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He grew at last more weary to command
| He saw the beauties of his shape and face, New dangers, than young David to withstand
| His female sweetness, and his manly grace: Or conquer them; he fear'd his mastering
He saw the nobler wonders of his mind, fate,
Great gifts! which for great works he knew de. And envy'd him a king's unpowerful hate.
sign'd: Well did he know how palms by oppression He saw (t'ashame the strength of man and Hell) Victorious, and the victor's sacred meed ! (speed
meed speed | How by his young hands their Gathite champion The burthen lifts them higher. Well did he know
fell; Howa tame stream does wild and dangerous grow
He saw the reverend prophet holdly shed By unjust force; he now with wanton play
The royal drops round his enlarged head; kisses the smiling banks, and glides away ;
And well he knew what legacy did place But, his known channel stopp'd, begins to roar,
The sacred sceptre in blest Judali's race, And swell with rage, and buffet the dull shore;
From which th' eternal Shilo was to spring; His mutinous waters hurry to the war,
A knowledge which new hells to Hell did bring! And troops of waves come rolling from afar:
And, though no less he knew himself too weak Then scorns he such weak stops to his free source,
The smallest link of strong-wrought Fate to And overruns the neighbouring fields with violent
Yet would he rage and struggle with the chain ; This knew the tyrant, and this useful thought
Lov'd to rebel, though sure that 'twas in vain. His wounded mind to health and temper brought.
And now it broke his form'd design, to find He old kind vows to David did renew,
The gentle change of Saul's recovering mind; Seore constancy, and meant his oath for true :
He trusted much in Saul, and rag'd, and griev'd A general joy at this glad news appear'd,
(The great deceiver !) to be himself deceiv'd. For David all men lov'd, and Saul they fear'd.
Thrice did he knock bis iron teeth, thrice howl, Angels and men did peace and David love, And into frowns his wrathful forehead roll: But Hell did neither him nor that approve;
His eyes dart forth red flames, which scare the From man's agreement fierce alarms they take,
Night, And quiet here, does there new business make.
And with worse fires the trembling ghosts afs Beneath the silent chambers of the Earth,
fright; Where the Sun's fruitful beams give metals
A troop of ghastly fiends compass him round, birth
| And greedily catch at his lips' fear'd sound. Where he the growth of fatal gold does see, “ Are we such nothings then!” said he, “our Gold, which above more influence has than he;
will Beneath the dens where unfletcht tempests lie,
Crost by a shepherd's boy! and you yet still And infant winds their tender voices try;
Play with your idle serpents here? dares none Beneath the mighty ocean's wealthy caves;
Attempt what becomes furies? Are ye grown Beneath th'eternal fountain of all waves,
| Benumb'd with fear, or virtue's spiritless cold, | Where their vast court the mother-waters keep,
You, who were once (I'm sure) so brave and And, undisturb'd by moons, in silence sleep;
bold? There is a place, deep, wondrous deep, below,
Oh! my ill-chang'd condition! oh, my fate! Which genuine night and horrour does o'erflow;
Did I lose Heaven for this?”
(breast, No bound controls th' unwearied space but Hell,
With that, with his long tail he lash d ' his Endless as those dire pains that in it dwell. And horribly spoke out in looks the rest. Here no dear glimpse of the Sun's lovely face The quaking powers of Night stood in amaze; Strikes through the solid darkness of the place;
And at each other first could only gaze; No davning morn does her kind reds display ;
A dreadful silence fill'd the hollow place, One slight weak beam would here be thought
Doubling the native terrour of Hell's face; the day:
Rivers of flaming brimstone, which before No gentle stars with their fair gems of light
So loudly rag'd, crept softly by the shore; Offend the tyrannous and unquestion'd Night.
