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like a calm sea, which to th' enlarged view
Gives pleasure, but gives fear and reverence too.
Michal's sweet looks clear and free joys did
And no less strong, though much more gentle,
Like virtuous kings, whom men rejoice to obey
(Tyrants themselves less absolute than they).
Merab appear'd like some fair princely tower;
Michal, some virgin-queen's delicious bower.
All Beauty's stores in little and in great;
But the contracted beams shot fiercestheat.
A clean and lively brown was Merab's dye,
Such as the prouder colours might envy :
Michal's pure skin shone with such taintless
As scatter'd the weak rays of human sight;
Her lips and cheeks a nobler red did shew,
Than e'er on fruits or flowers Heaven's pencil
From Merab's eyes fierce and quick lightnings
From Michal's, the Sun's mild, yet active, flame:
Met ab's long hair was glossy chesnut brown;
Tresses of palest gold did Michal crown.
Such was their outward form; and one might find
A difference not unlike it in the mind.
Merab with comely majesty and state
Bore high th' advantage of her worth and fate;
Such humble sweetness did soft Michal show,
That none who reach so high e'er stoop'd so low.
Merab rejoic’d in her wrack'd lovers' pain,
And fortify’d her virtue with disdain:
The griefs she caus'd, gave gentle Michal grief
(Sose wish’d her beauties less, for their relief);
Ev’n to her captives civil; yet th' excess
Ofnaked virtue guarded her no less. [vex;
Business and power Merab's large thoughts did
Her wit disdain'd the fetters of her sex :
Michal no less disdain’d affairs and noise,
Yet did it not from ignorance, but choice.
In brief, both copies were more sweetly drawn;
Merab of Saul, Michal of Jonathan.
“The day that David great Goliah slew,
Not great Goliah’s sword was more his due
Than Merab; by Saul’s public promise she
was sold then, and betroth'd to victory;
But haughty she did this just match despise
(Her pride debauch'd her judgment and her
An unknown youth, ne'er seen at court before,
Who'shepherd's staff, and shepherd's habit, bore,
The seventh-born son of no rich house—were still
Th’ unpleasant forms which her high thoughts.
did fill: And much aversion in her stubborn mind Was bred by being promis'd and design'd, Long had the patient Adriel humbly borne The roughest shocks of her imperious scorn: Adriel the rich; but riches were in vain, And could not set him free, nor her enchain. Long liv'd they thus;–but, as the hunted deer, Cloely pursued, quits all her wonted fear, And takes the nearest waves, which from the She oftwith horrour had beheld before: so So, whilst the violent maid from David fled, She leap'd to Adriel's long-avoided bed; The match was naum’d, agreed, and finish'd, straight; (So soon comply'd Saul's envy with her hate!) vol. Wil,
But Michal, in whose breast all virtues move,
That hatch the pregnant seeds of sacred love,
With juster eyes the noble object meets,
And turns all Merab's poison into sweets:
She saw, and wonder'd bow a youth unknown
Should make all fame to come so soon his own:
She saw, and wonder'd how a shepherd's crook
Despis'd that sword at which the sceptre shook;
Though he seventh-born, and tho' his house but
poor, She knew it noble was, and would be more. Oft had she heard, and fancy'd of the sight, With what a generous calm he march'd to fight; In the great danger how exempt from fear, And after it from pride, he did appear: Greatness and goodness, and an air divine, She saw through all his words and actions shine; She heard his eloquent tongue, and charming
yre, Whose artful sounds did violent love inspire, Though us’d all other passions to relieve: She weigh’d all this; and well we may conceive, When those strong thoughts attack'd her doubtful
breast, His beauty no less active than the rest. The fire thus kindled soon grew fierce and great, When David's breast reflected back its heat. Soon she perceiv'd (scarce can love hidden lie From any sight, much less the loving eye) She conqueror was, as well as overcome, And gain’d no less abroad than lost at home. Ev’n the first hour they met (for such a pair, Who in all mankind else so matchless were, Yet their own equals, Nature's self does wed) A mutual warmth through both their bosoms
