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The wonders they perform'd may still be done;
Prayers and belief are as strong witchcraft still :
“ Amazement seized on all, and shame, to see
thy blow : Nature his limbs only for war made fit, In thine as yet nought beside love she 'has writ. With some less foe thy unflesh'd valour try; This monster can be no first victory. The lion's royal whelp does not at first For blood of Basan bulls or tigers thirst; In timorous deer he hansels his young paws, And leaves the rugged bear for firmer claws. So vast thy hopes, so unproportion'd, be, Fortune would be ashamed to second thee.
“ He said, and we all murmur'd an assent; But nought moved David from his high intent. It brave to him, and ominous, does appear, To be opposed at first, and conquer here; Which he resolves. Scorn not, said he, mine age; For victory comes not, like an heritage,
At set-years :—when my father's flock I fed,
“ Thus: and with trembling hopes of strange In his own arms he the bold youth does dress. On's head an helm of well-wrought brass is placed, The top with warlike plume severely graced; His breast a plate cut with rare figures bore, A sword much practised in death's art he wore, Yet David, used so long to no defence, But those light arms of Spirit and Innocence, No good in fight of that gay burthen knows, But fears his own arms' weight more than his foes. He lost himself in that disguise of war, And guarded seems as men by prisons are; He therefore, to exalt the wondrous sight, Prepares now, and disarms himself for fight, 'Gainst shield, helm, breast-plate; and, instead of those,
[chose, Five sharp smooth stones from the next brook he
And fits them to his sling; then marches down ;
he's come! Some friend his mother call, to drive him home. Not gone yet! if one minute more thou stay, The birds of heaven shall bear thee dead away. Gods! a cursed boy!— the rest then murmuring out, He walks, and casts a deadly grin about. David, with cheerful anger in his eyes, Advances boldly on, and thus replies: Thou comest, vain man! all arm'd into the field, And trustest those war toys, thy sword and shield: Thy pride's my spear, thy blasphemies my sword; My shield, thy Maker, fool! the mighty Lord Of thee and battles; who hath sent forth me Unarm’d thus, not to fight, but conquer, thee. In vain shall Dagon, thy false hope, withstand ; In vain thy other god, thine own right hand: Thy fall to man shall Heaven's strong justice show; Wretch! 'tis the only good which thou canst do.
“ He said ; our host stood dully silent by; And durst not trust their ears against the eye ; As much their champion's threats to him they fear'd, As when the monster's threats to them they heard. His flaming sword the' enraged Philistian shakes, And haste to’ his ruin with loud curses makes ; Backward the winds his active curses blew, And fatally round his own head they flew : For now from David's sling the stone is filed, And strikes with joyful noise the monster's head; It strook his forehead, and pierced deeply there, As swiftly as it pierced before the air: Down, down he falls, and bites in vain the ground; Blood, brain, and soul, crowd mingled through
the wound! So a strong oak, which many years had stood With fair and flourishing boughs, itself a woodThough it might long the axe's violence bear, And play'd with winds which other trees did tearYet by the thunder's stroke from the'root'tis rent: (So sure the blows that from high Heaven are sent!) What tongue the joy and wonder can express, Which did that moment our whole host
possess ! Their jocund shouts the' air like a storm did tear, The' amazed clouds fled swift away with fear: But far more swift the’ accursed Philistines fly, And, their ill fate to perfect, basely die. With thousand
ways around are strown, Till they by the day's flight secure their own. Now through the camp sounds nought but David's
name, All joys, of several stamp and colours, came From several passions : some his valour praise, Some his free speech, some the fair popular rays
Of youth, and beauty, and his modest guise ; Gifts that moved all, but charmed the female eyes. Some wonder, some they thought 'twould be so,
swear; And some saw angels flying through the air : The basest spirits cast back a crooked glance On this great act, and fain would give 't to Chance. Women our host with songs and dances meet, With much joy Saul, David with more, they greet. Hence the king's politic rage and envy flows, Which first he hides, and, seeks his life to' expose To generous dangers, that his hate might clear, And Fate or Chance the blame, nay David, bear. So vain are man's designs! for Fate and Chance, And Earth and Heaven, conspired to his advance: His beauty, youth, courage, and wondrous wit, In all mankind but Saul did love beget. Not Saul's own house, not his own nearest blood, The noble cause's sacred force withstood. You've met no doubt, and kindly used, the fame Of Godlike Jonathan's illustrious name; A name which every wind to heaven would bear, Which men to speak, and angels joy to hear. No angel e'er bore to his brother Mind A kindness more exalted and refined, Than his to David; which look'd nobly down, And scorn'd the false alarums of a crown. At Dammin field he stood, and from his place Leap'd forth, the wondrous conqueror to embrace; On him his mantle, girdle, sword, and bow, On him his heart and soul, he did bestow : Not all that Saul could threaten or persuade, In this close knot the smallest looseness made.