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Had she refus'd that safety to her lord,
Would have incurr'd just danger from his sword.
Now was Saul's wrath full-grown; he takes no
A violent flame rolls in his troubled breast,
And in fierce lightning from his eye does break ;
Not his own favourites and best friends dare
Or look on him; but, mute and trembling, all
Fear where this cloud will burst, and thunder fall.
So, when the pride and terrour of the wood,
A lion, prick'd with rage and want of food,
Espies out from afar some well-fed beast,
And brustles up, preparing for his feast;
If that by swiftness 'scape his gaping jaws,
His bloody eyes he hurls round, his sharp paws
Tear up the ground; then runs he wild about,
Lashing his angry tail, and roaring out;
Beasts creep into their dens, and tremble there;
Trees, though no wind stirring, shake with fear;
Silence and horrour fill the place around;
Echo itself dares scarce repeat the sound.
Midst a large wood, that joins fair Rama's
(The neighbourhood fair Rama's chief renown)
A college stands, where at great prophets' feet
The prophets' sons with silent diligence meet;
By Samuel built, and moderately endow'd,
Yet more to his liberal tongue than hands they
There himself taught, and his bless'd voice to
Teachers themselves lay proud beneath him
The house was a large square, but plain and low;
Wise Nature's use Art strove not to outgo:
An inward square by well-rang'd trées was made;
And, nidst the friendly cover of their shade,
A pure, well-tasted, wholesome fountain rose;
Which no vain cost of marble did enclose;
Nor through carv'd shapes did the fore'd waters
Shapes gazing on themselves i' th' liquid glass;
Yet the chaste stream, that 'mong loose pebbles
For cleanness, thirst, religion serv'd as well.
The scholars, doctors, and companions, here,
Lodg'd all apart in neat small chambers were,
Well-furnish'd chambers; for in each there stood
A narrow couch, table, and chair of wood;
More is but clog, where use does bound delight;
And those are rich whose wealth's proportion'd
To their life's form: more goods would but become
A burthen to them, and contract their room,
A second court, more sacred, stood behind,
Built fairer, and to nobler use design'd:
The hall and schools one side of it possest;
The library and synagogue the rest.
Tables of plain-cut fir, adorn'd the hall;
And with beasts' skins the beds were cover'd
The reverend doctors take their seats on high,
Th' elect companions in their bosoms lie;
The scholars far below, upon the ground,
On fresh-strew'd rushes, place themselves around.
With more respect the wise and ancient lay;
But ate not choicer herbs or bread than they,
Nor purer waters drank, their constant feast;
But by great days, and sacrifice increas'd.
The schools, built round and higher, at the end
With their fair circle did this side extend;
To which their synagogue, on th' other side,
And to the hall their library reply'd,
The midst towards their large gardens open lay,
To admit the joys of spring and early day.
I' th' library a few choice authors stood; [good;
Yet 'twas well-stor'd, for that small store was
Writing, man's spiritual physic, was not then
Itself, as now, grown a disease of men.
Learning, (young virgin) but few suitors knew;
The common prostitute she lately grew,
And with her spurious blood loads now the press;
Laborious effects of idleness!
Here all the various forms one might behold
How letters sav'd themselves from death of old;
Some painfully engrav'd in thin-wrought plates;
Some cut in wood, some lightlier trac'd on slates;
Some drawn on fair palm-leaves, with short-liv'd
Had not their friend the cedar lent his oil : [toil,
Some wrought in silks, some writ in tender barks;
Some the sharp style in waxen tables maiks;
Some in beasts' skins, and some in Biblos' reed;
Both new rude arts, which age and growth did
The schools were painted well with useful skill;
Stars, maps, and stories, the learn'd wall did fill.
Wise wholesome proverbs mix'd around the room,
Some writ, and in Egyptian figures some.
Here all the noblest wits of men inspir'd,
From Earth's slight joys, and worthless toile;
(Whom Samuel's fame and bounty thither lead)
Each day by turns their solid knowledge read.
The course and power of stars great Nathan
And home to man those distant wonders brought;
How tow'rd both poles the Sun's fix'd journey
And how the year his crooked walk attends;
Ly what just steps the wandering lights advance,
And what eternal measures guide their dance:
Himself a prophet; but his lectures show'd
How little of that art to them he ow'd.
