thus replied. And o'er a mighty king so oft prevailed,
If kingdom move thee not, let move thee zeal
They themselves rather are occasion best;
To whom our Saviour fervently replied. The happier reign, the sooner it begins: " And reason; since his word all things produced, Reign then; what canst thou better do the while?" Though chiefly not for glory as prime end, To whom our Saviour answer thus returned. But to show forth his goodness, and impart “ All things are best fulfilled in their due time; His good communicable to every soul
And time there is for all things, Truth hath said. Freely; of whom what could he less expect If of my reign prophetic writ hath told, Than glory and benediction, that is, thanks, That it shall never end, so, when begin, The slightest, easiest, readiest recompense
The Father in his purpose hath decreed; From them who could return him nothing else,
He in whose hand all times and seasons roll. And, not returning that, would likeliest render What if he hath decreed that I shall first Contempt instead, dishonour, obloquy?
Be tried in humble state, and things adverse, Hard recompense, unsuitable return
By tribulations, injuries, insults, For so much good, so much beneficence. Contempts, and scorns, and snares, and violence, But why should man seek glory who of his own Suffering, abstaining, quietly expecting, Hath nothing, and to whom nothing belongs Without distrust or doubt, that he may know But condemnation, ignominy, and shame? What I can suffer, how obey? who best Who, for so many benefits received,
Can suffer, best can do; best reign, who first Turned recreant to God, ingrate and false, Well hath obeyed; just trial, ere I merit And so of all true good himself despoiled, My exaltation without change or end. Yet, sacrilegious, to himself would take But what concerns it thee when I begin That which to God alone of right belongs: My everlasting kingdom ? why art thou Yet so much bounty is in God, such grace,
Solicitous? what moves thy inquisition ? That who advance his glory, not their own,
Knowest thou not that my rising is thy fall, Them he himself to glory will advance." And my promotion will be thy destruction ?"
So spake the Son of God; and here again To whom the Tempter inly racked, replied. Satan had not to answer, but stood struck “Let that come when it comes; all hope is lost With guilt of his own sin; for he himself, Of my reception into grace : what worse? Insatiable of glory, had lost all;
For where no hope is left, is left no fear:
“Of glory, as thou wilt,” said he, so deem; Of worse torments me than the feeling can.
The end I would attain, my final good.
And will alike be punished, whether thou
Reign or reign not; though to that gentle brow Reduced a province under Roman yoke, Willingly could I fly, and hope thy reign, Obeys Tiberius; nor is always ruled
From that placid aspect and meek regard, With temperate sway; oft have they violated Rather than aggravate my evil state,
Would stand between me and thy Father's ire And oft beyond : to south the Persian bay
Here Nineveh, of length within her wail
Several days' journey, built by Ninus oid.
Of that first golden monarchy the seat,
As ancient, but rebuilt by him who twice
Ecbatana her structure vast there shows, Thy life hath yet been private, most part spent And Hecatompylos her hundred gates; At home, scarce viewed the Galilean towns, There Susa by Choaspes, amber stream, And once a year Jerusalem, a few days' The drink of none but kings; of later fame, Short sojourn ; and what thence could’st thou ob- Built by Emathian or by Parthian hands, serve ?
The great Seleucia, Nisibis, and there The world thou hast not seen, much less her glory, Artaxata, Teredon, Ctesiphon, Empires and monarchs, and their radiant courts, Turning with easy eye thou mayest behold. Best school of best experience, quickest insight
All these the Partbian (now some ages past In all things that to greatest actions lead. By great Arsaces led, who founded first The wisest, unexperienced, will be ever That empire) under his dominion holds, Timorous and loth, with novice modesty, From the luxurious kings of Antioch won. (As he who, seeking asses, found a kingdom,) And just in time thou comest to have a view Irresolute, unhardy, unadventurous :
Of his great power; for now the Parthian king But I will bring thee where thou soon shalt quit In Ctesiphon hath gathered all his host Those rudiments, and see before thine eyes Against the Scythian, whose incursions wild The monarchies of the earth, their pomp and state; Have wasted Sogdiana; to her aid Sufficient introduction to inform
He marches now in haste; see, though from far, Thee, of thyself so apt, in regal arts,
His thousands, in what martial equipage And regal mysteries, that thou may'st know They issue forth, steel bows and shafts their arms, How best their opposition to withstand.” Of equal dread in flight, or in pursuit; With that (such power was given him then) he All horsemen, in which fight they most excel: took
See how in warlike muster they appear, The Son of God up to a mountain high. In rhombs, and wedges, and half-moons, and It was a mountain at whose verdant feet
wings.” A spacious plain, outstretched in circuit wide, He looked, and saw what numbers numberless Lay pleasant; from his side two rivers flowed, The city gates outpoured, light armed troops, The one winding, th' other straight, and left be- In coats of mail and military pride; tween