No hiss of snakes, no clank of chains, was knowr, Here Lucifer, the mighty captive, reigns; The souls, amidst their tortures, durst not Proud 'midst his woes, and tyrant in his chains;
groan. Once general of a gilded host of sprites,
Envy at last crawls forth from that dire throng, Like Hesper, leading forth the spangled nights; Of all the direfull'st; her black locks hung But down like lightning, which him struck, he
Attir'd with curling serpents; her pale skin [in; And roar'd at his first plunge into the flame: | Was almost dropp'd from the sharp bones withMyriads of spirits fell wounded round him there; And at her breast stuck vipers, which did prey With dropping lights thick shone the singed air; Upon her panting heart both night and day, Since when, the dismal solace of their woe Sucking black blood from thence, which to reHas only been weak mankind to undo; [cite,
pair Themselves at first against themselves they ex Both night and day they left fresh poisons there. (Their dearest conquest and most proud delight) Her garments were deep stain'd in human gore, And, if those mines of secret treason fail, And torn by her own hands, in which she bore With open force man's virtue they assail ; A knotted whip, and bowl, that to the brim Cnable to corrupt, seek to destroy, sploy, Did with green gall and juice of wormwood And, wbere their poisons miss, the sword em
(grew, Thus sought the tyrant-fiend young David's fall, / With which, when she was drunk, she furious And 'gainst him arm’d the powerful ragcof Saul: And lash'd berself: thus from th' accursed crew
Enry, the worst of liends, herself presents,
It was the time when silent night began Envy, good only when she'herself torments. Tenchain with sleep the busy spirits of man; “ Spend not, great king ! thy precious rage," And Saul himself, though in his troubled breast said she,
The weight of empire lay, took gentle rest : * Upon so poor a cause; shall mighty ke So did not Envy ; but with haste arose; The glory of our wrath to him afford ?
And, as through Israel's stately towns she goes, Are we not Furies still, and you our lord; She frowns, and shakes her bead; “Shine on" At thy dread anger the fixt world shall shake,
says she, And frighted Nature her own laws forsake: “ Ruins ere long shall your sole monuments be." Do thou but threat, loud storms shall make re The silver Moon with terrour paler grew, ply,
And neighbouring Hermon sweated flowery dew; And thunder echo't to the trembling sky; Swift Jordan started, and straight backward fed, Whilst raging seas swell to so bold an height, Hiding among thick reeds his aged head: As shall the fire's proud element affright: Lo, at her entrance Saul's strong palace shook ; Th' old drudging Sun from his long beaten way | And nimbly there the reverend shape she took Shall at thy voice start, and misguide the day; Of father Benjamin; so long her beard, The jocund orbs shall break their measur'd pace So large her limbs, so grave her looks, appear'd, And stubborn poles change their allotted place; Just like his statue, which bestrid Saul's gate Heaven's gilded troops shall flutter here and And seein'd tu guard the race it did create. there,
In this known form she' approach'd the tyrant's Leaving their boasting songs tun'd to a sphere; Nay, their God too-for fear he did, when we And thus her words the sacred form bely'd : Took noble arms against his tyranny,
“Arise, lost king of Israel! canst thou lie So noble arms, and in a cause so great,
Dead in this sleep, and yet thy last so nigh! That triumphs they deserve for their defeat. If king thou be'st, if Jesse's race as yet There was a day! oh might I see't again,
Sit not on Israel's throne! And shall he sit? Tho' he had fiercer flaines to thrust us in! Did ye for this from fruitful Egypt ty? And can such powers be by a child withstood ? From the mild brickkiln's nobler slavery ? Will slings, alas! or pebbles do him good? For this did seas your powerful rod obey? What th’untam'd lion, wbet with hunger too, Did wonders guide, and feed, you on your way! And gian's could not, that my word shall do: Could ye not there great Pharaoh's bondage P'll soon dissolve this peace; where Saul's new
bear, love .
