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He added not; and Satan, bowing low His gray dissimulation, disappear'd Into thin air diffus'd: for now began Night with her sullen wings to double-shade The desart; fowls in their clay nests were couch'd, And now wild beasts came forth the woods to roam.
499 thin] Virg. Æn. iv. 278.
gray dissimulation] See Ford's Broken Heart; ed. Weber, p.
'Lay by thy whining gray dissimulation.'
'Et procul in tenuem ex oculis evanuit auram.' Shakesp. Temp. act iv. sc. 2.
'Duplicataque noctis imago est.' Dunster. 501 fowls] Beaumont's Psyche, c. xiii. st. 355, ed. 1648. 'Each gentle fair-condition'd bird and beast
Hied them unto their nests and dens
'Are melted into air, into thin air.' Dunster. 500 Night] Nonnus ends the xxvth book of his Dionysiaca thus, Καὶ σκιερὴν ἐμέλαινεν ὅλην χθόνα σιγαλέη νυξ· Λαοὶ δ ̓ ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα χαμαιστρώτων ἐπὶ λέκτρων ̓Εσπερίῃ μετὰ δόρπον ὀρειάδι κάππεσον ἐννῇ. 500 double-shade] Ov. Met. xi. 548.
Only some ominous ravens, and screech owles prest
With beasts of prey and night, thro' the black air.'
MEANWHILE the new-baptiz'd, who yet remain'd 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,
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.
'Ostendent terris hune tantum fata.'
6 mean] See this expression in Harington's Ariosto, xxxi. 46. 'I mean Renaldo's House of Montalbane;' and st. 55. 'I mean the cruel Pagan Rodomont.' Newton.
13 shown] Virg. Æn. vi. 870.
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, Ænon, and Salem old,
Machærus, and each town or city wall'd
On this side the broad lake Genezaret,
Or in Peræa; but return'd in vain.
Then on the bank of Jordan, by a creek,
Where winds with reeds and osiers whisp'ring play,
Plain fishermen, (no greater men them call,)
Close in a cottage low together got,
Their unexpected loss and plaints out breath'd.
Alas, from what high hope to what relapse
Unlook'd for are we fallen! our eyes beheld
Messiah certainly now come, so long
Expected of our fathers; we have heard
His words, his wisdom full of grace and truth:
Now, now, for sure, deliverance is at hand,
The kingdom shall to Israel be restor❜d:
Thus we rejoic'd, but soon our joy is turn'd
Into perplexity and new amaze :
'Or whistling reeds, that rutty Jordan laves.' A. Dyce. 27 no greater] Spenser in the beginning of Sheph. Cal. 'A shepherd's boy, no better do him call.' Newton. 30 what] So first edition; in most others, 'that.' Newton.
23 broad] 'Broad' is not opposed to long, but means 'large;' in this sense it is often used by the old English poets; and thus their modern imitator, 'He knew her of broad lands the heir.' Marmion, c. ii. st. xxvii. The lake of Genezaret is eighteen miles long, and only five broad.
25 Jordan] Giles Fletcher's Christ's Victorie and Triumph, ed. 1632, p. 49:
For whither is he gone, what accident
Hath wrapt him from us? will he now retire
After appearance, and again prolong
Our expectation? God of Israel,
Send thy Messiah forth, the time is come;
Behold the kings of the earth how they oppress
Thy chosen, to what highth their power unjust
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 blest sight, then snatch him hence;
Soon we shall see our hope, our joy return.
Thus they out of their plaints new hope resume
To find whom at the first they found unsought:
But to his mother Mary, when she saw
Others return'd from baptism, not her Son,
Nor left at Jordan, tidings of him none,
Within her breast though calm, her breast though
Motherly cares and fears got head, and rais'd
Some troubled thoughts, which she in sighs thus clad.
O what avails me now that honour high
To have conceiv'd of God, or that salute,
"Hail, highly favour'd, among women blest!"
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 a season born, when scarce a shed
Could be obtain'd to shelter him or me
From the bleak air! a stable was our warmth,
his: yet soon enforc'd to fly
Thence into Egypt, till the murd❜rous king
Were dead, who sought his life, and missing fill'd
With infant blood the streets of Bethlehem;
From Egypt home return'd, in Nazareth
Hath been our dwelling many years; his life
Private, unactive, calm, contemplative,
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;
Afflicted I may be, it seems, and blest;
I will not argue that, nor will repine.
But where delays he now? some great intent Conceals him. When twelve years he scarce had