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"Such an impetuous shower it downwards sent,

"As if the waters 'bove the firmament

"Were all let loose; horror and fearful noise

u Fill'd the black scene; till the great prophet's

"voice, "Swift as the wings of morn, reduc'd the day; 660 "Wind, thunder, rain, and clouds, fled all at once

"away. "Fear not, said he ; God his fierce wrath removes, "And, though this State my service disapproves, "My prayers shall serve it constantly: No more, "I hope, a pardon for past sins t' implore; 665 "But just rewards from gracious Heaven to bring "On the good deeds of you, and of our king. "Behold him there! and, as you see, rejoice "In the kind care of God's impartial choice. "Behold his beauty, courage, strength, and wit! 670 "The honour Heaven has cloth'd him with, sits

"fit "And comely on him; since you needs must be u Rul'd by a King, you 're happy that't is he. *' Obey him gladly; and let him too know ** You were not made for him, but he for you, 675 "And both for God;

"Whose gentlest yoke if once you cast away, "In vain shall he command, and you obey; "To foreign tyrants both shall slaves become, "Instead of king and subjects here at home. 680 "The crown thus several ways confirmed to Saul, "One way was wanting yet to crown them all;

"And that was force, which only can maintain "The power that fortune gives, or worth does gain. "Three thousand guards of big bold men he took; "Tall, terrible, and guards ev'n with their look: "His sacred person two, and throne, defend; "The third, on matchless Jonathan attend; "O'er whose full thoughts Honour, and Youthful

"Heat, "Sate brooding, to hatch actions good and great. "On Geba first, where a Philistian band 69I

"Lies, and around torments the fetter'd land, ** He falls, and slaughters all; his noble rage "Mix'd with design his nation to engage "In that just war, which from them long in vain 695 "Honour and freedom's voice had strove t' obtain. "Th' accurs'd Philistian, rous'd with this bold blow, "All the proud marks of enrag'd power does show; "Raises a vast, well-arm'd, and glittering host: f If human strength might authorize a boast, 700 "Their threats had reason here: for ne'er did we "Ourselves so weak, or foe so potent, see. "Here we vast bodies of their foot espy, "The rear out-reaches far th' extended eye; "Like fields of corn their armed squadrons stand; "As thick and numberless they hide the land. 706 u Here with sharp neighs the warlike horses sound, "And with proud prancings beat the putrid ground; "Here with worse noise three thousand chariots

*' With plates of iron bound, or louder brass; 710 "About it forks, axes, and scythes, and spears, «' Whole magazines of death each chariot bears; "Where it breaks in, there a whole troop it mows, *' And with lopp'd panting limbs the field bestrows: *' Alike, the valiant and the cowards die;. 715 "Neither can they resist, nor can these fly. "In this proud equipage, at Macmas they, '' Saul in much different state at Gilgal, lay; "His forces seem'd no army, but a crowd, "Heartless, unarm'd, disorderly, and loud. 720 "The quick contagion, Fear, ran swift through all, "And into trembling fits th' infected fall. "Saul and his son (for no such faint disease "Could on their strong-complexion'd valour seize) "In vain all parts of virtuous conduct show'd, 7-25 "And on deaf terror generous words bestow'd: "Thousands from thence fly scatter'd every day, "Thick as the leaves that shake and drop away, "When they th' approach of stormy winter find; "The noble tree all bare expos'd to th' wind. 730 "Some to sad Jordan fly, and swim't for haste, "And from his farther bank look back at last: "Some into woods and caves their cattle drive; "There with their beasts on equal terms they live, "Nor deserve better: some in rocks on high, 735 "The old retreats of storks and ravens, lie; "And, were they wing'd like them, scarce would

"they dare

"To stay, or trust their frighted safety there. '* As th' host with fear, so Saul disturb'd with care, "T* avert these ills by sacrifice and prayer, 740


"And God's blest will t' enquire, for Samuel sends;

"Whom he six days with troubled haste attends;

"But, ere the seventh unlucky day (the last

"By Samuel set for this great work) was past,

"Saul (alarm'd hourly from the neighbouring foe;

"Impatient, ere God's time, God's mind to know;

"'Sham'd and enrag'd to see his troops decay;

"Jealous of an affront in Samuel's stay;

"Scorning that any 's presence should appear

"Needful besides, when he himself was there; 750

"And, with a pride too natural, thinking Heaven

"Had given him all, because much power 't had

"given) "Himself the sacrifice and offerings made; "Himself did th' high selected charge invade; "Himself enquir'd of God; who then spake nought; "But Samuel straight his dreadful answer brought: "For straight he came, and, with a virtue bold "As was Saul's sin, the fatal message told; "His foal ingratitude to Heaven he chid, "To pluck that fruit, which was alone forbid 760 "To kingly power, in all that plenteous land, "Where all things else submit to his Command. "And, as fair Eden's violated tree "T* immortal man brought in mortality; ** So shall that crown, which God eternal meant, 765 "From thee, said he, and thy great house, be rent; "Thy crime shall death to all thine honours send, "And give thy' immortal royalty an end. "Thus spoke the prophet; but kind Heaven, we hope "(Whose threats and anger know no other scope 770

'? v

"But man's amendment) does long since relent,

"And, with repentant Saul, itself repent.

'* Howe'er (though none more pray for this than we,

"Whose wrongs and sufferings might some colour be

"To do it less), this speech we sadly find 775

"Still extant, and still active in his mind;

"But then a worse effect of it appear'd—

"Our army, which before modestly fear'd;

"Which did by stealth and by degrees decay;

"Disbanded now, and fled in troops away. 780

"Base fear so bold and impudent does grow,

"When an excuse and colour it can show ■

** Six hundred only (scarce a princely train)

"Of all his host with distress'd Saul remain;

"Of his whole host six hundred ; and ev'n those 785

"(So did wise Heaven for mighty ends dispose!

"Nor would that useless multitudes should share

"In that great gift it did for one prepare)

*' Arm'd not like soldiers marching in a war,

"But country-hinds alarmed from afar 790

"By wolves'loud hunger, when the well-known sound

"Raises th' affrighted villages around.

"Some goads, flails, plow-shares, forks, or axes, bore,.

"Made for life's use and better ends before;

"Some knotted clubs, and darts, or arrows dry'd 79$

"V th' fire, the first rude arts that malice try'd,

"Ere man the sins of too much knowledge knew,

"And death by long experience witty grew.

"Such were the numbers, such the arms, which we

"Had by fate left us for a victory 800

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