spread: Fate gave the signal; both at once began The gentle race, and with just pace they ran. Ev’n so, methinks, when two fair tapers come From several doors, entering at once the room, With a swift flight, that leaves the eye behind, Their amorous lights into one light are join'd. Nature herself, were she to judge the case, Knew not which first began the kind embrace. Michal her modest flames sought to conceal, But love even th’ art to hide it does reveal: Her soft unpractis'd eyes betray'd the theft, Love pass'd through them, and there such foot
steps left! She blush’d when he approach'd, and when he
spoke; And suddenly her wandering answers broke At his name's sound; and, when she heard him
With concern'd haste her thoughtful looks she
rais'd. Uncall’d-for sighs oft from her bosom flew, And Adriel's active friend she abruptly grew. Oft, when the court's gay youth stood waiting She strove to act a cold mdifferency; [by, In vain she acted so constrain’d a part, For thousand nameless things disclos'd her heart. On th' other side, David with silent pain Did in respectful bounds his fires contain : His humble fear to offend, and trembling awe, Impos'd on him a no-less rigorous law Than modesty on her; and, though he strove To make her see ot, he durst not tell his love. To tellit first, the timorous youth made chuice Of Music's bolder and more active voice;
And thus, beneath her window, did he touch
His faithful lyre; the words and numbers such
As did well worth my memory appear,
And may perhaps deserve your princely ear:
*AWAKE, awake, my Lyre!
And tell thy silent master's humble tale,
In sounds that may prevail;
Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire:
Though so exalted she,
And I so lowly be,
Tell her, such different notes make all thy har-
“Hark! how the strings awake:
And, though the moving hand approach not near,
Themselves with awful fear,
A kind of numerous trembl.ng make.
Now all thy forces try,
Now all thy charms apply,
Revenge upon her ear the conquests of her eye.
‘Weak Lyre! thy virtue sure
ls useless here, since thou art only found
To cure, but not to wound,
And she to wound, but not to cure.
Too weak too wilt thou prove
My passion to remove,
Physic to other ills, thou 'rt nourishment to
“Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre?
For thou canst never tell my humble tale
In sounds that will prevail;
Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire :
All thy vain mirth lay by,
Bid thy strings silent lie,
Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre; and let thy mas-
“She heard all this, and the prevailing sound
Touch'd with delightful pain her tender wound.
Yet, though she joy'd th’ authentic news to hear,
Of what she guess'd before with jealous fear,
She check'd her forward joy, and blush'd for
And did his boldness with forc'd anger blame.
The senseless rules which first falsehonour taught,
And into laws the tyrant custom brought—
Which women's pride and folly did invent,
Their lovers and themselves too to torment,-
Made her next day a grave displeasure fain,
And all her words, and all her looks, constrain
Before the trembling youth; who, when he saw
His vital light her wonted beams withdraw,
He curs'd his voice, his fingers, and his lyre,
He curs'd his too-boldtongue, and bold desire;
In vain he cursed the last, for that still grew;
From all things food its strong complexion drew;
His joy and hope their cheerful motions eeas'd,
His life decay’d, but still his love increas'd;
Whilst she, whose heart approv’d nother disdain,
Saw and endur'd his pains with greater pain.
Rnt Jonathan, to whom both hearts were known,
With a concernmentequ ol to their own
Joyful that Heaven with" is sworn love comply'd
oraw that knot more 'ast which he had ty'd)
With well-tim'd zeal, and with an artful care,
Restor'd, and better'd soon, the nice affair.
With ease a brother's lawful power o'ercame
The formal decencies of virgin-shame.
She first with all her heart forgave the past,
Heard David tell his flames, and told her own at
Lo here the happy point of prosperous love!
Which ev’n enjoyment seldom can improve.
Themselves agreed, which scarce could fail
All Israel's wish concurrent with their own;
A brother's powerful aid firm to the side;
By solemn vow the king and father ty'd:
All jealous fears, all nice disguises, past,
All that in less-ripe love offends the taste;
In either's breast their souls both meet and wed,
Their heart the nuptial-temple and the bed.
And, though the grosser cates were yet not drest,
By which their bodies must supply this feast,
Bold hopes prevent slow pleasure's lingeringbirth,
As saints, assur'd of Heaven, enjoy 'ton Earth.
