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When we consider how unjust 'tis, you,
But why this yoke on your own necksto draw? Who ne'er of power more than the burthen knew, Why man your God, and passion made your law?" At once the weight of that and age should have, "Methinks” (thus Moab interrupts him here) (Your stooping days press'd doubly towards the “ The good old seer 'gainst kings was too severe. grave);
"Tis jest to tell a people that they're free: When we behold by Ammon's youthful rage, Who, or how many, shall their masters be Proud in th' advantage of your peaceful age, Is the sole doubt, laws guide, but cannot reign; And all th' united East, our fali conspir'd; And, though they bind not kings, yet they reAnd that your sons, whom chiefly we desir'd
strain. As stamps of you, in your lov'd room to place, I dare affirm (so much I trust their love) By unlike acts that noble stamp deface; That no one Moabite would his speech approve. Midst these new fears and ills were forc'd to fly But, pray go on.”—“Tis true, sir," he replies, T a new, and yet unpractis'd, remedy:
“ Yet men whom age and action render wise A new one, but long promis'd, and foretold So much great changes fear, that they believe By Moses, and to Abraham shown of old; All evils will, which may, from them arrive. A prophecy long forming in the womb
On men resolv'd these threats were spent in vain; Of teeming tears, and now to ripeness come, All that his power or eloquence could obtain This remedy 's a king ; for this we all
Was, to inquire God's will ere they proceed With an inspir'd and zealous union call : T a work that would so much his blessing need. And, in one sound when all men's voices join, A solemn day for this great work is set, The music's tun'd, no doubt, by hand divine: And at th' anointed tent all Israel met 'Tis God alone speaks a whole nation's voice; Expect th’ event; below, fair bullocks fry That is his public language ; but the choice In hallow'd fames; above, there mount on high Of what peculiar head that crown must bear, The precious clouds of incense ; and, at last, From you, who his peculiar organ are,
The sprinkling, prayers, and all due honours, We expect to hear : the people shall to you
past, Their king, the king his crown and people, owe. Lo! we the sacred bells o'th' sudden hear, To your great name what lustre will it bring And in mild pomp grave Samuel does appear. T have been our judge, and to have made our His ephod, mitre, well-cut diadem, on; king!
Th' oraculous stones on his rich breast-plate "He bow'd, and ended here; and Samuel straight, shone. Pausing awhile at this great question's weight, Tow'rds the blue curtains of God's holiest place With a grave sigh, and with a thoughtful eye, (The temple's bright third Heaven) he turned his That more of care than passion did descry.
face ; Calmly replies-- You 're sure the first,' said he, Thrice bow'd he, thrice the solemn music play'd,
Of freeborn men that begg'd for slavery, And at third rest thus the great prophet pray'd:I fear, my friends, with heavenly mama fed, * Almighty God, to whom all men that be! (Our old forefathers' crime) we lust for bread. Owe all they have, yet none so much as we; Long since by God from bondage drawn, 1 fear, Who, though thou fill'st the spacious world alone, We build anew th' Egypt an brick-kiln here. Thy.too-small court, hast made this place thy Cheat not yourselves with words; for, though a throne; king
With humble knees,and humbler hearts, lo! here, Be the mild name, a tyrant is the thing.
Blest Abraham's seed implores thy gracious ear; Let his power loose, and you shall quickly see Hear them, great God! and thy just will inspire; How mild a thing unbounded man will be. From thee, their long-known King, they a king He'll lead you forth your hearts' cheap blood to desire. spill,
Some gracious signs of thy good pleasure send; Where'er his guideless passion leads his will : Which lo! with souls resign’d, we humbly here Ambition, lust, or spleen, his wars will raise;
attend.” Your lives' best price his thirst of wealth or praise: • Fle spoke and thrice he bow'd, and all about Your ablest sons for his proud guards he'll take, Silence and reverend horrour seiz'd the rout; And by such hands your yoke more grievous The whole tent shakes, the flames on th' altar by make :
In thick dull rolls mount slow and heavily ; Your daughters and dear wives he'll force away; The seven lamps wink; and, what does most disHis luxury some, and some his lust, t'obey,
may, His idle friends your hungry toils shall eat, Th'oraculous gums shut-in their natural day; Drink your rich wines, mix'd with your blood The ruby's cheek grew pale; the emerald by and sweat,
Faded ; a cloud o'ercast the sapphir's sky; Then you 'll all sigh, but sighs will treasons be; The diamond's eye look'd sleepy; and swift night, And not your griefs themselves, or looks, be free: Of all those little suns eclips'd the light : Robb'd ev'n of hopes, when you these ills sus- Sad signs of God's dread anger for our sin :tain,
But straight a wondrous brightness from within Your watery eyes you 'll then turn back in vain Strook through the curtains; for no earthly On your old judges, and perhaps on me,
(shroud; Nay, ev'n my suns, howe'er they unhappy be Could those strong beams of heavenly glory In your dispicasure now; not that I'd clear The altar's fire burn'd pure, and every stone Their guilt, or mine own innocence endear: Their radiant parent, the gay, Sun out-shoue; Witness th’unutterable Name, there's nought Beauty th' illustrious vision did impart of private ends into this question brought To every face, and joy to every heart;
In glad effects God's presence thus appear'd, Brought simply with him to that man to give, And thus in wondrous sounds his voice was From whom high Heaven's chief gifts he must heard :
[things * This stubborn land sins still, nor is it thee, but Strange play of Fate! when mightiest human
Hang on such small, imperceptible strings ! (Who’ave been so long their king) they seek to 'Twas Samuel's birth-day; a glad annual feast cast off thus;
[strove all Rama kept ; Samuel his wondering guest Five hundred rolling years hath this stiff nation with such respect leads to it, and does grace T exhaust the boundless stores of our unfathom'd With the choice meats o th' feast, and highest lore.
place; Be't so then; yet once more are we resolvd to try which done, him forth alone the prophet brings, Toutweary them through all their sins variety: And feasts his ravish'd ears with nobler things: Assemble, ten days hence, the numerous people He tells the mighty fate to him assign'd, here,
And with great rules filPd his capacious mind; To draw the royal lot which our hid mark shall Then takes the sacred vial, and does shed bear.
A crown of mystic drops around his head; Dismiss them now in peace ; but their next crime Drops of that royal moisture which does know shall bring
No mixture, and disdains the place below. Ruin without redress on them, and on their king.' Soon comes the kingly day, and with it bringe * Th’ Almighty spoke; th' astonish'd people A new account of time upon his wings. part
The people met, the rites and prayers all past, With various stamps impress'd on every heart: Behold! the heaven-instructed lot is cast ; Some their demand repented, others prais'd ; "Tis taught by Heaven its way, and cannot miss ; Some had no thoughts at all, but star'dand gaz'd. Forth Benjamin, forth leaps the house of Cis:
**There dwelt a man,nam'd Cis,in Gibeah town, As glimmering stars, just at th' approach of day For wisdom much, and much for courage, known; Cashier'd by troops, at last drop all away; More for his son; his mighty son was Saul, By such degrees all men's bright hopes are gone, Whom nature, ere the lots, ta throne did call. And, like the Sun, Saul's lot shines all alone. He was much prince, and when, or wheresoe'er, Ev'n here perhaps the people's shout was heard, His birth had been, then had he reign’d, and The loud long sinout, when God's fair choice apo there.
pear'd: Such beauty, as great strength thinks no dis- Above the whole vast throng he appeared so tall, grace,
As if by Nature made for th' head of all; Smild in the manly features of his face; So full of grace and state, that one might know His large, black eyes, fill'd with a spriteful light, 'Twas some wise eye the blind lot guided so : Shot forth such lively and illustrious night, But blind unguided lots have more of choice As the Sun-beams, on jet reflecting, show; And constancy than the slight vulgar's voice. His hair, as black, in long curld waves did flow; Ere yet the crown of sacred oil is dry, His tall straight body amidst thousands stood, Whilst echoes yet preserve the joyful cry, Like some fair pine o'erlooking all th' ignobler Some grow enrag'd their own vain hopes to miss, wood.