In mail their horses clad, yet feet and strong, Fair champaign with less rivers interveined, Prancing their riders bore, the flower and choice Then meeting joined their tribute to the sea ; Of many provinces from bound to bound; Fertile of corn the glebe, of oil, and wine; From Arachosia, from Candaor east, With herds the pastures thronged, with flocks the And Margiana to the Hyrcanian cliffs hills:
Of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales; Huge cities and high towered, that well might seem From Atropatia and the neighbouring plains The seats of mightiest monarchs; and so large Of Adiabene, Media, and the south The prospect was, that here and there was room Of Susiana, to Balsara's haven. For barren desert, fountainless and dry. He saw them in their forms of battle ranged, To this high mountain top the Tempter brought How quick they wheeled, and, flying, behind them Our Saviour, and new train of words began,
shot “Well have we speeded, and o'er hill and dale, Sharp sleet of arrowy showers against the face Forest and field and flood, temples and towers, Of their pursuers, and overcame by flight; But shorter many a league, here thou behold’st The field all iron cast a gleaming brown; Assyria, and her empire's ancient bounds, Nor wanted clouds of foot, nor on each horn Araxes and the Caspian lake; thence on Cuirassiers all in steel for standing fight, As far as Indus east, Euphrates west,
Chariots, or elephants indorsed with towers
Of archers; nor of labouring pioneers
Much ostentation, vain of fleshy arm A multitude, with spades and axes armed And fragile arms, much instrument of war, To lay hills plain, fell woods, or valleys fill, Long in preparing, soon to nothing brought, Or where plain was raise hill, or overlay Before mine eyes thou hast set; and in my ear With bridges rivers proud, as with a yoke; Vented much policy, and projects deep Mules after these, camels and dromedaries, Of enemies, of aids, battles and leagues, And wagons, fraught with utensils of war. Plausible to the world, to me worth nought. Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp, Means I must use, thou say’st; prediction else When Agrican with all his northern powers Will unpredict, and fail me of the throne: Besieged Albracca; as romances tell,
My time, I told thee, (and that time for thee The city of Gallaphrone, from whence to win Were better farthest off') is not yet come: The fairest of her sex Angelica,
When that comes, think not thou to find me slack His daughter, sought by many prowest knights, On my part aught endeavouring, or to need Both Paynim and the peers of Charlemagne. Thy polite maxims, or that cumbersome Such and so numerous was their chivalry : Luggage of war there shown me, argument At sight whereof the fiend yet more presumed,
Of human weakness rather than of strength. And to our Saviour thus his words renewed. My brethren, as thou call'st them, those ten tribes
" That thou may’st know I seek not to engage I must deliver if I mean to reign Thy virtue, and not every way secure
David's true heir, and his full sceptre sway
To what end I have brought thee hither, and shown But whence to thee this zeal? Where was it then
When thou stood'st up his tempter to the pride Endeavour, as thy father David did,
Of numbering Israel, which cost the lives Thou never shalt obtain; prediction still
Of threescore and ten thousand Israelites In all things, and all men, supposes means ;
By three days' pestilence? such was thy zeal Without means used, what it predicts revokes. To Israel then; the same that now to me! But say thou wert possessed of David's throne, As for those captive tribes, themselves were they By free consent of all, none opposite,
Who wrought their own captivity, fell off Samaritan or Jew; how couldst thou hope From God to worship calves, the deities Long to enjoy it quiet and secure,
Of Egypt, Baal next and Ashtaroth, Between two such enclosing enemies,
And all the idolatries of heathen round, Roman and Parthian? therefore one of these Besides their other worse than heathenish crimes; Thou must make sure thy own; the Parthian first Nor in the land of their captivity By my advice, as nearer, and of late
Humbled themselves, or penitent besought Found able by invasion to annoy
The God of their forefathers; but so died Thy country, and captive lead away her kings, Impenitent, and left a race behind Antigonus and old Hyrcanus, bound,
Like to themselves, distinguishable scarce Maugre the Roman: it shall be my task From Gentiles, but by circumcision vain, To render thee the Parthian at dispose,
And God with idols in their worship joined. Choose which thou wilt, by conquest or by league: Should I of these the liberty regard, By him thou shalt regain, without him not, Who, freed, as to their ancient patrimony, That which alone can truly reinstal thee Unhumbled, unrepentant, unreformed, In David's royal seat, his true successor, Headlong would follow; and to their Gods perhaps Deliverance of thy brethren, those ten tribes, Of Bethel and of Dan; no; let them serve Whose offspring in his territory yet serve,
Their enemies, who serve idols with God. In Habor, and among the Medes dispersed: Yet he at length, (time to himself best known,) Ten sons of Jacob, two of Joseph, lost
Remembering Abraham, by some wondrous call Thus long from Israel, serving, as of old May bring them back, repentant and sincere, Their fathers in the land of Egypt served, And at their passing cleave the Assyrian flood, This offer sets before thee to deliver.
