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“Long liv'd they thus;–but, as the hunted deer,
“Closely pursued, quits all her wonted fear,
“And takes the nearest waves; which from the shore
“She oft with horror had beheld before:
“So, whilst the violent maid from David fled, 715
“She leap'd to Adriel's long-avoided bed;
“The match was nam’d, agreed, and finish'd, straight;
“(So soon comply'd Saul’s envy with her hate!)
“But Michal, in whose breast all virtues move,
“That hatch the pregnant seeds of sacred love, 720
“With juster eyes the noble object meets,
“And turns all Merab's poison into sweets:
“She saw, and wonder'd how a youth unknown
“Should make all fame to come so soon his own:
“She saw, and wonder'd how a shepherd's crook 725
“Despis'd that sword at which the sceptre shook;
“Though he seventh-born, and though his house
“She knew it noble was, and would be more.
“Oft had she heard, and fancy'd oft the sight,
“With what a generous calm he march'd to fight;
“In the great danger how exempt from fear, 731
“And after it from pride, he did appear.
“Greatness and goodness, and an air divine,
“She saw through all his words and actions shine;
“She heard his eloquent tongue, and charming
* Whose artful sounds did violent love inspire, 736
“Though us’d all other passions to relieve:
“She weigh'd all this; and well we may conceive
“When those strong thoughts attack'd her doubtful
“His beauty no less active than the rest. 740
“The fire thus kindled soon grew fierce and great,
“When David's breast reflected back its heat.
“Soon she perceiv'd (scarce can Love hidden lie
“From any sight, much less the loving eye)
“She conqueror was, as well as overcome, 745
“And gain’d no less abroad than lost at home.
“Ev'n the first hour they met (for such a pair,
“Who in all mankind else so matchless were,
“Yet their own equals, Nature's self does wed)
“A mutual warmth through both their bosoms
“spread: - 750
“Fate gave the signal; both at once began
“The gentle race, and with just pace they ran.
“Ev’n so, methinks, when two fair tapers come
“From several doors, entering at once the room,
“With a swift flight, that leaves the eye behind, 755
“Their amorous lights into one light are join'd.
“Nature herself, were she to judge the case,
“Knew not which first began the kind embrace.
“Michal her modest flames sought to conceal,
“But love ev'n th’ art to hide it does reveal: 760
“Her soft unpractis'd eyes betray'd the theft,
“Love pass'd through them, and there such footsteps
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“She blush’d when he approach'd, and when he
“And suddenly her wandering answers broke
* At his name's sound; and, when she heard him
“ Uncall’d-for sighs oft from her bosom flew,
“And Adriel's active friend she’ abruptly grew.
“Oft, when the Court's gay youth stood waiting by;
“She strove to act a cold indifferency; 770
“In vain she acted so constrain’d a part,
“For thousand nameless things disclos'd her heart,
“On th' other side, David with silent pain
“Did in respectful bounds his fires contain:
“His humble fear to offend, and trembling awe, 775
“Impos'd on him a no-less rigorous law
“Than modesty on her; and, though he strove
** To make her see 't, he durst not tell his love.
“To tell it first, the timorous youth made choice
“Of musick's bolder and more active voice; 789
“And thus, beneath her window, did he touch
“His faithful lyre; the words and numbers such
“As did well worth my memory appear,
“And may perhaps deserve your princely ear:
“AWAKE, awake, my Lyre! 785 “And tell thy silent master's humble tale, “ In sounds that may prevail; , “Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire: “Though so exalted she, “And I so lowly be, - 790 “Tell her, such differentnotes make all thy harmony.
“Hark! how the strings awake: * And, though the moving hand approach not near, * Themselves with awful fear, “A kind of numerous trembling make. 795 “Now all thy forces try, “Now all thy charms apply, * Revenge upon her ear the conquests of her eye.
“Weak Lyre thy virtue sure * Is useless here, since thou art only found 800 * To cure, but not to wound, ** And she to wound, but not to cure. “Too weak too wilt thou prove “My passion to remove, “Physick to other ills, thou’rt Nourishment to Love.
“Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre! 806 “. For thou canst never tell my humble tale * “In sounds that will prevail; “Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire: “All thy vain mirth lay by, 810 “Bid thy strings silent lie, “Sleep, sleep again, my Lyreland let thy master die.
“She heard all this, and the prevailing sound “Touch'd with delightful pain her tender wound. “Yet, though she joy'd th’ authentick news to hear, “Of what she guess'd before with jealous fear, 816 “She check'd her forward joy, and blush'd for shame, “And did his boldness with forc'd anger blame.
“The senseless rules which first false honour taught,
“And into laws the tyrant custom brought— 820
“Which women's pride and folly did invent,
* Their lovers and themselves too to torment,
“Made her next day a grave displeasure fain,
“And all her words, and all her looks, constrain
“Before the trembling youth; who, when he saw 825
“His vital light her wonted beams withdraw,
“He curs'd his voice, his fingers, and his lyre,
“He curs'd his too-bold tongue, and bold desire;
* In vain he curs'd the last, for that still grew;
“From all things food its strong complexion
** drew : , 830 “His joy and hope their cheerful motions ceas'd, “His life decay'd, but still his love increas'd; “Whilst she, whose heart approv'd not her disdain, * Saw and endur'd his pains with greater pain. * But Jonathan, to whom both hearts were known, “With a concernment equal to their own 836 “ (Joyful that Heaven with his sworn love comply'd “To draw that knot more fast which he had ty'd) “With well-tim'd zeal, and with an artful care, “Restor'd, and better'd soon, the nice affair. 840 “With ease a brother's lawful power o'ercame “The formal decencies of virgin-shame. “She first with all her heart forgave the past, “Heard David tell his flames, and told her own at
** last. “Lo here the happy point of prosperous love! 845 “Which ev’n enjoyment seldom can improve.
VOL. II. - C C