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MEANWHILE the new baptiz'd, who yet re


At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen
Him whom they heard so late expressly call'd
Jesus, Messiah, Son of God declar'd,
And on that high authority had believ'd,


Hail highly favour'd, among women bless'd!
While I to sorrows am no less advanc'd,
And fears as eminent, above the lot





Of other women, by the birth I bore,
In such season born, when scarce a shed
Could be obtain'd to shelter him or me
From the bleak air; a stable was our warmth,
A manger his; yet soon enforc'd to fly
Thence into Egypt, till the murderous king
Were dead, who sought his life, and missing fill’d
With infant blood the streets of Bethlehem :
From Egypt home they return'd, in Nazareth
Hath been our dwelling many years; his life
Private, unactive, calm, contemplate,
Little suspicious to any king; but now
Full grown to man, acknowledg'd, as I hear,
By John the Baptist, and in public shown,
Son own'd from heaven by his Father's voice;
I look'd for some great change: to honour no,
But trouble, as old Simeon plain foretold,
That to the fall and rising he should be
Of many in Israel, and to a sign



Spoken against, that through my very soul


A sword shall pierce; This is my favour'd lot, My exaltation to afflictions high:


And with him talk'd, and with him lodg'd, (I mean
Andrew and Simon, famous after known,
With others, though in holy writ not nam'd,)
Now missing him, their joy so lately found,
So lately found, and so abruptly gone,
Began to doubt, and doubted many days,
And as the days increas'd, increas'd their doubt:
Sometimes they thought he might be only shown,
And for a time caught up to God, as once
Moses was in the mount, and missing long;
And the great Thisbite, who on fiery wheels
Rode up to heaven, yet once again to come.
Therefore as those young prophets then with care
Sought lost Elijah, so in each place these
Nigh to Bethabara; in Jericho,

The city of Palms, non and Salem old,
Machærus, and each town or city wall'd
On this side the broad lake Genezaret,

Or in Perea; but return'd in vain.
Then on the bank of Jordan, by a creek,


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Afflicted I may be, it seems, and bless'd.
I will not argue that, nor will repine:
But where delays he now? some great intent
Conceals him. When twelve years he scarce had
I lost him, but so found, as well I saw
He could not lose himself; but went about
His Father's business; what he meant I mus'd.
Since understand; much more his absence now 100
Thus long to some great purpose he obscures.
But I to wait with patience am inur'd;
My heart hath been a store-house long of things
And sayings laid up, portending strange events"

Hath wrapp'd him from us? will he now retire 40
After appearance, and again prolong
Our expectation? God of Israel,

Send thy Messiah forth, the time is come;
Behold the kings of th' earth how they oppress

Thus Mary, pondering oft, and oft to mind 105 Recalling what remarkably had pass'd Since first her salutation heard, with thoughts Meekly compos'd awaited the fulfilling: The while her Son tracing the desert wild, Sole, but with holiest meditations fed, Into himself descended, and at once All his great work to come before him set, How to begin, how to accomplish best His end of being on earth, and mission high ; For Satan with sly preface to return Had left him vacant, and with speed was gone Up to the middle region of thick air,

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Thy chosen, to what height their power unjust 45
They have exalted, and behind them cast
All fear of thee: arise, and vindicate
Thy glory, free thy people from their yoke.
But let us wait; thus far he hath perform'd,
Sent his anointed, and to us reveal'd him,
By his great Prophet, pointed at and shown
In public, and with him we have convers'd;
Let us be glad of this, and all our fears
Lay on his Providence; he will not fail,
Nor will withdraw him now, nor will recall,
Mock us with his bless'd sight, then snatch him

Soon we shall see our hope, our joy, return."

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"Set women in his eye, and in his walk, Among daughters of men the fairest found; Many are in each region passing fair As the noon sky; more like to goddesses Than mortal creatures, graceful and discreet, Expert in amorous arts, enchanting tongues Persuasive, virgin majesty with mild And sweet allay'd, yet terrible to approach, Skill'd to retire, and in retiring draw Hearts after them tangled in amorous nets. Such object hath the power to soften and tame Severest temper, smoothe the rugged'st brow, Enerve, and with voluptuous hope dissolve, Draw out with credulous desire, and lead At will the manliest, resolutest breast, As the magnetic hardest iron draws.