While to their native land with joy they haste; These if from servitude thou shalt restore As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft, To their inheritance, then. nor till then, When to the promised land their fathers passed; Thou on the throne of David in full glory, To his due time and providence I leave them." From Egypt to Euphrates and beyond,
So spake Israel's true king, and to the fiend Shalt reign, and Rome or Cæsar need not fear.” Made answer meet, that made void all his wiles.
To whom our Saviour answered thus, unmoved: So fares it when with truth falsehood contends.
Discovered in his fraud, thrown from his hope
So oft, and the persuasive rhetoric
That sleeked his tongue, and won so much on Eve,
So little here, nay lost; but Eve was Eve;
This far his overmatch, who, self-deceived Satan persisting in the temptation of our Lord, shows him And rash, beforehand had no better weighed imperial Rome in its greatest pomp and splendour, as a power The strength he was to cope with, or his own which he probably would prefer before that of the Parthians; But as a man, who had been matchless held arn tells him that he might with the greatest ease expel Tibering, restore the Romans to their liberty, and make himself In cunning, overreached where least he thought, master not only of the Roman empire, but by so doing of the To salve his credit, and for very spite, whole world, and inclusively of the throne of David. Our Still will be tempting him who foils bim still, Lord, in reply, expresses his contempt of grandeur and world. And never cease, though to his shame the more; ly power, notices the luxury, vanity, and profligacy of the Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time, Romans, declaring how little they merited to be restored to that liberty, which they had lost by their misconduct, and About the wine press where sweet must is poured, briefiy refers to the greatness of his own future kingdom. Sa. Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound; tan, now desperate, to enhance the value of his preffered gifts, Or surging waves against a solid rock, professes that the only terms, on which he will bestow them, Though all to shivers dashed, the assault renew, are our Saviour's falling down and worshipping him. Our (Vain battery !) and in froth or bubbles end; Lord expresses a firm but temperate indignation at such a proposition, and rebukes the Tempter by the title of “Satan So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse for ever damned.” Satan, abashed, attempts to justify him. Met ever, and to shameful silence brought, self; he then assumes a new ground of temptation, and, pro- Yet gives not o'er, though desperate of success, posing to Jesus the intellectual gratifications of wisdom and And his vain importunity pursues. knowledge, points out to him the celebrated seat of ancient He brought our Saviour to the western side learning, Athens, its schools, and other various résorts of learn. ed teachers and their disciples ; accompanying the view with Of that high mountain, whence he might behold a bighiy.finished panegyric on the Grecian musicians, poets, Another plain, long, but in breadth not wide, orators, and philosophers of the different sects. Jesus replies, Washed by the southern sea, and, on the north, by showing the vanity and insufficiency of the boasted Hea. To equal length backed with a ridge of hills, then philosophy; and prefers to the music, poetry, eloquence, That screened the fruits of the earth, and seats of and didactic policy of the Greeks, those of the inspired Hebrew writers. Satan, irritated at the failure of all his attempts, up
men, braits the indiscretion of our Saviour in rejecting his offers; From cold septentrion blasts; thence in the midst and having, in ridicule of his expected kingdom, foretold the Divided by a river, of whose banks sufferings that our Lord was to undergo, carries him back into On each side an imperial city stood, the wilderness, and leaves him there. Night comes on : Satan With towers and temples proudly elevate raises a tremendous storm, and attempts further to alarm Jesus with frightfui areame, and terrific threatening spectres; which On seven small hills, with palaces adorned, however have no effect upon him. A calm, bright, beautiful Porches, and theatres, baths, aqueducts; morning succeeds to the horrors of the night. Satan again pre- Statues, and trophies, and triumphal arcs, sents himself w our blessed Lord, and, from noticing the storm Gardens and groves presented to his eyes, of the preceding night as pointed chiefly at him, takes occasion once more to insult him with an account of the suffering Above the height of mountains interposed : which he was certainly to undergo. This only draws from (By what strange parallax, or optic skill our Lord a brief rebuke. Satan, now at the height of his des Of vision, multiplied through air, or glass peration, conserses that he had frequently watched Jesus from of telescope, were curious to inquire :) his birth, purposely to discover if he was the true Messiah; And now the Tempter thus his silence broke. anul, collecting from what passed at the river Jordan that he De probably was so, he had from that time more assiduous