You who can serve a boy, and minstrel, here? (Bat Saul we know) great as my hate shall Forbid it, God! if thou be'st just ; this shame prove,
Cast not on Saul's, on mine, and Israel's, name! Before ibeir Sun twice more be gone about, Why was I else from Canaan's famine led ? I and my faithful snakes would drive it out. Happy, thrice happy, had I there been dead, By me Cain offerd up his brotber's gore, Ere my full loins discharg'd this numerous race, Á sacrifice for worse than that before;
This luckless tribe, ev'n crown'd to their disI saw him fling the stone, as if he meant
grace! At once his murder and his monument,
Ah, Saul! thy servant's vassal must thou live? Aud laugh’d to see (for 'twas a goodly show) Place to his harp must thy dread sceptre gire? The earth by her first tiller fatteu'd so:
What wants he now but that? canst thou for I drove proud Pharaoh to the parted sea;
get He and his bost drank up cold death by me: (If thou be'st man thou canst not) how they met By me rebellious arms fierce Corah took, The youth with songs? alas! poor monarch ! Add Dioses (curse upon that name!) forsook ;
you Hither (ye know) almost alive he came
Your thousand only, he ten thousand, slew ! Through the cleft Earth; ours was his funeral | Him Israel loves, him neighbouring countries flame:
fear; By membut I lose time, methinks, and should | You but the name and empty title bear. Perform new acts whilst I relate the old. And yet the traitor lives, Jives in thy court; David's the next our fury must enjoy :
The court that must be his; where he shall sport 'Tis not thy God himself shall save thee, boy! Himself with all thy concubines, thy gold, No, if he do, may the whole world have peace; Thy costly robes, thy crown. Wert thou not told May all ill actions, all ill fortune, cease,
This by proud Samuel, when at Gilgal be And banished from this potent count below, With bold false threats from God affronted thee! May I a ragged contemnd Virtue grow!" The dotard ly'd; God said it not, I know; She spoke ; all star'd at first, and made a Not Baal or Moloch would have us'd thee so. pause;
Was not the choice his own? did not thy worth But straight the general murmur of applause Exact the royal lot, and call it forth? Ran through Death's courts; she frown'd still, Hast thou not since (my best and greatest son!) and begun
To him, and to his perishing nation, done To envy at the praise herself had won. . Such lasting benefits as may justly clain Great Beelzebub starts from his burning throne A sceptre as eternal as thy fame? To 'embrace the fiend, but she, now furious Puor prince! whom madmen, priests, and boys grown
invade; To act her part, thrice bow'd, and thence she By thine onn flesh, thy ungrateful son betray'd ! Aled;
Unnatural fool! who can thus cheated be The snakes all hiss'd, the fiends all murmured. By friendsbip's name, against a crown and thco !
Betray not too thyself; take courage, call | If that curst object longer sex my sight,
Whilst thus his wrath with threats the tyrant Lo! this great cause makes thy dead fathers fed, rise,
The threaten'd youth slept fearless on his bed: Breaks the firm seals of their clos'd tombs and Sleep on, rest quiet as thy conscience take, eyes.
For, though thou sleep'st thyself, thy God's Nor can their jealous ashes, whilst this boy
awake. Survives, the privilege of their graves enjoy. Above the subtle foldings of the sky; Rise quickly," Saul! and take that rebel's Above the well-set orbs soft harmony; breath,
Above those petty lamps that gild the night : Which troubles thus thy life, and ev'n our death: There is a place oerflown with hallow'd light: Kill him, and thou 'rt secure; 'tis only he Where Heaven, as if it left itself behind,. That's boldly interpos'd 'twixt God and thee, Is stretcb'd-out far, nor its own bounds can find : As Earth's low globe robs the high Moon of Here peaceful flames swell up the sacred place, light;
Nor can the glory contain itself in th' endless When this eclipse is past, thy fate's all bright
space; Trust me, dear son ! and credit what I tell; For there no twilight of the Sun's dull ray I've seen thy royal stars, and know them well. Glimmers upon the pure and native day; Hence, fears and dull delays ! is not thy breast | No pale-fac'd Moon does in stol'n beams appear, (Yes Saul, it is) with noble thoughts possest? Or with dim taper scatters darkness there; May they beget like acts!" With that she On no smooth sphere the restless seasons slide, takes
No circling motion doth swift time divide ; One of her worst, her best-beloved snakes : Nothing is there to come, and nothing past, “ Softly, dear worm! soft and unseen," said But an eternal now does always last. she,
There sits th’ Almighty, First of all, and End; * Into his bosom steal, and in it be
Whom nothing but himself can comprehend; My viceroy.” At that word she took her Who with his word commanded all to be, flight,
And all obey'd him, for that word was he: And her loose shape dissolv'd into the night. Only he spoke, and every thing that is
Th’ infected king leapt from his bed amaz'd, From out the womb of fertile Nothing ris', Scarce knew himself at first, but round him Oh, who shall tell, who shall describe thy gaz'd:
throne. And started back at piec'd-up shapes, which Thou great Three-One! fear
There thou thyself dost in full presence show, And bis distracted fancy painted there:
Not absent from these meaner worlds below; Terruur froze up his hair, and on his face No, if thou wert, the elements' league would Showers of cold sweat roll'd trembling down
And all thy creatures break thy Nature's peace, Then knocking with his angry hands his breast, The Sun would stop his course, or gallop back, Earth with his feet, he cries, “ Oh! 'tis con. The stars drop out, the poles themselves would
crack; - I've been a pious fool, a woman-king;
Earth's strong foundations would be torn in Wrong'd by a scer, a boy, every thing.
twain, Eight hundred years of death is not so deep, And this vast work all ravel out again So unconcern'd, as my lethargic sleep.
To its first nothing: for his spirit contains My patience even a sacrilege becomes,
The well-knit mass; from him each creaturs Disturbs the dead, and opes their sacred tombs.
gains Ah ! Benjamin, kind father! who for me
Being and motion, which he still bestows; This cursed world endur'st again to see!
From him th’ effect of our weak action flows : All thou hast said, great vision! is so true, Round him vast armies of swift angels stand. That all which thou command'st and more, I'll Which seven triumphant generals command; do:
They sing loud anthems of his endless praise ; Kill bim! yes, mighty ghost! the wretch shall And with fix'd eyes drink-in immortal rays ::
Of these he call'd out one; all Heaven did Though every star in Heaven should it deny;
shake, Nor mock th' assault of our just wrath again, And silence kept whilst its Creator spake. Had he ten times his fam'd ten thousand slain. “Are we forgotten then so soon ? can he Should that bold popular madman, whose de Look on his crown, and not remember me sign
That gave it? can he think we did not hear Is to revenge his own disgrace by mine,
(Fond man !) his threats? and have we made Should my ungrateful son oppose th' intent,
the ear, Should mine own heart grow scrupulous and To be accounted deaf? No, Saul! we heard ; relent,
And it will cost thee dear : the ills thou'st Curse me, just Heaven! (by which this truth I fear'd, swear)
Practis.d or thought on, I'll all double send; If I that seer, my son, or self, do spare.
Have we not spoke it, and dares man contend : No, gentle ghost ! return to thy still home; | Alas, poor dust! didst thou but know the day Thither, this day, mine and thy foe shall come. When thou must lie ip blood at Gilboa,
Thou, and thy sons, thou would'st not threaten | Till they to number and fix'd rules were brought
By the Eternal Mind's poetic thought. Thy trembling tongue would stop against thy Water and air he for the tenor chose, will.