Women, when nothing else, beguil'd the heart Of wisest Solomon, and made him build,

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 colour, and attractive grace,
None are, thou think'st, 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,
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 mossy fountain side,
In valley, or green meadow, to way-lay
Some beauty rare, Calisto, Clymene,

He ceas'd, and heard their grant in loud acclaim; Then forthwith to him takes a chosen band


Of spirits likest 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;
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 hungering first, and to himself thus said:



"Where will this end? Four times ten days I've Wand'ring this woody maze, and hurnan food [pass'd 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, Though needing, what praise is it to endure? 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 Without this body's wasting, I content me, And from the sting of famine fear no harm, Nor mind it, fed with better thoughts, that feed Me hung'ring 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;
Him thought, he by the brook of Cherith stood, 266
And saw the ravens with their horny beaks
Food to Elijah bringing even and morn, brought:


180 Though ravenous, taught to abstain from what they
He saw the prophet also how he fled
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,



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Too long, then lay'st thy scapes on names ador'd,

Apollo, Neptune, Jupiter, or Pan,


Satyr, or Faun, or Sylvan? But these haunts

Delight not all; among the sons of men,

How many have with a smile made small account

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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
The Morn's approach, and greet her with his song:
As lightly from his grassy 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,
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,



For Solomon, he liv'd at ease, and full

Of honour, wealth, high fare, aim'd not beyond Higher design than to enjoy his state;

Thence to the bait of woman lay expos'd:

But he whom we attempt is wiser far


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
To enamour, as the zone of Venus once
Wrought that effect on Jove, so fables tell;
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

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Of wood-gods, and wood-nymphs: he view'd it
When suddenly a man before him stood; [round,
Not rustic, as before, but seemlier clad,
As one in city, or court, or palace bred,
And with fair speech these words to him address'd:


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"With granted leave officious I return, But much more wonder that the Son of God In this wild solitude so long should bide Of all things destitute, and well I know Not without hunger. Others of some note, As story tells, have trod this wilderness; The fugitive bond-woman with her son, Outcast Nebaioth, yet found here relief By a providing angel; all the race Of Israel here had famish'd, had not God Rain'd from heaven manna; and that prophet bold, Native of Thebez, wand'ring here, was fed Twice by a voice inviting him to eat:



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"How hast thou hunger then ?" Satan replied: Tell me if food were now before thee set, Wouldst thou not eat?" "Thereafter as I like The giver," answer'd Jesus. "Why should that Cause thy refusal ?" said the subtle fiend. "Hast thou not right to all created things? Owe not all creatures by just right to thee Duty and service, not to stay till bid, But tender all their power? 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 Would scruple that, with want oppress'd? Behold Nature asham'd, or better to express, Troubled, that thou shouldst hunger, hath purvey'd From all the elements her choicest store To treat thee as beseems, and as her Lord With honour, only deign to sit 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, With dishes pil'd, and meats of noblest sort And savour, 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, 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, That fragrant smell diffus'd, in order stood Tall stripling youths, rich clad, of fairer hue Than Ganymede or Hylas; distant more Under the trees now tripp'd, now solemn stood, Nymphs of Diana's train, and Naiades

With fruits and flowers from Amalthea's horn. And ladies of th' Hesperides, that seem'd,

Fairer than feign'd of old, or fabled since

Of fairy damsels met in forest wide

By knights of Logres, or of Lyones, Lancelot, or Pelleas, or Pellenore:

And all the while harmonious airs were heard




Of chiming strings, or charming pipes; and winds
Of gentlest gale Arabian odours fann'd
From their soft wings, and Flora's earliest smells.
Such was the splendour, and the Tempter now 366
His invitation earnestly renew'd.

"What doubts the Son of God to sit and eat?
These are not fruits forbidden; no interdict
Defends the touching of these viands pure;
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."