“ The city which thou seest no other deem ly followed him, in hopes of gaining some advantage over Than great and glorious Rome, queen of the earth, him, which would most effectually prove that he was not So far renowned, and with the spoils enriched really that Divine Person destined to be his “fatal Enemy," of nations; there the capitol thou seest; In this he acknowledges that he has hitherto completely failed; Above the rest lifting his stately head bat saill determines to make one more trial of him. Accordingly he conveys him to the Temple at Jerusalem, and, placing On the Tarpeian rock, her citadel him on a pointed eminence, requires him to prove his Divini- Impregnable; and there mount Palatine, 15 either by standing there, or casting himself down with safety. The imperial palace, compass huge, and high Our Lord reproves the Tempter, and at the same time mani. The constructure, skill of noblest architects, fests his own Divinity by standing on this dangerous point. With gilded battlements conspicuous far, Ratan, amazed and terrified, instantly falls; and repairs to his infernal compeers, to relate the bad success of his enterprise. Turrets, and terraces, and glittering spires : Angels in the mean time convey our blessed Lord to a beauti. Many a fair edifice besides, more like ful valley, and, while they minister to him a repast of celestial Houses of gods, (so well I have disposed fel , celebrate his victory in a triumphant hymn.
My airy microscope,) thou mayest behold,
Outside and inside both, pillars and roofs, PERPLEXED and troubled at his bad success Carved work, the hand of famed artificers, The tempter stood, nor had what to reply, In cedar, marble, ivory, or gold.
Thence to the gates cast round thine eye, and see Crystal, and myrrhine cups, embossed with gems What conflux issuing forth, or entering in; And studs of pearl ; to me should'st tell, who thirst Prætors, proconsuls to their provinces
And hunger still. Then embassies thou showest Hasting, or on return, in robes of state;
From nations far and nigh: what honour that, Lictors and rods, the ensigns of their power, But tedious waste of time, to sit and hear Legions and cohorts, turms of horse and wings: So many hollow compliments and lies, Or embassies from regions far remote;
Outlandish flatteries ? Then proceed'st to talk In various habits, on the Appian road,
Of the emperor, how easily subdued,
Expel a devil who first made him such ?
That people, victor once, now vile and base; And utmost Indian isle Taprobane,
Deservedly made vassal, who, once just,
By lust and rapine ; first ambitious grown
Of fighting beasts, and men to beasts exposed; Civility of manners, arts, and arms,
Luxurious by their wealth, and greedier still, And long renown, thou justly mayest prefer And from the daily scene effeminate. Before the Parthians. These two thrones except, What wise and valiant man would seek to free The rest are barbarous, and scarce worth the sight, These, thus degenerate, by themselves enslaved ? Shared among petty kings too far removed; Or could of inward slaves make outward free? These having shown thee, I have shown thee all Know therefore, when my season comes to sit The kingdoms of the world, and all their glory. On David's throne, it shall be like a tree This emperor hath no son, and now is old, Spreading and overshadowing all the earth; Old and lascivious, and from Rome retired Or as a stone, that shall to pieces dash To Capreæ, an island small, but strong, All monarchies besides throughout the world, On the Campanian shore, with purpose there And of my kingdom there shall be no end; His horrid lusts in private to enjoy,
Means there shall be to this; but what the means, Committing to a wicked favourite
Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell."
Thou valuest, because offered, and rejectest;
On what I offer set as high esteem,
No trifle; yet with this reserve, not else, On David's throne, be prophesied what will." On this condition, if thou wilt fall down,
To whom the Son of God, unmoved, replied. And worship me as thy superior lord, "Nor doth this grandeur and majestic show (Easily done,) and hold them all of me; Of luxury, though called magnificence,
For what can less so great a gift deserve ?" More than of arms before, allure mine eye,
Whom thus our Saviour answered with disdain. Much less my mind; though thou shouldst add to “ I never liked thy talk, thy offers less; tell
Now both abhor, since thou hast dared to utter Their sumptuous gluttonies, and gorgeous feasts The abominable terms, impious condition: On citron tables or Atlantic stone,
But I endure the time, till which expired (For I have also heard, perhaps have read,) Thou hast permission on me. It is written, Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Falerne, The first of all commandments, Thou shalt worship Chios, and Crete, and how they quaff in gold, The Lord thy God, and only him shalt serve;