Obrazy na stronie

"Whoe'er but sees his body must confess, 520

"The architect, no doubt, could be no less.

"From Saul his growth and manly strength he took,

"Chastis'd by bright Ahinoam's gentler look;

"Not bright Ahinoam, beauty's loudest name

"(Till she t' her children lost with joy her fame),

"Had sweeter strokes, colours more fresh and fair

"More darting eyes, or lovelier auburn hair.

"Forgive me, that I thus your patience wrong,

"And on this boundless subject stay so long,

"Where too much haste ever to end 'twould be, 530

"Did not his acts speak what's untold by me.

*' Though, from the time his hands a sword could

"wield, *' He ne'er miss'd fame and danger in the field, "Yet this was the first day that call'd him forth, "Since Saul's bright crowiTgave lustre to his worth; *' 'T was the last morning whose uncheerful rise 53(5 "Sad Jabesh was to view with both their eyes. "Secure proud Nahash slept as in his court, "And dreamt, vain man! of that day's barbarous

"sport, "Till noise and dreadful tumults him awoke; 540 "Till into 'his camp our violent army broke. "The careless guards with small resistance kill'd, "Slaughter the camp, and wild confusion, fill'd; *' Nahash his fatal duty does perform, "And marches boldly up t' outface the storm ; 54,5 "Fierce Jonathan he meets, as he pursues "Th' Arabian horse, and a hot fight renews:

"'T was here your troops behav'd themselves so well, "Till Uz and Jathan, their stout colonels, fell. "T was here our victory stopp'd, and gave us cause *' Much to suspect th' intention of her pause; 551 "But, when our thundering Prince Nahash espy'd "(Who, with a courage equal to his pride, "Broke through our troops, and tow'rds him boldly

"press'd), "A generous joy leap'd in his youthful breast: 555 "As when a wrathful dragon's dismal light "Strikes suddenly some warlike eagle's sight, "The mighty foe pleases his fearless eyes, "He claps his joyful wings, and at him flies, [flung; M With vain though violent force their darts they "In Ammon's plated belt Jonathan's hung, 56l "And stopp'd there; Ammon did his helmet hit, "And, gliding off, bore the proud crest from it; "Straight with their swords to the fierce shock they

"came, "Their swords, their armour, and their eyes, shot

"flame; 505

"Blows strong as thunder, thick as rain, they dealt, "Which more than they th' engag'd spectators felt; "In Ammon force, in Jonathan address "(Though both were great in both to an excess) "To the well-judging eye did most appear; 570 "Honour and anger in both equal were. "Two wounds our Prince receiv'd, and Ammon

"three; "Which he, enrag'd to feel, and 'sham'd to see, "Did his whole strength into one blow collect;—

"And as a spaniel, when we our aim direct 575

"To shoot some bird, impatiently stands by

• Shaking his tail, ready with joy to fly,

"Just as it drops, upon the wounded prey;

"So waited Death itself to bear away

"The threaten'd life; did glad and greedy stand 5S0

"At sight of mighty Ammon's lifted hand.—

"Our watchful Prince by bending sav'd the wound:

"But Death in other coin his reckoning found;

"Fop, whilst th' immoderate stroke's miscarrying

"force "Had almost borne the striker from his horse, 585 "A nimble thrust his active enemy made; "'Twixt his right ribs deep piere'd the furious blade, "And opened wide those secret vessels, where "Life's light goes out, when first they let in air. "He falls! his armour clanks against the ground, "From his faint tongue imperfect curses sound. 5yi "His amaz'd troops straight cast their arms away ;• "Scarce fled his soul from thence more swift than

f they. "As when two kings of neighbour hives (whom rage "And thirst of empire in fierce wars engage, 595 "Whilst each lays claim to th' garden as his own, "And seeks t' usurp the bordering flowers alone) "Their well-arm'd troops drawn boldly forth to fight, u In th' air's wide plain dispute their doubtful right; "If by sad chance of battle either king 600

?' Fall wounded down, strook with some fatal sting,

"His army's hopes and courage with him die;

"They sheathe up their faint swords, and routed flj .

"On th' other sides at once, with like success,

"Into the camp great Saul and Abner press; «H

"From Jonathan's part awild mix'd no.se they hear,

"And, whatsoe'er it mean, long to be there;

"At the same instant from glad Jabesh town

"The hasty troops march loud and cheerful down;

"Some few at first with vain resistance fall, 010

*' The rest is slaughter and vast conquest all.

"The fate by which our host thus far had gone,

"Our host with noble heat .drove farther on;

"Victorious arms through Ammon's land it bore;

"Ruin behind, and terror march'd before: 615

"Where'er from Rabba's towers they cast theirsight,

"Smoke clouds the day, and flames make clear the

"night. . , .

"This bright success did Saul's first action tang; .* The oil, the lot, and crown, less crown d h.m king: « The Happy, all men judge for empire fit, MO .' And none withstands where Fortune does submit. "Those who before did God's fair choice with

"Th' excessive vulgar now to death demand , "But wiser Saul repeal'd their hasty doom; "Conquest abroad, with mercy crown d at home "Nor stain'd with civil slaughter that day . pndc, "Which foreign blood in nobler purple dy d. "A-ain the crown th' assembled people give, "With greater joy than Saul could it receive;

"Again th" old Judge resigns his sacred place 63O

"(God glorify'd with wonders his disgrace);

"With decent pride, such as did well befit

"The name he kept, and that which he did quit:

"The long-past row of happy years he show'd

"Which to his heavenly government they ow'd; 635

"How the torn State his just and prudent reign

"Restor'd to order, plenty, power, again;

"In war what conquering miracles he wrought;—

"God, then their King, was General when they


"Whom they depos'd with him—And that, said he, "You may see God concern'd in 't more than me, "Behold how storms his angry presence shroud! '* Hark how his wrath in thunder threats aloud! "'T was now the ripen'd summer's highest rage; "Which no faint cloud durst mediate to assuage; 6-15 "Th' earth hot with thirst, and hot with lust for


"Gap'd, and breath'd feeble vapours up in vain, "Which straight were scatter'd, or devour'd by th*


"When, lo! ere scarce the active speech was done, "A violent wind rose from his secret cave, 650 "And troops of frighted clouds before it drave: "Whilst with rude haste the confus'd tempest crowds, f Swift, dreadful flames shot through th' encounter

"ing clouds, [broke,

"From whose torn womb th' imprison'd thunder "And in dire sounds the prophet's sense it spoke j

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