Then was a saint led up into the wilderness
to be tempted of the Devil.
And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights
he was afterward an hungered.
And when the tempter came to him, it said,
“If thou be a saint of God, command
that these stones be made bread.”
But he answered and said, “It is written,
Man shall not live by bread alone
but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.”
And the tempter said, “Sir, thou art wise.
I have been bested; I apologize.”
Then the Devil taketh him up into the holy city,
and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
and saith unto him, “If thou be a saint of God—
but lo! Thou art a saint of God, well-proved.
I shut my mouth before thee.”
But he to it: “Say on.”
Then saith the devil, “Why, cast thyself down,
for it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee:
in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time
thou dash thy foot against a stone.”
And the saint said, “Nay, shall I tempt the Lord?”
And the tempter said, “Let us compromise.
But stand thou on this pinnacle, and I
shall shew that miracle to them below,
that they may heed thy word.”
And the saint said, “So be it.”
Therefore the Devil shewed the populace
the glory of the saint, and they saw and believed
Again the Devil taketh him up into an high mountain,
and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world,
and the glory of them: and saith unto him,
“Twice hast thou bested me.
Therefore, to satisfy my admiration,
I would make thee my viceroy of this earth.
Consider, the multitude are sheep without a shepherd;
to spare, the glory of thy Church and people,
if thou but take this power from my hand!”
The saint smiled and replied, “I can see through
thy piteous devices, O deceiver.
If it be thine to give, I must reject it,
and so discard all the good I might do.
But I am not deceived; I here assent
to be thy viceroy and to save this people.”
“Thrice bested!” cried the Devil, and bowed down to him,
and he to it in turn.
Then the devil leaveth him,
and behold, it was indeed
angels that came and ministered unto him.