The Devil's Doubts

Yet on the other side, faine would he start
Above his feares, and thinke it cannot be.
Hee studies Scripture, strives to sound the heart,
And feele the pulse of every Prophecy.
Hee knowes (but knowes not how, or by what Art)
The Heav'n expecting Ages, hope to see
A mighty Babe, whose pure, unspotted Birth,
From a chast Virgin wombe, should blesse the Earth.

But these vast Mysteries his senses smother,
And Reason (for what's Faith to him?) devoure.
How she that is a maid should prove a Mother,
Yet keepe inviolate her virgin flower;
How Gods eternall Sonne should be mans Brother,
Poseth his proudest Intellectuall power.
How a pure Spirit should incarnate bee,
And life it selfe weare Deaths fraile Livery.

That the Great Angell-blinding light should shrinke
His blaze, to shine in a poore Shepheards eye.
That the unmeasur'd God so low should sinke,
As Pris'ner in a few poore Rags to lye.
That from his Mothers Brest hee milke should drinke,
Who feeds with Nectar Heav'ns faire family.
That a vile Manger his low Bed should prove,
Who in a Throne of stars Thunders above.

That hee whom the Sun serves, should fairly peepe
Through clouds of Infant flesh: that hee the old
Eternall Word should bee a Child, and weepe.
That hee who made the fire, should feare the cold;
That Heav'ns high Majesty his Court should keepe
In a clay-cottage, by each blast control'd.
That Glories selfe should serve our Griefs, and feares:
And free Eternity, submit to yeares.

And further, that the Lawes eternall Giver,
Should bleed in his owne lawes obedience:
And to the circumcising Knife deliver
Himselfe, the forfeit of his slaves offence.
That the unblemisht Lambe, blessed for ever,
Should take the marke of sin, and paine of sence.
These are the knotty Riddles, whose darke doubt
Intangles his lost Thoughts, past getting out.
Author of original: 
Giambattista Marino
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