What I can do or offer is suspect;
Of these things others quickly will dispose,
Whose pains have earn'd the far fet spoil. With
Both table and provision vanish'd quite [that
With sound of harpies' wings, and talons heard;
Only th' importune Tempter still remain'd,
And with these words his temptation pursu'd: 405



"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, High actions; but wherewith to be achiev'd? Great acts require great means of enterprise; Thou art unknown, unfriended, low of birth, A carpenter thy father known, thyself Bred up in poverty and straits at home, Lost in a desert here, and hunger-bit: Which way or from what hope dost thou aspire To greatness? whence authority deriv'st? What followers, what retinue, canst thou gain, Or at thy heels the dizzy multitude, Longer than thou canst feed them on thy cost? Money brings honour, friends, conquest, and What rais'd Antipater, the Edomite, [realms. And his son Herod plac'd on Juda's throne, (Thy hrone) but gold, that got him puissant friends?



Therefore, if at great things thou wouldst arrive, Get riches first, get wealth, and treasure heap, Not difficult, if thou hearken to me:

Riches are mine, Fortune is in my hand;

They whom I favour thrive in wealth amain, 430 While Virtue, Valour, Wisdom, sit in want."


To whom thus Jesus patiently replied: "Yet wealth without these three is impotent To gain dominion, or to keep it gain'd." Witness those ancient empires of the earth, In height of all their flowing wealth dissolv'd: But men endu'd with these have oft attain'd In lowest poverty to highest deeds; Gideon and Jephtha, and the shepherd lad, Whose offspring on the throne of Judah sat So many ages, and shall yet regain That seat, and reign in Israel without end. Among the Heathen, (for throughout the world To me is not unknown what hath been done Worthy of memorial) canst thou not remember 445 Quintius, Fabricius, Cureus, Regulus ?

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Riches and realms; yet not for that a crown,
Golden in show, is but a wreath of thorns,
Brings dangers, troubles, cares, and sleepless nights,
To him who wears the regal diadem,
When on his shoulders each man's burden lies;
For therein stands the office of a king,
His honour, virtue, merit, and chief praise,
That for the public all this weight he bears.
Yet he who reigns within himself, and rules
Passions, desires, and fears, is more a king;
Which every wise and virtuous man attains:
And who attains not, ill aspires to rule
Cities of men, or headstrong multitudes,
Subject himself to anarchy within,



And call swift flights of angels ministrant


Or lawless passions in him which he serves.

Array'd in glory on my cup t' attend:

But to guide nations in the way of truth

Why shouldst thou then obtrude this diligence, In vain, where no acceptance it can find?

By saving doctrine, and from error lead

And with my hunger what hast thou to do? Thy pompous delicacies I contemn,


And count thy specious gifts no gifts, but guiles."

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To know, and knowing, worship God aright, 475
Is yet more kingly: this attracts the soul,
Governs the inner man, the nobler part;
That other o'er the body only reigns,
And oft by force, which to a generous mind
So reigning, can be no sincere delight.
Besides, to give a kingdom hath been thought
Greater and nobler done, and to lay down
Far more magnanimous than to assume.
Riches are needless then, both for themselves,
And for thy reason why they should be sought, 485
To gain a sceptre, oftest better miss'd."




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"I see thou know'st what is of use to know, What best to say canst say, to do canst do; Thy actions to thy words accord, thy words To thy large heart give utterance due, thy heart Contains of good, wise, just, the perfect shape. Should kings and nations from thy mouth consult, Thy counsel would be as the oracle Urim and Thummim, those oraculous gems On Aaron's breast; or tongue of seers old, Infallible or wert thou sought to deeds That might require th' array of war, thy skill Of conduct would be such, that all the world Could not sustain thy prowess, or subsist In battle, though against thy few in arms. These godlike virtues wherefore dost thou hide, Affecting private life, or more obscure In savage wilderness? wherefore deprive All earth her wonder at thy acts, thyself The fame and glory, glory the reward That soul excites to high attempts, the flame Of most erected spirits, most temper'd pure Ethereal, who all pleasures else despise, All treasures and all gain esteem as dross, And dignities and powers all but the highest? Thy years are ripe, and over-ripe; the son Of Macedonian Philip had ere these Won Asia, and the throne of Cyrus held At his dispose; young Scipio had brought down The Carthaginian pride: young Pompey quell'd 35 The Pontic king, and in triumph had rode. Yet years, and to ripe years judgment mature, Quench not the thirst of glory, but augment. Great Julius, whom now all the world admires, The more he grew in years, the more inflam'd 10 With glory, wept that he had liv'd so long Inglorious: but thou yet art not too late."

