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Up with the sun arose ; and, having thrice 5
20 Some arm'd with bows, some with straight javelins,
ride; Rich swords and gilded quivers grace their side. 'Midst the fair troop David's tall brethren rode, And Joab, comely as a fancied god ; They entertain'd th' attentive Moab lords 25 With loose and various talk that chance affords, Whilst they pac'd slowly on; but the wise king Did David's tongue to weightier subjects bring, “ Much,” said the king, “ much I to Joab owe, “ For the fair pictu drawn by him of you ; 30 ~ ?T was drawn in little, but did acts express “So great, that largest histories are less. “ I see, methinks, the Gathian monster still; “ His shape last night my mindful dreams did fill.
“ Strange tyrant Saul, with envy to pursue
35 “ The praise of deeds whence his own safety grew! “I've heard (but who can think it?) that his son “ Has his life's hazard for your friendship run; " His matchless son, whose worth (if fame be true) “ Lifts him 'bove all his countrymen but you,
40 « With whom it makes him one.” Low David bows, But no reply Moab's swift tongue allows. "And pray, kind guest! whilst we ride thus," says he "(To gameful Nebo still three leagues there be), “The story of your royal friend relate,
45 " And his ungovern'd sire's imperious fate; “Why your great State that nameless family chose, “ And by what steps to Israel's throne they rose.
He said: and David thus: “From Egypt's land “You've heard, Sir, by what strong unarmed hand “Our fathers came, Moses their sacred guide; 51 “ But be in sight of the given country dy'd: “ His fatal promis'd Canaan was on high, “ And Joshua's sword must th' active rod supply: “ It did so, and did wonders.
55 “ From sacred Jordan to the Western main, “ From well-clad Libanus to the Southern plain “ Of naked sands, his winged conquests went; "And thirty kings to hell uncrown'd he sent. “ Almost four hundred years, from him to Saul, 60 “ In too much freedom pass'd, or foreign thrall. “Oft strangers’ iron sceptres bruis'd the land “ (Such still are those borne by a conquering hand); “ Oft pitying God did well-form'd spirits raise, “Fit for the toilsome business of their days, 65
“ To free the groaning nation, and to give “ Peace first, and then the rules in peace to live. “ But they whose stamp of power did chiefly lie “ In characters too fine for most men's eye, “ Graces and gifts divine ;—not painted bright 70 “ With state to awe dull minds, and force ť af
“ fright ;“ Were ill obey'd whilst living, and at death is
Their rules and pattern vanish'd with their breath. “ The hungry rich all near them did devour; “ Their judge was Appetite, and their law was "Power.
75 “ Not Want itself could luxury restrain ; “ For what that emptied, Rapine fill'd again.
Robbery the field, Oppression sack'd the town; “ What the Sword's reaping spar'd, was glean’d by
« th' Gown. “ At courts, and seats of justice, to complain, 80 “ Was to be robb’d more vexingly again. “ Nor was their Lust less active or less bold, “ Amidst this rougher search of blood and gold ; “ Weak beauties they corrupt, and force the strong; “ The pride of old men that, and this of young. 85 “ You 've heard perhaps, Sir, of lewd Gibeah's
shame, “ Which Hebrew tongues still tremble when they
“ Alarmed all by one fair stranger's eyes, “ As to a sudden war, the town does rise,
Shaking and pale, half-dead ere they begin • The strange and wanton tragedy of their sin :
“ All their wild lusts they force her to sustain, “ Till by shame, sorrow, weariness, and pain, “ She midst their loath'd and cruel kindness dies; “ Of monstrous lust the innocent sacrifice. 95 “ This did, 't is true, a civil war create “ (The frequent curse of our loose-govern'd state); “ All Gibeah's and all Jabesh' blood it cost; “ Near a whole tribe, and future kings, we lost. “Firm in this general earthquake of the land, 100 .“ How could Religion, its main pillar, stand ? “ Proud and fond man his Father's worship hates, “ Himself, God's creature, his own god creates ! “ Hence in each household several deities grew, “ And when no old one pleas'd, they fram'd a new: " The only land which serv'd but One before, 106 “ Did th' only then all nations' gods adore. “ They serv'd their gods at first, and soon their kings
(Their choice of that this latter slavery brings); “ Till special men, arm’d with God's warrant, broke “ By justest force th' unjustly-forced yoke; 111 “ All matchless persons, and thrice worthy they “ Of power more great, or lands more apt t obey. “ At last the priesthood join'd, in Ithamar's son, “ More weight and lustre to the sceptre won; 115
But, whilst mild Eli and good Samuel were “ Busied with age, and th' altar's sacred care, “ To their wild sons they their high charge commit, “Who' expose to scorn and hate both them and it, “ Eli's curs'd house th' exemplar vengeance bears “ Of all their blood, and all sad Israel's tears ; 12)
“ His sons abroad, himself at home lies slain;
« ť invade. “ Samuel was old, and, by his sons' ill choice, “ Turn'd dotard in th' unskilful vulgar's voice; 145 “ His sons so scorn'd and hated, that the land “Nor hop'd, nor wish'd, a victory from their hand. “ These were the just and faultless causes why “ The general voice did for a Monarch cryi..