All this the king observ'd; and well he saw
What scandal, and what danger, it might draw
To oppose this just and popular match; but meant
To out-malice all refusals by consent.
He meant the poisonous grant should mortal
He meant to ensnare his virtue by his love:
And thus he to him spoke, with more of art
And fraud, than well became the kingly part:-
“Your valour, David, and high worth, saidhe,
To praise is all men's duty, mine to see
Rewarded; and we shall to our utmost powers
Do with like care that part, as you did yours.
Forbid it, God! we like those kings should prove,
Who fear 'the virtues which they ’re bound to
Your piety does that tender point secure,
Norwill my acts such humble thoughts endure:
Your nearness to't rather supports the crown,
And th’ honours given to you increase our own.
All that we can we'll give ; ’tis our intent,
Both as a guard and as an ornament, [prote,
To place thee next ourselves; Heaven does ap-
And my son's friendship, and my daughter's
Guide fatally, methinks, my willing choice;
I see, methinks, Heaven in 't, and I rejoice.
Blush not, my son 1 that Michal's love I name,
Nor need she blush to hear it; 'tis no shame
Nor secret now; fame does it loudy tell,
And all men but thy rivals like it well.
If Merab's choice could have complied with mino,
Merab, my elder comfort, had been thine:
And her’s, at last, should have with mine com-
Had I not thine and Michal's heart descry’d.
Take whom thou lov'st, and who loves thee; to
And dearest present made me by the chaste
Ahinoam; and, unless she me deeeive,
When I to Jonathan my crown shall leave,
*Twill be a smaller gift.
If Ithy generous thoughts may undertake
To guess, they are what jointure thou shaltmako
Fitting her birth and fortune: and, since so
Custom ordains, we mean to exact it too.
The jointure we exact is, that shall be
No less advantage to thy fame than she.
Go where Philistian troops infest the land,
Renew the terrous of thy conquering hands
When thine own hand, which needs must con-
In thisjoint cause of honour and of love,
An hundred of the faithless foe shall slay,
And for adower their hundred foreskins pay,
Be Michal thy reward: did we not know
Thymighty fate, and worth that makes itso,
We should not cheaply that dear blood expose,
Which we to mingle with our own had chose :
But thou’rt secure; and, since this match of
We to the public benefit design, [thine
A public good shall its beginning grace,
And give triumphantomens of thy race.”
“Thus spoke the king: the happy youth bow’d
Modest and graceful his great joy did show;
The noble task well pleas'd his generous mind,
And nought to except against it could he find,
But that his mistress' price too cheap appeard;
No danger, but her scorn of it, he fear'd.
She with much different sense the news receiv'd,
At her high rate she trembled, blush'd, and
‘Twas a less work the conquest of his foes,
Than to obtain her leave his lifet” expose.
Their kind debate on this soft point would prove
Tedious, and needless, to repeat: if love
(As sure it has) eer touch'd your princely
y *Twill to your gentle thoughts at full suggest All that was done, or said; the grief, hope, fears; His troubled joys, and her obliging tears. on all the pomp of passion's reign they part; And bright prophetic forms enlarge his heart: Victory and fame, and that more quick delight Of the rich prize for which he was to fight. “Tow’rds Gath he went, and in one month (so A fatal and a willing work is done!) [soon A double dower, two hundred foreskins, brought of choice Philistian knights with whom he fought, Men that in birth and valour did excel, Fit for the cause and hand by which they fell. Now was Saul caught; nor longer could delay The two resistless lovers' happy day. [slow, Though this day's coming long had seem'd and Yet seem'dits stay as long and tedious now; For, now the violent weight of eager love Did with more haste so near its centre move, He curs’d the stops of form and state which lay In this last stage, like scandals, in his way. “On a large gentle hill crown'd with tall wood, Near where the regal Gabaah proudly stood, A tent was pitch'd, of green wrought damask made, And seem'd but the fresh forest's natural shade,; Various and vast within, on pillars borne Of Shittim-wood, that usefully adorn, Hither to grace the nuptial-feast, does Saul Of the twelve tribes th' elders and captains call: And all around the idle, busy crowd With shouts and blessings tell their joy aloud. Lo! the press breaks, and from their several homes In decent pride the bride and bridegroom comes. Before the bride, in along double row With solemn pace thirty choice virgins go, And make a moving galaxy on Earth;
&II heavenly beauties, all of highest birth;
All clad in liveliest colours, fresh and fair
As the bright flowers that crown'd their brighter
All in that new-blownage which does inspire
Warmth in themselves, in their beholders fire.