Earth made the bass, the treble flame arose : Then shall thine head fix'd in curst temples be, To th’active Moon a quick brisk stroke he gave, And all their foolish gods shall laugh at thee. To Saturn's string, a touch more soft and grave. That hand, which now on David's life would prey, The motions straight, and round, and swift, and Shall then turn just, and its own master slay;
slow, He whom thou hat'st, on thy lov'd throne shall | And short, and long, were mix'd and woven som
Did in such artful figures smoothly fall And expiate the disgrace thou dost to it.
As made this decent-measur'd dance of all. Haste then; tell David what his king has And this is music: sounds that charm our ears, sworn,
Are but one dressing that rich Science wears. Tell him whose blood must paint this rising Though no man hear 't, though no man it remorn;
Yet will there still be music in my verse; [hearso Yet bid him go securely, when he sends;
In this great world so much of it we see, "Tis Saul that is his foe, and We his friends; The lesser, man, is all o'er harmony; The man who has his God, no aid can lack, Sturehouse of all proportions ! single quire! And We, who bid him go, will bring him which first God's breath did tunefully inspire! back.”
From hence blest music's heavenly charms arise, He spoke; the Heavens seem'd decently to From sympathy, which them and man allies.
Thus they our souls, thus they our bodies win, With all their bright inhabitants; and now Not by their force, but party that's within : The jocund spheres began again to play, Thus the strange cure, on our spilt blood apply'd, Again each spirit sung Halleluia;
Sympathy to the distant wound does guide: Only that angel was straight gone : even so Thus, when two brethren-strings are set alike, (But not so swift) the morning-glories flow To move them both, but one of them we strike : At once from the bright Sun, and strike the | Thus David's lyre did Saul's wild rage control, ground;
And tun'd the harsh disorders of his soul.
Led by th' Almighty's hand
From out a foreign land, So flew this angel, till to David's bed
| The great sea bebeld, and fled, He came, and thus his sacred message said: 1
As men pursued, when that fear past they find, “Awake, young man, hear what thy king Stop on some higher ground to look behind; has sworn;
So, whilst through wondrous ways He swore thy blood should paint this rising I The sacred army went, morn:
The waves afar stood up to gaze, Yet to him go securely, when he sends;
And their own rocks did represent, 'Tis Saul that is your foe, and God your friends: Solid as waters are above the firmament. The man who has his God, no aid can lack; *** and he who bids thee go, will bring thee back."
“Old Jordan's waters to their spring Up leap'd Jessides, and did round him stare,
I Start back with sudden fright; But could see nought ; for nought was left but
I The spring amaz'd at sight,
Asks what news from sea they bring. (side air: Whilst this great vision labours in his thought,
The mountains shook; and to the mountains Lo! the short prophecy t effect is brought : .
The little hills leap'd round, themselves to hide; In treacherous haste he's sent for to the king
As young affrighted lambs, And with him bid his charmful lyre to bring.
When they aught dreadful spy, The king, they say, lies raging in a fit,
Run trembling to their helpless dams: Which does no cure but sacred tunes admit;
The mighty sea and river by And true it was, soft music did appease
| Were glad, for their excuse to see the hills tao Th' obscure fantastic rage of Saul's disease.
“ What ail'd the mighty sea tu flee? Tell me, oh Muse! (for thou, or none, canst Or why did Jordan's tide tell,
Back to his fountain glide? The mystic powers that in blest numbers dwell; Jordan's tide what ailed thee? (shake? Thon their great nature know'st, nor is it fit Why icap'd the hills? why did the mountains This noblest gem of thine own crown t' omit) What ail'd them, their six'd natures to forsake? Tell me from whence these heavenly charms Fly where thou wilt, O sea ! arise ;
And Jordan's current cease! Teach the dull world t' admire what they de Jordan, there is no need of thee; As first a various unform'd hint we find
For at God's word, whene'er he please, Rise in some godlike poet's fertile mind,
The rocks shall weep new waters forth instead Till all the parts and words their places take,
of these.” And with just marches verse and music make : Such was God's poem, this world's new essay; THUS sung the great Musician to liis lyre; So wild and rude in its first draught it lay; | And Saul's black rage grew softly to retire; Th'ungovern’d parts no correspondence knew, But Envy's serpent still with hiin remain’d, An artless war from thwarting motions grew; And the wise charmer's he: Ithful voice disdain'd,
Tu'unthankful king, curd truly of his fit, l In quiet then?" said she,“ will they not give.