Some envy Saul, some scorn the house of Cis: Of all our rural sports he was the pride; Some their first mutinous wish, ‘a king ! reSo swift, so strong, so dextrous, none beside.
pent, Rest was his toil, labours his lust and game; As if, since that, quite spoil'd by God's consent : No natural wants could his fierce diligence tame, Few to this prince their first just duties pay :: Not thirst nor hunger; he would journeys go All leave the old, but few the new obey. Through raging heals, and take repose in snow. Thus changes man, but God is constant still His soul was ne'er unbent from weighty care; To those eternal grounds that mov'd his will; But active as some mind that turns a sphere. And, though he yielded first to them, 'tis fit His way once chose, he forward thrust outright, That stubborn men at last to him submit. Nor step'd aside for dangers or delight.
As midst the main a low small island lies, Yet was he wise all dangers to foresee;
Assaulted round with stormy seas and skies, But born t' aflright, and not to fear was he. Whilst the poor heartless natives, every hour, His wit was strong, not fine; and on his tongue Darkness and noise seem ready to devour; An artless grace, above all eloquence, hung. Such Israel's state appear'd, whilst o'er the west These virtues too the rich unusual dress Philistian clouds hung threatening, and from th Of modesty adorn'd, and humbleness;
east Like a rich varnish o'er fair pictures laid, All nations' wrath into one tempest joins, More fresh and lasting they the colours made. Through which proud Nahash like fierce light Till power and violent fortune, which did find ning shines; No stop or bound, o'erwhelm'd no less his mind, Tygris and Nile to his assistance send, Did, deluge-like, the natural forms deface, And waters to swoln Jaboc's torrent lend; And brought forth unknown monsters in their Seir, Edom, Soba, Amalek, add their force ; place.
Up with them march the three Arabias' horse; Forbid it, God! my master's spots should be, And, 'mongst all these, none more their hope or Were they not seen by all, disclos'd by me!
pride, But such he was; and now to Ramah went Than those few troops your warlike land sup (So God dispos'd) with a strange, low intent.
ply'd. Great God! he went lost asses to inquire, Around weak Japesh this vast host does lie, And a small present, his small question's hire, Disdains a dry and bloodless victory.
The hopeless town for slavery does entreat; But his chief study is God's sacred law,
And all these virtues were to ripeness grown, This bargain for o'er-rated life is made.
Ere yet his flower or youth was fully blown ; Ah, mighty God! let thine own Israel be All autumn's store did his rich spring adom; Quite blind itself, ere this reproach it see! Like trees in Paradise, he with fruit was born.
“ By his wanton people the new king forsook, Such is his soul; and if, as some men tell, To homely, rural cares himself betook;
Souls form and build those mansions where they In private plenty liv'd, without the state,
dwell, Lustre, and noise, due to a public fate.
Whoe'er but sees his body must confess, Whilst he his slaves and cattle follows home, The architect, no doubt, could be no less. Lo ! the sad messengers, from Jabesh come, From Saul his growth and manly strength hetook, Implore his help, and weep, as if they meant Chastis'd by bright Ahinoam's gentler look; That way at least proud Nahash to prevent. Not bright Ahinoam, Beauty's loudest name, Mov'd with a kingly wrath, his strict command (Till she t' her children lost with joy her fame) He issues forth t' assemble all the land ;
Had sweeter strokes, colours more fresh and fair, He threatens high, and disobedient they,
More darting eyes, or lovelier auburn hair. Wak'd by such princely terrours, learnt t'obey. Forgive me, that I thus your patience wrong, A mighty host is rais'd; th' important cause And on this boundless subject stay so long, Age from their rest, youth from their pleasure, Where too much haste ever to end 'twould be, draws;
Did not his acts speak what's untold by me. Arm'd as unfurnish'd haste could them provide ; | Though, from the time his hands a sword could But conduct, courage, anger, that supply'd.
wield, All night they march, and are at th' early dawn He ne'er miss'd fame and danger in the field, On Jabesh' heath in three fair bodies drawn : Yet this was the first day that call'd him forth, Saul did himself the first and strongest band, Since Saul's bright crown gave lustre to his worth; His son the next, Abner the third, command. 'Twas the last morning whose uncheerful rise But pardon, sir, if, naming Saul's great son, Sad Jabesh was to view with both their eyes. I stop with him awhile ere I go on.
Secure proud Nahash slept, as in his court, “ This is that Jonathan, the joy and grace, And dreamt, vain man ! of that day's barbarous The beautifull'st and best, of human race; Till noise and dreadful tumults him awoke;[sport, That Jonathan, in whom does mix'd remain I'll into his camp our violent army broke. All that kind mothers' wishes can contain ! The careless guards with small resistance killd, His courage such as it no stop can know, Slaughter the camp, and wild confusion, fill'd; And victory gains by astonishing the foe; Nahash his fatal duty does perform, With lightning's force his enemies it confounds, And marches boldly up t outface the storm; And melts their hearts ere it the bosom wounds; Fierce Jonathan he meets, as he pursues Yet he the conquer'd with such sweetness gains, Th’ Arabian horse, and a hot fight renews : As captive lovers find in beauty's chains: 'Twas here your troops behav'd themselves so In war, the adverse troops he does assail
well, Like an impetuous storm of wind and hail; Till Uz and Jathan, their stout colonels, fell. In peace, like gentlest dew that does assuage 'Twas here our victory stopp'd, and gave us cause The burning months, and temper Syrius' rage; Much to suspect th' intention of her pause; Kind as the Sun's blest influence ; and, where'er But, when our thundering prince Nahash espy'd, He comes, plenty and joy attend him there : (Who, with a courage equal to his pride, To help seems all his power ; his wealth, to give; Broke through our troops, and tow'rds him boldy To do much good, his sole prerogative :
press'd) And yet this general bounty of his mind, A generous joy leap'd in his youthful breast : That with wide arms embraces all mankind, As when a wrathful dragon's dismal light Such artful prudence does to each divide, Strikes suddenly some warlike eagle's s.ght, With different measures all are satisfy'd ; The mighty foe pleases his fearless eyes, Just as wise God his plenteous manna dealt ; He claps his joyful wings, and at him flies. Some gather'd more, but want by none was felt. With vain though violent force their darts they To all relations their just rights he pays,
In Ammon's plated belt Jonathan's bung, [fun; And worth's reward above its claimdoes raise; And stopp'd there ; Ammon did his helmet hit, The tenderest husband, master, father, son, And, gliding off, bore the proud crest from it; And all those parts by his friendship far outdone; Straight with their swords to the fierce shock thuy His love to friends no bound or rule does know,
came, What he to Heaven, all that to him they owe. Their swords, their armour, and their eyes, shut Keen as his sword, and pointed, is his wit ;
flame; His judgment, like best armour, strong and fit ; Blows strong as thunder, thick as rain, they And such an eloquence to both these does join,
dealt, As makes in both beauty and use combine; Which more than they th' engag'd spectators felt; Through which a noble tincture does appear, In Ammon force, in Jonathan address By learning and choice books imprinted there: (Though both were great in both to an excess) As well he knows all times and persons gone, To the well-judging eye did most appear As he himself to th' future shall be known : Honour and anger
in both equal were,
Two wounds our prince receiv'd and Ammon three, How the torn state his just and prudent reign
[he, Shaking his tail, ready with joy to fly,
Whom they depos'd with him— And that,' said Just as it drops, upon the wounded prey :
You may see God concern'd in t more than me, Su waited Death itself to bear away
Behold how storms his angry presence shroud The threaten'd life ; did glad and greedy stand Hark how his wrath in thunder threats aloud !" At sight of mighty Ammon's lifted hand. 'Twas now the ripen'd summer's highest rage ; Our watchful prince by bending sav'd the wound: Which no faint cloud durst meditate to assuage; But Death in other coin his reckoning found; Th’ Earth hot with thirst, and hot with lust for For whilst th' immoderate stroke's miscarrying
Gap'd and breath'd feeble vapours up in vain, Had almost borne the striker from his horse, Which straight were scatter'd or devour'd by th’ A nimble thrust his active enemy made ; (blade, Sun ; 'Twixt his right ribs deep piercd the furious When, lo! here scarce the active speech was done, And opened wide those secret vessels, where A violent wind rose from his secret cave, Life's light goes out, when first they let in air. And troops of frighted clouds before it drave : He falls ! his armour clanks against the ground, Whilst with rude haste the confus'd tempest From his faint tongue imperfect curses sound.
crouds, His amaz'd troops straight cast their arms away; Swift, dreadful flames shot through th’ encounScarce fled his soul from thence more swift than tring clouds,
From whose torn womb th’ imprison'd thunder As when two kings of neighbour hives, (whom rage And in dire sounds the prophet's sense it spoke ; And thirst of empire in fierce wars engage,
Such an impetuous shower it downwards sent, Whilst each lays claim to th' garden as his own, As if the waters 'bove the firmament And seeks t' usurp the bordering flowers alone) Were all let loose ; horrour and fearful noise Their well armed troops drawn boldly forth to Filld the black scene ; till the great prophet's fight,
voice, In th' air's wide plain dispute their doubtful Swift as the wings of Morn, reduc'd the day; If by sad chance of battle either king [right; Wind, thunder, rain, and clouds, fled all at once Fall wounded down, strook with some fatal sting, away.