But all this, and all else the Sun did e'er,
Or Fancy see, in her less-bounded sphere,
The bride herself outshone; and one would say
They made but the faint dawn to her full day.
Behind a numerous train of ladies went,
Who on theirdress much fruitless care had spent;
Vain gems, and unregarded cost, they bore,
For all men's eyes were ty'd to those before. .
The bridegroom's flourishing troop fill'd next the
With thirty comely youths of noblest race,
That march'd before; and Heaven around his
The graceful beams of joy and beauty spread.
So the glad star, which men and angels love,
Prince of the glorious host that shines above
(No light of Heaven so chearful or so gay)
Lifts up his sacred lamp, and opens day.
The king himself, at the tent's crowned gate,
In all his robes of ceremony and state,
Sate to receive the train; on either hand
Did the high-priest and the great prophet stand:
Adriel, behind, Jonathan, Abner, Jesse,
And all the chiefs in their due order press.
First Saul declar'd his choice, and the just cause
Avow’d by a general murmur of applause;
Then sign'd her dower; and in few words he
And blest, and gave the joyful, trembling maid
To her lover's hands; who, with a cheerful look
And humble gesture, the vast present took.
The nuptial-hymn straight sounds, and musics
And feasts and balls shorten the thoughtless day
To all but to the wedded; till at last
The long-wish’d night did her kind shadow cast;
At last th' inestimable hour was come
To lead his conquering prey in triumph home.
T’a palace near, drest for the nuptial-bed,
(Part of her dower) he his fair princess led;
Saul, the high-priest, and Samuel, here they
Who, as they part, their weighty blessings give.
Her wail is now put on ; and at the gate
The thirty youths and thirty virgins wait
With golden lamps,brightas the flames they bore,
To light the nuptial-pomp and march before;
The rest bring home in state the happy pair,
To that last scene of bliss, and leave them there
All those free joys insatiably to prove,
With which rich Beauty feasts the glutton Love.
“But scarce, alas! the first seven days were
past, In which the public nuptial triumphs last, When Saul this new alliance did repent (Such subtle cares his jealous thoughts torment!) He envy'd the good work himself had done; Fear'd David less his servant than hisson. No longer his wild wrath could he command; He seeks to stain his own imperial band In his son's hlood; and, that twice cheated too, With troops and armies does one life pursue. Said Ibut one' his thirsty rage extends To th’ lives of all his kindred and his friends !
Ev’n Jonathan had dy'd for being so,
Had not just God put-by th’ unnatural blow.
“You see, sir, the true cause which brings us
No sullen discontent, or groundless fear;
No guilty actor end calls us from home;
Only to breathe in peace awhile we come;
Ready to serve, and in mean space to pray
For you, who us receive, and him who, drives
Moab carries his guest to hunt at Nebo ; in the way falls into discourse with David, and desires to know of him the reasons of the change of government in Israel; how Saul came to the crown, and the story of him and Jonathan. David's speech, containing the state of the commonwealth under the Judges; the motives for which the people desired a king; their deputies' speech to Samuel upon that subject, and his reply. The assembling of the people at the tabernacle, to inquire God's pleasure. God's speech. The character of Saul; his anointing by Samuel, and election by lot; the defection of his people. The war of Nahash king of Ammon against JabeshGilead; Saul and Jonathan's relieving of the town. Jonathan's character;his single fight with Nahash, whom he slays, and defeats his army. The confirmation of Saul's kingdom at Gilgal, and the manner of Samuel's quitting his of. fice of judge. The war with the Philistines at Macmas: their strength, and the weakness of Saul's forces; his exercising of the priestly function, and the judgment denounced by Samuel against him. Jonathan's discourse with his esquire; their falling alone upon the enemy's
out-guards at Senes, and after upon the whole army; the wonderful defeat of it. Saul’s rash vow, by which Jonathan is to be put to death, but is saved by the people.
