Obrazy na stronie
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"But such he was; and now to Ramah went "(So God dispos'd) with a strange, low intent. "Great God! he went lost asses to enquire, "And a small present, his small question's hire, "Brought simply with him, to that man to give, 380 "From whom high Heaven's chief gifts he must

"receive: "Strange play of Fate! when mightiest human things "Hang on such small, imperceptible strings! "'T was Samuel's birth-day 5 a glad annual feast "All Rama kept; Samuel his wondering guest 385 "With such respect leads to it, and does grace "With the choice meats o' th' feast, and highest

"place; *' Which done, him forth alone the prophet brings, *' And feasts his ravish'd ears with nobler things: "He tells the mighty fate to him assign'd, 39O

** And with great rules fill'd his capacious mind; "Then takes the sacred vial, and does shed "A crown of mystick drops around his head; "Drops of that royal moisture which does know "No mixture, and disdains the place below. 395 *' Soon comes the kingly day, and with it brings "A new account of time upon his wings. "The people met, the rites and prayers all past, "Behold! the heaven-instructed lot is cast; 0 'T is taught by Heaven its way, and cannot miss; "Forth Benjamin, forth leaps the house of Cis: 401 "As glimmering stars, just at th' approach of day, "Cashier'd by troops, at last drop all away;

VOL. III. »

"By such degrees all men's bright hopes are gone, "And, like the sun, Saul's lot shines all alone. 405 "Ev'n here perhaps the people's shout was heard, "The loud long shout, when God's fair choice ap

"pear'd: "Above the whole vast throng he' appear'd so tall, "As if by Nature made for th' head of all; "So full of grace and state, that one might know 410 "T was some wise eye the blind lot guided so: "But blind unguided lots have more of choice "And constancy than the slight vulgar's voice. "Ere yet the crown of sacred oil is dry, "Whilst echoes yet preserve the joyful cry, 415 "Some grow enrag'd their own vain hopes to miss, "Some envy Saul, some scorn the house of Cis: "Some their first mutinous wish, ' a King!' repent, "As if, since that, quite spoil'd by God's consent: "Few to this prince their first just duties pay; 420 "All leave the old, but few the new obey. "Thus changes man, but God is constant still "To those eternal grounds that mov'd his will; "And, though he yielded first to them, 't is fit "That stubborn men at last to him submit. 425

"As midst the main a low small island lies, "Assaulted round with stormy seas and skies,. "Whilst the poor heartless natives, every hour, "Darkness and noise seem ready to devour; *' Such Israel's state appear'd, whilst o'er the west "Philistian clouds hung threatening, and from **th' east 431 ** All nations' wrath into one tempest joins,

** Through which proud Nahash like fierce lightning

"shines; "Tygris and Nile to his assistance send, *' And waters to swoln Jaboc's torrent lend; 435 "Seir, Edom, Soba, Amalek, add their force; "Up with them march the three Arabias' horse; u And, 'mongst all these, none more their hope or

"pride, "Than those few troops your warlike land supply'd. ** Around weak Jabesh this vast host does lie, 410 ** Disdains a dry and bloodless victory. "The hopeless town for slavery does intreat; "But barbarous Nahash thinks that grace too

"great; "He (his first tribute) their right eyes, demands, "And with their faces' shame disarms their hands. "If unreliev'd seven days by Israel's aid, 446'

"This bargain for o'er-rated life is made.
"Ah, mighty God! let thine own Israel be
"Quite blind itself, ere this reproach it see!

"By' his wanton people the new king forsook, 450 "To homely, rural cares himself betook; "In private plenty liv'd, without the state, "Lustre, and noise, due to a publick fate. "Whilst he his slaves and cattle follows home, * I.o! the sad messengers, from Jabesh come, 455 "Implore his help, and weep, as if they meant "That way at least proud Nahash to prevent. "Mov'd with a kingly wrath, his strict command "He issues forth t' assemble all the land;

u He threatens high, and disobedient they, 460 "Wak'd by such princely terrors, learnt t' obey. *' A mighty host is rais'd ; th' important cause * Age from their rest, youth from their pleasure,

"draws; "Arm'd as unfurnish'd haste could them provide; "But conduct, courage, anger, that supply'd. 465 *' All night they march, and are at th' early dawn "On Jabesh' heath in three fair bodies drawn: "Saul did himself the first and strongest band, "His son the next, Abner the third, command.— "But pardon, Sir, if, naming Saul's great son, 470 "I stop with him awhile ere I go on.—

"This is that Jonathan, the joy and grace, "The beautifull'st and best, of human race; "That Jonathan, in whom does mix'd remain *' All that kind mothers' wishes can contain! 475 "His courage such as it no stop can know, "And victory gains by' astonishing the foe; "With lightning's force his enemies it confounds, "And melts their hearts ere it the bosom wounds; "Yet he the conquer'd with such sweetness gains, "As captive lovers find in beauty's chains: 481 "In war, the adverse troops he does assail "Like an impetuous storm of wind and hail; "In peace, like gentlest dew that does assuage "The burning months, and temper Syrius' rage; 485 "Kind as the sun's blest influence ; and, where'er "He comes, plenty and joy attend him there: "To help seems all his power; his wealth, to give j "To do much good, his sole prerogative:

"And yet this general bounty of his mind, 49° "That with wide arms embraces all mankind, "Such artful prudence does to each divide; "With different measures all are satisfy'd; "Just as wise God his plenteous manna dealt; "Some gather'd more, but want by none was felt. "To all relations their just rights he pays, 496

"And worth's reward above its claim does raise: "The tenderest husband, master, father, son, "And all those parts by' his friendship far outdone; "His love to friends no bound or rule does know, "What he to Heaven, all that to him they owe. 501 "Keen as his sword, and pointed, is his wit; "His judgment, like best armour, strong and fit; "And such an eloquence to both these does join, "As makes in both beauty and use combine; 50.5 "Through which a nobfe tincture does appear "By learning and choice books imprinted there: "As well he knows all times and persons gone, "As he himself to th' future shall be known: "But his chief study is God's sacred law, 510

"And all his life docs comments on it draw ;— "As never more by Heaven to man was given, "So never more was paid by man to Heaven.— "And all these virtues were to ripeness grown, "Ere yet his flower of youth was fully blown; 515 "All autumn's store did his rich spring adorn; "Like trees in paradise, he with fruit was born. "Such is his soul; and if, as some men tell, [dwell, i' Souls form and build those mansions were they

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