[moves, His army's hopes and courage with him die; Fear pot,' said he ; 'God his fierce wrath reThey sheathe up their faint swords, and routed And, though this state my service disapproves, fly.
My prayers shall serve it constantly. No more, On th' other sides at once, with like success, I hope a pardon for past sins to implore; into the camp great Saul and Abner press; But just rewards from gracious Heaven to bring From Jonathan's part a wild mix'd noise they hear, On the good deeds of you, and of our king. And, whatsoe'er it mean, long to be there;
Behold him there ! and as you see, rejoice At the same instant from glad Jabesh' town In the kind care of God's impartial choice. The hasty troops march loud and cheerful down; Behold his beauty, courage, strength, and wit ! Some few at first with vain resistance fall, The honour Heaven has cloathed him with, sits The rest is slaughter and vast conquest all. And comely on him ; since you needs must be [fit The fate by which our host thus far had gone, Rul'd by a king, you're happy that 'tis he. Our host with noble heat drove farther on; Obey him gladly; and let him to know Victorious arms through Ammon's land it bore ; You were not made for him, but he for you, Ruin behind, and Terrour march'd before: (sight, and both for God; Where'er from Rabba's towers they cast their whose gentlest yoke if once you cast away, Smoke clouds the day, and flames make clear the In vain shall he command, and you obey; night.
To foreign tyrants both shall slaves become, This bright success did Saul's first action bring; Instead of king and subjects here at home.' The oil, the lot, and crown, less crown'd, him "The crown thus several ways confirm'd to Saul, The happy, all men judge for empire fit, [king : One way was wanting yet to crown them all ; And none withstands where Fortune does submit. And that was force, which only can mainiain Those who before did God's fair choice withstand, The power that Fortune gives,orWorth does gain. TH' excessive vulgar now to death demand; Three thousand guards of big bold men he took ; But wiser Saul repeald their hasty doom;
Tall, terrible, and guards ev'n with their look : Conquest abroad, with mercy crown'd at home; His sacred person two, and throne, defend ; Nor stain'd with civil slaughter that day's pride, The third, on matchless Jonathan attend; Which foreign blood in nobler purple dy'd. O'er whose full thoughts honour, and youthful Again the crown th' assembled people give,
heat, With greater joy than Saul could it receive; Sate brooding, to hatch actions good and great. Again th' old judge resigns his sacred place On Geba first, where a Philistian band (God glorify'd with wonders his disgrace); Lies, and around torments the fetter'd land. With decent pride, such as did well befit He falls, and slaughters all ; bis noble rage The name he kept, and that which he did quit : Mix'd with design his nation to engage The long past row of happy years he show'd In that just war, which from them long in vain, Which to bis heavenly government they owd; Honour and Freedom's voice had strore t'obtain.