Though state and kind discourse thus robb'd
Of half her natural and more just delight,
Moab (whom tempeiance did still vigorous keep,
And regal cares had us’d to moderate sleep)
Up with the Sun arose; and, having thrice
With lifted handsbow'd towards his shining rise,
And thrice tow’rds Phegor,his Baal's holiest hill,
(With good and pious prayers, directed ill)
Call'd to the chase his friends, who for him
The glad togs.bark'd, the cheerful horses neigh’d.
Moab his chariot mounts, drawn by four steeds,
The best and noblest that fresh Zerith breeds,
All white as snow, and spriteful as the light,
With scarlet trapt,and foaming gold they bite.
He into it young David with him took,
19id with respect and wonder on him look
Since last night's story, and with greedier ear
The man, of whom so much he heard, did hear.
The well-born youth of all his flourishing court
March gay behind, and joyful, to the sport;.
Some arm'd with bows, some with straight jave.
lins, ride; - -
Rich swords and gilded quivers grace their side.
"Midst the fair troop David's tall brethren rode,
And Joab, comely as a fancied god;
They entertain'd th' attentive Moab lords
With loose and various talk that chance affords,
Whilst they pac'd slowly on; but the wise kin;
Did David's tongue to weightier subjects bring.
“Much,” said the king, “ much I to Joab owe,
For the fair picture drawn by him of you;
'Twas drawn in little, but did acts express
So great, that largest histories are less.
I see, methinks, the Gathian monster still ;
His shape last might my mindful dreams did fill.
Strange tyrant, Saul, with envy to pursue
The praise of deeds whence his own safety grew!
I've heard (but who can think it?) that his son
Has his life's hazard for your friendship run;
His matchless son, whose worth (if fame be true)
Lifts him 'bove all his countrymen but you,
With whom it makes him one.” Low David
But no reply Moab's swift tongue allows.
“And pray, kind guest! whilst we ride thus,”
“ (To gameful Nebo still three leagues there be)
The story of your royal friend relate,
And his ungovern'd sire's imperious fate; ,
Why your great state that nameless family
And by what steps to Israel's throne they
He said: and David thus:“From Egypt's land
You've heard, sir, by what strong unarmed hand
Our fathers came, Moses their sacred guide;
But he in sight of the given country dy’d:
His fatal promis'd Canaan was on high,
And Joshua's sword must the active rod supply:
It did so, and did wonders.
From sacred Jordan to the Western main,
From well-clad Libanus to the Southern plain
Of naked sands his winged conquest went:
And thirty kings to Hell uncrown'd he sent.
Almost four hundred years, from him to Saul,
In too much freedom past, or foreign thrall.
Oft strangers' iron sceptres bruis'd the land,
(Such still are those borne by a conquering hand)
Oft pitying God did well-form'd spirits raise,
Fit for the toilsome business of their days,
To free the groaning nation, and to give
Peace first, and then the rules in peace to live.
But they whose stamp of power did chiefly lie
In characters too fine for most men's eye,
Graces and gifts divine—not painted bright
With state to awe dull minds, and force to as-
were ill obey'd whilst living, and at death . .
Their rules and pattern vanish'd with their
The hungry rich all near them did devour;
Their judge was Appetite, and their law was
Not want itself could luxury restrain;
For what that emptied, Rapine sill'd again.