He ask'd thee, Hast thou seen my servant Job?" Famous he was in heaven, on earth less known; Where glory is false glory attributed

To things not glorious, men not worthy of fame. 70 They err who count it glorious to subdue

By conquest far and wide, to over-run

Large countries, and in field great battles win,
Great cities by assault: what do these worthies,
But rob and spoil, burn, slaughter, and enslave 75
Peaceable nations, neighb'ring or remote,
Made captive, yet deserving freedom more
Than those their conquerors, who leave behind
Nothing but ruin wheresoe'er they rove,

And all the flourishing works of peace destroy, 80
Then swell with pride, and must be titled gods,
Great benefactors of mankind, deliverers,
Worshipp'd with temple, priest, and sacrifice?
One is the son of Jove, of Mars the other;

Till conqu'ror Death discover them scarce men 85
Rolling in brutish vices, and deform'd,

Violent or shameful death their duc reward.
But if there be in glory ought of good,

It may by means far different be attain'd,
Without ambition, war, or violence;

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By deeds of peace, by wisdom eminent,
By patience, temperance: I mention still
Him whom thy wrongs, with saintly patience

Who names not now with honour patient Job? 95
Poor Socrates, (who next more memorable?)
By what he taught, and suffer'd for so doing,
For truth's sake suffering death unjust, lives




To whom our Saviour calmly thus replied: "Thou neither dost persuade me to seek wealth For empire's sake, nor empire to affect For glory's sake, by all thy argument. For what is glory but the blaze of fame, The people's praise, if always praise unmix'd? And what the people but a herd confus'd, A miscellaneous rabble, who extol [praise? Things vulgar, and well weigh'd, scarce worth the They praise, and they admire they know not what, And know nor whom, but as one leads the other; And what delight to be by such extoll'd,


To live upon their tongues, and be their talk, 55 Of whom to be disprais'd were no small praise? His lot who dares be singularly good.

Th' intelligent among them and the wise

Are few, and glory scarce of few is rais'd.

This is true glory and renown, when God,


Looking on th' earth, with approbation marks The just man, and divulges him through heaven To all his angels, who with true applause Recount his praises: thus he did to Job,

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When to extend his fame through heaven and


Equal in fame to proudest conquerors.
Yet, if for fame and glory ought be done,
Ought suffer'd; if young African for fame
His wasted country freed from Punic rage,
The deed becomes unprais'd, the man at least,
And loses, though but verbal, his reward.
Shall I seek glory then, as vain men seek,
Oft not deser v'd? I seek not mine, but his
Who sent me, and thereby witness whence I am."


To whom the Tempter murm'ring thus replied: "Think not so slight of glory; therein least Resembling thy great Father: he seeks glory, 110 And for his glory all things made, all things Orders and governs; nor content in heaven, By all his angels glorified, requires Glory from men, from all men, good or bad, Wise or unwise, no difference, no exemption; 115 Above all sacrifice, or hallow'd gift, Glory he requires, and glory he receives Promiscuous from all nations, Jew, or Greek, Or barbarous, nor exception hath declar'd: From us his foes pronounc'd glory he exacts." 120 To whom our Saviour fervently replied: "And reason; since his word all things produc'd, Though chiefly not for glory as prime end, But to show forth his goodness, and impart His good communicable to every soul Freely; of whom what could he less expect Than glory and benediction, that is, thanks, The slightest, easiest, readiest recompense From them who could return him nothing else, And not returning that, would likeliest render 130 Contempt instead, dishonour, obloquy ?

Hard recompense, unsuitable return


For so much good, so much beneficence.

