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“ Weak Lyre ! thy virtue sure
Is useless here, since thou art only found

To cure, but not to wound,
And she to wound, but not to cure.

Too weak too wilt thou prove

My passion to remove, Physic to other ills, thou'rt Nourishment to Love.

Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre!
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,

Bid thy strings silent lie, Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre! and 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 the authentic news to hear,
Of what she guess'd before with jealous fear,
She check'd her forwardjoy, and blush'd for shame,
And did his boldness with forced


blame. The senseless rules which first false honour taught, And into laws the tyrant custom brought 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 His vital light her wonted beams withdraw, He cursed his voice, his fingers, and his lyre, He cursed his too bold tongue, and bold desire ; In vain he cursed the last, for that still grew; From all things food its strong complexion drew:

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His joy and hope their cheerful motions ceased,
His life decay’d, but still his love increased;
Whilst she, whose heart approved not her disdain,
Saw and endured his pains with greater pain.
But Jonathan, to whom both hearts were known,
With a concernment equal to their own
(Joyful that Heaven with his sworn love comply'd
To draw that knot more fast which he had tied)
With well-timed zeal, and with an artful care,
Restored, and better'd soon, the nice affair.
With ease a brother's lawful


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! Which even enjoyment seldom can improve. Themselves agreed, which scarce could fail alone; All Israel's wish concurrent with their own; A brother's powerful aid firm to the side ; By solemn vow the king and father tied: All jealous fears, all nice disguises, pass'd, All that in less ripe love offends the taste; In either's breast their souls both meet and wed, Their heart the nuptial temple and the bed. And, though the grosser cates were yet not dress’d, By which their bodies must supply this feast, Bold hopes prevent slow pleasure's lingering birth, As saints, assured of heaven, enjoy 't on earth. All this the king observed; and well he saw What scandal, and what danger, it might draw To'oppose this just and popular match; but meant To'out-malice all refusals by consent.


He meant the poisonous grant should mortal prove;
He meant to ensnare his virtue by his love:
And thus he to him spoke, with more of art
And fraud, than well became the kingly part:-

“Your valour, David, and high worth, said he,
To praise is all men's duty, mine to see
Rewarded; and we shall to' our utmost powers
Do with like care that part, as you

did Forbid it, God! we like those kings should prove, Who fear the virtues which they're bound to love. Your piety does that tender point secure, Nor will my acts such humble thoughts endure: Your nearness to 't rather supports the crown, And the honours given to you increase our own. All that we can we'll give; 'tis our intent, Both as a guard and as an ornament, [prove, To place thee next ourselves; Heaven does apAnd my son's friendship, and my daughter's love, Guide fatally, methinks, my willing choice; I see, methinks, Heaven in 't, and I rejoice. Blush not, my son! that Michal's love I name, Nor need she blush to hear it; 'tis no shame Nor secret now; fame does it loudly tell, And all men but thy rivals like it well. If Merab's choice could have comply'd with mine, Merab, my elder comfort, had been thine: And hers, at last, should have with mine comply'd, Had I not thine and Michal's heart descry’d. Take whom thou lovest, and who loves thee; the last And dearest present made me by the chaste Ahinoam; and, unless she me deceive, When I to Jonathan my crown shall leave, "Twill be a smaller gift.

If I thy generous thoughts may undertake
To guess, they are what jointure thou shalt make
Fitting her birth and fortune: and, since so
Custom ordains, we mean to' exact it too.
The jointure we exact is, that shall be
No less advantage to thy fame than she.
Go where Philistian troops infest the land,
Renew the terrors of thy conquering hand :
When thine own hand, which needs must con-

queror prove,
In this joint cause of honour and of love,
An hundred of the faithless foe shall slay,
And for a dower their hundred foreskins pay,
Be Michal thy reward; did we not know
Thy mighty fate, and worth that makes it so,
We should not cheaply that dear blood expose,
Which we to mingle with our own had chose :
But thou’rt secure; and, since this match of thine
We to the public benefit design,
A public good shall its beginning grace,
And give triumphant omens of thy race.

“ Thus spoke the king: the happy youth bow'd


Modest and graceful his great joy did show;
The noble task well pleased his generous mind,
And nought to' except against it could he find,
But that his mistress' price too cheap appear'd;
No danger, but her scorn of it, he fear'd.
She with much different sense the news received,
At her high rate she trembled, blush'd, and grieved;
'Twas a less work the conquest of his foes,
Than to obtain her leave his life to' expose.
Their kind debate on this soft point would prove
Tedious, and needless, to repeat; if love

(As sure it has) e'er touch'd your princely breast,
"Twill to your gentle thoughts at full suggest
All that was done, or said; the grief, hope, fears;
His troubled joys, and her obliging tears.
In all the pomp of passion's reign they part ;
And bright prophetic forms enlarge his heart:
Victory and fame, and that more quick delight
Of the rich prize for which he was to fight.

“ Towards Gath he went, and in one month (šo
A fatal and a willing work is done !) [soon
A double dower, two hundred foreskins, brought
Of choice Philistian knights with whom he fought,
Men that in birth and valour did excel,
Fit for the cause and hand by which they fell.
Now was Saul caught; nor longer could delay
The two resistless lovers' happy day. [slow,
Though this day's coming long had seem'd and
Yet seem'd its stay as long and tedious now;
For, now the violent weight of eager love
Did with more haste so near its centre move,
He cursed the stops of form and state, which lay
In this last stage, like scandals, in his way.

“On a large gentle hill crown'd with tall wood, Near where the regal Gabaah proudly stood, A tent was pitch'd, of green wrought damask made, And seem'd but the fresh forest's natural shade; Various and vast within, on pillars borne Of Shittim-wood, that usefully adorn. Hither, to grace the nuptial feast, does Saul Of the twelve tribes the elders and captains call: And all around the idle, busy crowd With shouts and blessings tell their joy aloud. Lo! the press breaks, and from their several homes In decent pride the bride and bridegroom comes.

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