One hour will do your work
" An arm more strong and sure than his was Here her well govern'd tears dropp'd down acome;
pace: An Angel, whose unseen and easy might
Beauty and sorrow mingled in one face Put-by the weapon, and misled it right.
Has such resistless charms, that they believe, How vain man's power is ! unless God command, And an unwilling aptness find to griere The weapon disobeys his master's hand;
At what they came for. A pale statue's head, Happy was now the errour of the blow;
In linen wrapp'd, appear'd on David's bed; At Gilboa it will not serve him so.
Two servants mourful stand, and silent, by, One would have thought, Saul's sudden rage And on the table med'cinal relics lie; t' have seen,
In the close room a well-plac'd taper's light He had himself by David wounded been; Adds a becoming horrour to the sight: He scorn'd to leave what he did ill begin, And for th'impression God prepar'd their sense; And thought his honour now engag'd i' th’sin; They saw, believ'd all this, and parted thence. A bloody troop of his own guards he sends How vain attempts Saul's unblest anger tries, (Slares to his will, and falsely callid his friends) By his own hands dcceiv'd, and servant's eyes ! To mend his errour by a surer blow;
“ It cannot be," said he, “no, can it? shall
But God, alas ! guards not the bad from ill.
As the fresh body of the first-made man
No; let us have him whole; we else may seem (A small, but artful Paradise) they walk'd, To 'ave snatch'd away but some few days from And hand in hand sad gentle things they talk'd.
him, Here Michal first an armed troop espies
And cut that thread which would have dropp'd in (So faithful and so quick are loving eyes!)
two; Which march'd, and often glister'd through a Will our great anger learn to stoop so low? Food,
I know it cannot, will not; him we prize That on right-hand of her fair palace stood;
Of our just wrath the solemn sacrifice, She saw them; and cry'd out, “They're come
That must not blemish'd be ; let him remain . to kill
Secure, and grow up to our stroke again : My dearest lord; Saul's spear pursues thee
'Twill be some pleasure then to take his breath, ', still.
When he shall strive and wrestle with his death ; Behold his wicked guards ! haste quickly, fly!
Go, let him live- And yet- shall I then stay For Heaven's sake. haste! my dear lord. do So long? good and great actions hate delav. pot die!.
Some foolish piety perhaps, or he · Ab, cruel father! whose ill-natur'd rage
That has been still mine honour's enemy, Veither thy wortb, nor marriage, can assuage! Samuel, may change or cross my just intent, Will he part those he join'd so late before ?
And I this formal pity soon repent : Were the two-hundred foreskins worth no more?
Besides, Fate gives him me, and whispers this, He shall not part us ;” (then she wept between) | That he can fy no more, if we should miss. "At yonder window thou may'st 'scape unseen;
Miss! can we miss again? Go bring him straight, This hand shall let thee down! stay not, but
Though gasping out his soul; if the wish'u date haste ;
Of his accursed life be almost past, 'Tis not my use to send thee hence so fast." Some joy 'twill be to see him breathe his last." * Best of all women !” he replies—and this Thetroop return'd, of their short virtue asham'd, Sarce spoke, she stops his answer with a kiss; Saul's courage prais'd, and their own weakness "Throw not away,” said she, “ thy precious
But when the pious fraud they understood,
Due to the sacred beauty in it reign'd,
From Michal's murder their wild rage restrain'd. She meets the murderers with a virtuous lye, She alleg'd the holiest chains that bind a wife, And good dissembling tears. “ May be not die | Duty and love; she alleg'd that her own life,