*y the field, oppression sack'd the town; What the sword's reaping spard, was glean'd by th’ gown. At courts and seats of justice to complain, w as to be robb'd more vexingly again. Nor was their lust less active or less bold, Amidst this rougher search of blood and gold; Weak beauties they corrupt, and force the strong; The pride of old men that, and this of young. You 'ave heard perhaps, sir, of lewd Gibeah's shame, Which Hebrew tongues still tremble when they Alarmed all by one fair stranger's eyes, [name: As to a sudden war, the town does rise, Shaking and pale, half-dead ere they begin The strange and wanton tragedy of their sin: All their wild lusts they force her to sustain, Till by shame, sorrow, weariness, and pain, She mids’t their loath'd and cruel kindness dies; of monstrous Lust the innocent sacrifice. This did, 'tis true, a civil war create (The frequent curse of our loose govern'd state); All Gibeah's, and all Jabesh blood it cost; Near a whole tribe, and future kings, we lost. Firm in this general earthquake of the land, How could religion, its main pillar, stand? Proud and fond man his Father's worship hates, Himself, God’s creature, his own god creates : Hence in each household several deities grew, And when no old one pleas'd they fram’d a new: The only land which serv'd but one before, Todth' only then all nations’ gods adore. They serv'd their gods at first, and soon their kings, Their choice of that this latterslavery brings) Till special men, arm'd with God's warrant, broke By justest force th' unjustly-forced yoke; All matchless persons, and thrice worthy they of power more great, or lands more apt to obey. Atlast the priesthood join'd, in Ithamar's son, More weight and lustre to the sceptre won; But, whilst mild Eliand good Samuel were Busied with age, and th' altar's sacred care, To their wild sons they their high charge commit, Who expose to scorn and hate both them and it. Eli's curs'd house th' exemplar vengeance bears Of all their blood, and all sad Israel's tears; His sons abroad, himself at home, lies slain; Israel's captivod, God's ark and law are ta'en. Thus twice are nations by ill princes vex'd, They suffer by them first, and for them next. Samuel succeeds;–since Moses, none before So much of God in his bright bosom bore. Invain our arms Philistian tyrants seiz'd ; Heaven's magazines he open'd when be pleas'd : He rains and winds for auxiliariesbrought; He muster'd flames and thunders when he fought. Thus thirty years with strong and steady hand He held th’umshaken balance of the land; At last his sons th’ indulgent father chose To share that state which they were born to lose:
Their hateful acts that change's birth did haste, Which had long growth i' th' womb of ages past. To this (for still were some great periods set, There's astrong kuot of several causes met)
The threats concurr'd of a rough neighbouring war; A mighty storm long gathering from afar; For Ammon, heighten’d with mix’d nations' aid, Like torrents swoln with rain, prepar'd the land t’ invade. Samuel was old, and, by his sons' ill choice, Turn'd dotard in th' unskilful vulgar's voice; His sons so scorn’d and hated, that the land Nor hop'd, nor wish'd, a victory from their hand, These were the just and faultless causes why The general voice did for a monarch cry; But God ill grains did in this incense smell; Wrapp'd in fair leaves he saw the canker dwell: A mutinous itch of change; a dull despair Of helps divine, oft prov’d; a faithless care Of common means; the pride of heart and scorn Of th’ humble yoke under low judges borne. They saw the state and glittering pomp which In vulgar sense the sceptres of the East; [blest They saw not power's true source, and scorn'd to obey Persons that look'd no dreadfuller than thcy; They miss'd courts, guards, a gay and numerous train— Our judges, like their laws, were rudeandplaim:— On an old bench of wood, her seat of state Beneath the well-known palm, wise Deborah sate; Her maids with comely diligence round her spun, And she too, when the pleadings there were done: With the same goad Shamgar his oxen drives Which took, the sum before, six hundred lives From his sham'd foes: he midst his work dealt laws; And oft was his plough stopp'd to hear a cause: Nor did great Gideon his old flail disdain, After won fields, sack'd towns, and princes slain His sceptre that, and Ophra's threshing-àoor The seat and emblem of his justice bore. What should I Jair, the happiest father, name? Or mournful Jephtha, known no less to Fame For the most wretched Both at once did keep The mighty flocks of Israel and their sheep. Oft from the field in haste they summon'd wereSome weighty foreign embassy to hear; They cali'd their slaves, their sons, and friends, around, Who all at several cares were scatter'd found; They wash'd their feet, their only gown puton, And this chief work of ceremony was done. These reasons, and all else that could be said, In a ripe hour by factious Eloquence spread Through all the tribes, make all desire a king; And to their judge selected deputies bring This harsh demand ; which Nacol for the rest (A bold and artful mouth) thus with much grace express'd :— ‘We’re come, most sacred Judge ' to pay the arrears Of much-ow'd thanks, for the bright thirty years Of yourjust reign ; and at your feet to lay All that our grateful hearts can weakly pay In unproportion'd words; for you alone The not unfit reward, who seek for none. But, when our forepast ills we call to mind, And sadly think how little's left behind of your important life, whose sudden date Would disinherit th' unprovided state ;