Obrazy na stronie

"O'er well-arm'd millions ; nor will this appear "Useful itself, when Jonathan was there.

"'T was just the time when the new ebb of night "Did the moist world unvail to human sight; "The Prince, who all that night the field had beat 805 "With a small party, and no enemy met "(So proud and so secure the enemy lay, "And drench'd in sleep th' excesses of the day!) "With joy this good occasion did embrace, "With better leisure, and at nearer space, 810 "The strength and order of their camp to view: v Abdon alone his generous purpose knew; "Abdon, a bold, a brave, and comely youth, "Well-born, well-bred,with honour fill'd,and truth; "Abdon,hisfaithful'squire, whommuch helov'd,815 "And oft with grief his worth in dangers prov'd; "Abdon, whose love t' his master did exceed "What Nature'slaw, or Passion's power, could breed; "Abdon alone did on him now attend, "His humblest servant, and his dearest friend. 820

"They went: but sacred fury, as they went, "Chang'd swiftly, and exalted his intent. "What may this be! (the Prince breaks forth); I find "God, or some powerful spirit, invades my mind. "From aught but Heaven can never sure be brought "So high, so glorious, and so vast a thought; 826 "Nor would Ill-fate, that meant me to surprise, "Come cloth'd in so unlikely a disguise. "Yon host, which its proud fishes spreads so wide "O'er the whole land, like some swoln river's tide;

"Which terrible and numberless appears, 831

"As the thick waves which their rough ocean bears; "Which lies so strongly 'encamp'd, that one would

"say "The hill might be remov'd as soon as they; "We two alone must fight with and defeat: 835 "Thou 'rt strook, and startest at a sound so great! "Yet we must do't; God our weak hands has chose "T' ashame the boasted numbers of our foes; "Which to his strength no more proportion be, "Than millions are of hours to his eternity. 810 "If, when their careless guards espy us here, "With sportful scorn they call t' us to come near, "We 'll boldly climb the hill, and charge them all; "Not they, but Israel's Angel, gives the call. "He spoke : and as he spoke, a light divine 8+5 "Did from his eyes, and round his temples, shine; "Louder his voice, larger his limbs, appear'd; "Less seem'd the numerous army to be fearM. "This saw, and heard, with joy the brave Esquire, "As he with God's, fill'd with his master's, fire: S50 "Forbid it, Heaven ! said he, I should decline, "Or wish, Sir, not to make your danger mine; "The great example which I daily see "Of your high woVth is not so lost on me; "If wonder-strook I at your words appear, 855 "My wonder yet is innocent of fear: "Th' honour which does your princely breast enr

"flame, "Warms mine too, and joins there with duty's name. "If in this act Ill-fate our tempter be,

** May all the ill it means be aim'd at me! S6'0

"But sure, I think, God leads; nor could you bring

"So high thoughts from a less-exalted spring.

"Bright signs through all your words and looks are

"spread, "A rising victory dawns around your head. "With such discourse blowing their sacred flame, "Lo, to the fatal place and work they came. 866

"Strongly encamp'd on a steep hill's large head, "Like some vast wood the mighty host was spread; "Th' only' access on neighbouring Gabaa's side, "An hard and narrow way, which did divide 8/0 "Two cliffy rocks, Boses and Senes nam'd, "Much for themselves, and their big strangeness,

"fam'd; "More for their fortune, and this stranger day. "On both their points Philistian out-guards lay, "From whence the two bold spies they first espy'd; "And, lo! the Hebrews! proud Eleanor cry'd, 876' f From Senes' top ; lo! from their hungry caves, "A quicker fate here sends them to their graves. "Come up (aloud he cries to them below), "Ye' Egyptian slaves, and to our mercy owe 880 "The rebel-lives long since t' our justice due. "Scarce from his lips the fatal omen flew, "When th' inspir'd Prince did nimbly understand "God, and his God-like virtues' high command. "It call'd him up, and up the steep ascent 885

"With pain and labour, haste and joy, they went.

"Eleanor laugh'd to see them climb, and thought «' His mighty words th' affrighted suppliants brought; "Did new affronts to the great Hebrew Name "(The barbarous!) in his wanton fancy frame. 890 "Short was his sport; for, swift as thunder's stroke "Rives the frail trunk of some heaven-threatening

« oak,

"The Prince's sword did his proud head divide; "The parted skull hung down on either side. •' Just as he fell, his vengeful steel he drew 895 "Half-way (no more the trembling joints could do); * Which Abdon snatch'd, and dy'd it in the blood •' Of an amazed wretch that next him stood. *' Some close to earth, shaking and grovelling, lie, "Like larks when they the tyrant hobby spy; 900 "Some, wonder-strook, stand fix'd; some fly; some


"Wildly, at th' unintelligible alarm. *' Like the main channel of an high-swoln flood, ''In vain by dikes and broken works withstood; "So Jonathan, once climb'd th' opposing hill, 905 "Does all around with noise and ruin fill: "Like some large arm of which, another way "Abdon o'erflows; him too no bank can stay. "With cries th' affrighted country flies before, "Behind the following waters loudly roar. 910 "Twenty, at least, slain on this out-guard lie, "To th' adjoin'd camp the rest distracted fly/ "And ill-mix'd wonders tell, and into 't bear « Blind terror, deaf disorder, helpless fear.

"The conquerors too press boldly in behind, 915
"Doubling the wild confusions which they find.
"Hamgar at first, the Prince of Ashdod town,
"Chief 'mongst the five in riches and renown,
"And General then by course, oppos'd their way,
"Till drown'd in death at Jonathan's feet he lay,
"And curs'd the heavens for rage, and bit the

"ground; 921

"His life, for ever spilt, stain'd all the grass around.
"His brother too, who virtuous haste did make
"His fortune to revenge, or to partake,
"Falls grovelling o'er his trunk, on mother earth;
"Death mix'd no less their bloods than did their

"birth. 926

"Meanwhile the well-pleas'd Abdon's restless sword
"Dispatch'd the following train t' attend their lord.
"On still, o'er panting corpse, great Jonathan led;
** Hundreds before him fell, and thousands fled.
"Prodigious Prince! which does most wondrous

"show, 931

"Thy' attempt, or thy success? thy fate, or thou?
"Who durst alone that dreadful host assail,
"With purpose not to die, but to prevail!
"Infinite numbers thee no more affright, 935

"Than God, whose unity is infinite.
"If Heaven to men such mighty thoughts would

"give, "What breast but thine capacious to receive . ',,.. "The vast infusion f or what soul but thine '.a!." .'' "Durst have believ'd that thought to be divine r'940 ,

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »