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Under the hospitable covert nigh,
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 grassy couch uprose 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, 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 bis resounding loud; 290 Thither he bent his way, determin’d there
To rest at noon, and enter'd soon the shade
With granted leave officious I return,
To whom thus Jesus. What conclud'st thou 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
He spake no dream, for as his words had end, Our Saviour lifting up
beheld In ample space under the broadest shade A table richly spread, in regal mode, 340 With dishes pild, and meats of noblest sort And savor, 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, Freshest, or purling brook, of shell or fin, 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
not fruits forbidden; no interdict Defends the touching of these viands pure;
370 Their taste no knowledge works at least of evil, But life preserves, destroys life's enemy, Hunger, with sweet restorative delight. All these are spirits of air, and woods, and springs, Thy gentle ministers, who come to pay Thee homage, and acknowledge thee their Lord ? What doubt'st thou Son of God? sit down and eat.
To whom thus Jesus, temp?rately reply'd Said'st thou not that to all things I had right? And who withholds my power that right to use? 388 Shall I receive by gift what of my own,
When and where likes me best, I can command ?
390 And count thy specious gifts no gifts but guiles.
To whom thus answer'd Satan malecontent: That I have also power to give thou seest; If of that pow'r I bring thee voluntary What I might have bestow'd on whom I pleas'd, And rather opportunely in this place Chose to impart to thy apparent need, Why should'st thou not accept it? but I see What I can do or offer is suspect ; Of these things others quickly will dispose, 400 Whose pains have earn'd the far fet spoil. With that Both table and provision vanish'd quite With sounds of Harpies' wings, and talons heard; Only th' importune Tempter still remain'd, And with these words his temptation pursu'd.
By hunger, that each other creature tames, Thou art not to be harm’d; therefore not mov'd; Thy temperance invincible besides, For no allurement yields to appetite, And all thy heart is set on high designs,
410 High actions ; but wherewith to be achiev'd?