Th’ accurs'à Philistian, rous'd with this bold ( To kingly power, in all that plenteous land, blow,
Where all things else submit to bis command. All the proud inarks of enrag'd power does show; And, as fair Eden's violated tree Raises a vast, well-arm'd, and glittering host : T'immortal man brought in mortality : If human strength might authorize a boast, So shall that crown, which God eternal meant, Their threats bad reason here ; for ne'er did we From thee,'said he,ʻand thy great house be rent; Ourselves so weak, or foe so potent, see. Thy crime shall death to all thine honours send, Here we vast bodies of their foot espy,
And give thy immortal royalty an end. The rear out-reaches far th' extended eye; Thus spoke the prophet; but kind Heaven, we Like fields of corn their armed squadrons stand; hope, As thick and numberless they hide the land. (Whose threats and anger know no other scope, Here with sharp neighs the warlike horses sound, But man's amendment) does long since relent, And with proud prancings beat the putrid ground; And, with repentant Saul, itself repent. Here with worse noise three thousand chariots Howe'er (though none more pray for this than we, pass,
Whose wrongs and sufferings might some colour be With plates of iron bound, or louder brass ; To do it less) this speech we sadly find About it forks, axes, and scythes, and spears, Still extant, and still active in his mind; Whole magazines of death each chariot bears; But then a worse effect of it appear'd Where it breaks in, there a whole troop it mows, Our army, which before modestly feard, And with lopp'd panting limbs the field be- Which did by stealth and by degrees decay, strows :
Disbanded now, and fled in troops away: Alike, the valiant and the cowards die;
Base fear so bold and impudent does grow, Neither can they resist, nor can these fly. When an excuse and colour it can show ! In this proud equipage, at Macmas they, Six hundred only (scarce a princely train) Sanl in much different state at Gilgal, lay; Of all bis host with distress'd Saul remain; His forces seem'd no army, but a crowd, Of his whole host six hundred; and ev'n those Heartless, unarm'd, disorderly, and loud. (So did wise Heaven for mighty ends dispose ! The quick contagion, Fear, ran swift through all, Nor would that useless multitudes should share And into trembling fits the infected fall,
In that great gift it did for one prepare) Saul and his son (for no such faint disease Arm'd not like soldiers marching in a war, Could on their strong complexion'd valour seize) But country-binds alarmed from afar In vain all parts of virtuous conduct show'd, By wolves' loud bunger, when the well-known And on deaf Terrour generous words bestow'd : sound Thousands from thence fly scatter'd every day, Raises th' affrighted villages around. Thick as the leaves that shake and drop away, Some goads, fails, plow-shares, forks, or axes, When they th' approach of stormy winter find,
bore, The noble tree all bare expos'd to th' wind. Made for life's use and better ends before ; Some to sad Jordan fly, and swim 't for haste, Some knotted clubs, and darts, or arrows dry'd And from his farther bank look back at last : I'th' fire, the first rude arts that Malice try'd Some into woods and caves their cattle drive; Ere man the sins of too much knowledge knew, There with their beasts on equal terms they live, And Death by long experience witty grew. Nor deserve better: some in rocks on high, Such were the numbers, such the arms, which we The old retreats of storks and raveus, lie; Had hy Fate left us for a victory And, were they wing'd like them, scarce would O'er well-arm'd millions; nor will this appear they dare
Useful itself when Jonathan was there. To stay, or trust their frighted safety there. “ 'Twas just the time when the new ebb of night As th' host with fear, so Saul disturb’d with care, Did the moist world unvail to human sight; Tavert these ills by sacrifice and prayer, The prince, who all that night the field bad bcat And God's blest will t’ inquire, for Samuel sends ; With a small party and no enemy met, Whom he six days with troubled haste attends ; (So proud and so secure the enemy lay, But, ere the seventh unlucky day (the last And drench'd in sleep th' excesses of the day ! By Samuel set for this great work) was past, With joy this good occasion did embrace, Sul (alarm'd hourly from the neighbouring foe; With better leisure, and at nearer space, Impatient, ere God's time, God's mind to know; The strength and order of their camp to view: Sham'd and enrag'd to sce his troops decay ; Abdon alone his generous purpose knew; Jealous of an affront in Samuel's stay;
Abdon, a bold, a brave, and comely youth, Scorning that any's presence should appear Well-born, well-bred, with honour fill'd and Needful besides, when he bimself was there;
truth; And, with a pride too natural, thinking Heaven Abdon, his faithful squire, whom much he lov'd, Had given him all, because much power 't had And oft with grief his worth in dangers pror'd; given)
Abdon, whose love this master did exceed Himself the sacrifice and offerings made; What Nature's law, or Passion's power, could Himself did the high selected charge invade : Abdon alone did on him now attend, [breed; Himself inquir'd of God; who then spake nonght; His humblest servant, and his dearest friend. But Samuel straight his dreadful answer brought: “ They went, but sacred fury, as they went, For straight he came, and, with a virtue bold Chang'd swiftly, and exalted his intent. As was Saul's sin, the fatal message told; "What may this be!' (the Prince breaks forth) I His fou! ingratitude to Heaven he chid,
find To plaek that fruit, which was alone forbid God, or some powerful spirit, invades my mind.