But why should man seek glory, who of his own
Hath nothing, and to whom nothing belongs, 135
But condemnation, ignominy', and shame?
Who, for so many benefits receiv'd,
Turn'd recreant to God, ingrate and false,
And so of all true good himself despoil'd;"
Yet sacrilegious, to himself would take
That which to God alone of right belongs;
Yet so much bounty is in God, such grace,
That who advance his glory not their own,
Them he himself to glory will advance.”

So spake the Son of God: and here again
Satan had not to answer, but stood struck
With guilt of his own sin, for he himself,
Insatiable of glory, had lost all,

Yet of another plea bethought him soon.



"Of glory, as thou wilt," said he, "so deem; 150
Worth or not worth the seeking, let it pass:
But to a kingdom thou art born, ordain'd
To sit upon thy father David's throne:

By mother's side thy father: though thy right
Be now in powerful hands, that will not part 155
Easily from possession won with arms:
Judea now, and all the promis'd land,
Reduc'd a province under Roman yoke,
Obeys Tiberius: nor is always rul'd

With temp'rate sway; oft have they violated 160
The temple, oft the law with foul affronts,
Abominations rather, as did once
Antiochus: and think'st thou to regain
Thy right by sitting still or thus retiring?

So did not Maccabæus: he indeed

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That by strong hand his family obtain d,



Tho' priests, the crown, and David's throne usurp'd,
With Modin and her suburbs once content.
If kingdom move thee not, let move thee zeal
And duty; zeal and duty are not slow;
But on occasion's forelock watchful wait.
They themselves rather are occasion best,
Zeal of thy Father's house, duty to free
Thy country from her heathen servitude;
So shalt thou best fulfil, best verify
The prophets old, who sung thy endless reign;
The happier reign the sooner it begins:
Reign then; what canst thou better do the

while ?"



To whom our Saviour answer thus return'd: "All things are best fulfill'd in their due time, And time there is for all things, truth hath said: If of my reign prophetic writ hath told That it shall never end, so when begin The Father in his purpose hath decreed, He in whose hand all times and seasons roll. What if he hath decreed that I shall first Be tried in humble state, and things adverse, By tribulations, injuries, insults, Contempts and scorns, and snares, and violence, Suffering, abstaining, quietly expecting, Without distrust or doubt, that he may know What I can suffer, how obey? Who best



Can suffer, best can do; best reign, who first 195
Well hath obey'd just trial ere I merit
My exaltation without change or end.
But what concerns it thee when I begin
My everlasting kingdom, why art thou
Solicitous, what moves thy inquisition?
Know'st thou not that my rising is thy fall,
And my promotion will be thy destruction?"

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"Well have we speeded, and o'er hill and dale, Forest, and field, and flood, temples and towers, Cut shorter many a league; here thou behold'st Assyria and her empire's ancient bounds, Araxes and the Caspian lake; thence on As far as Indust east, Euphrates west, And oft beyond; to south the Persian bay, And inaccessible th' Arabian drouth: Here Nineveh, of length within her wall Several days' journey, built by Ninus old, Of that first golden monarchy the seat. And seat of Salmanassar, whose success Israel in long captivity still mourns; There Babylon, the wonder of all tongues, As ancient, but rebuilt by him who twice Judah and all thy father David's house Led captive, and Jerusalem laid waste, Till Cyrus set them free; Persepolis His city there thou seest, and Béctra there; Ecbatana her structure vast there shows, And Hecatompylos her hundred gates; There Susa by Choaspes, amber stream, The drink of none but kings: of later fame, Built by Emathian, or Parthian hands, The great Selucia, Nisibis; and there Artaxata, Teredon, Ctesiphon,





To whom the Tempter, inly rack'd, replied: "Let that come when it comes; all hope is lost Of my reception into grace; what worse? For where no hope is left, is left no fear: If there be worse, the expectation more Of worse torments me than the feeling can. I would be at the worst; worst is my port, My harbour, and my ultimate repose, The end I would attain, my final good. My error was my error, and my crime My crime; whatever for itself condemn'd, And will alike be punish'd, whether thou Reign or reign not; though to that gentle brow Willingly I could fly, and hope thy reign, From that placid aspect and meek regard, Rather than aggravate my evil state,

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Would stand between me and thy Father's ire,

He marches now in haste; see, though from far, His thousands, in what martial equipage


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