Mahol, th' inferior world's fantastic face,
Through all the turns of matter's maze,
Great Nature's well-set clock in pieces took;
On all the springs and smallest wheels did look
Of life and motion; and with equal art
Made up again the whole of every part.
The prophet Gad in learned dust designs
Th' immortal solid rules of fancy'd lines:
Of numbers to th' unnumber'd wealth he shows,
And with them far their endless journey goes;
Numbers, which still increase more high and wide
From one, the root of their turn'd pyramid.
Of men and ages past Seraiah read;
Embalm'd in long-liv'd history the dead;
Show'd the steep falls and slow ascent of states;
What wisdom and what follies make their fates,
Samuel himself did God's rich law display;
Taught doubting men with judgment to obey;
And oft his ravish'd soul, with sudden flight,
Soar'd above present times and human sight.
Those arts but welcome strangers might appear,
Music and Verse seem'd born and bred-up herei
Scarce the blest Heaven, that rings with angus'
Does with more constant harmony rejoice;
The sacred Muse does here each breast inspire; Heman and sweet-mouth'd Asaph, rule their quire;
Both charming poets; and all strains they play'd,
By artful breath or nimble fingers made.
The synagogue was dress'd with care and cost,
(The only place where that they esteem'd not
The glittering roof with gold did daze the view,
The sides refresh'd with silks of sacred blue.
Here thrice each day they read their perfect law,
Thrice prayers from willing Heaven a blessing
Thrice in glad hymns, swell'd with the Great
The pliant voice on her seven steps they raise,
Whilst all th' enliven'd instruments around
To the just feet with various concord sound;
Such things were Muses then, contemn'd low
Decently proud, and mindful of their birth.
"Twas God himself that here tun'd every tongue;
And gratefully of him alone they sung:
They sung how God spoke-out the world's vast
From nothing, and from no-where, call'd forth
No Nature yet, or place for 't to possess,
But an unbottom'd gulph of emptiness:
Full of himself, th' Almighty sate, his own
Palace, and, without solitude, alone.
But he was goodness whole, and all things will'd;
Which, ere they were, his active word fulfill'd;
And their astonish'd heads o' th' sudden rear'd;
An unshap'd kind of something first appear'd,
Confessing its new being, and undrest,
As if it stepp'd in haste before the rest.
Yet, buried in this matter's darksome womb,
Lay the rich seeds of every thing to come:
From hence the cheerful flame leap'd up so high;
Close at its heels the nimble air did fly;
Dull Earth with his own weight did downwards
To the fix'd navel of the universe,
And was quite lost in waters; till God said
To the proud Sea," Shrink-in your insolent head,
See how the gaping Earth has made you place
That durst not murmur, but shrunk in apace:
Since when, his bounds are set; at which
He foams, and rages, and turns back again.
With richer stuff he bade Heaven's fabric shine,
And from him a quick spring of light divine
Swell'd up the Sun, from whence his cherishing
Fills the whole world, like him from whom it
Singing their maker in their untaught lays :
Nay, the mute fish witness no less his praise;
For those he made, and cloth'd with silver scales,
From minnows, to those living islands, whales.
Beasts too were his command: what could he
Yes, man he could, the bond of all before;
In him he all things with strange order hurl'd;
In him, that full abridgment of the world.
This and much more of God's great works they
His mercies, and some judgments too, of old:
How, when all earth was deeply stained in sin,
With an impetuous noise the waves came rush-
Where birds erewhile dwelt and securely sung,
There fish (an unknown net) entangled hung:
The face of shipwreck'd Nature naked lay;
The Sun peep'd forth, and beheld nought but sea.
This men forgot, and burnt in lust again :
Till showers, strange as their sin, of fiery rain
And scalding brimstone, dropp'd on Sodom's
Alive, they felt those flames they fry-in dead.
No better end rash Pharaoh's pride befel,
When wind and sea waged war for Israel :
In his gilt chariots amaz'd fishes sat,
And grew with corpse of wretched princes fat;
The waves and rocks half eaten bodies stain;
Nor was it since call'd the Red Sea in vain.
Much too they told of faithful Abraham's fame,
To whose blest passage they owe still their name:
Of Moses much, and the great seed of Nun,
What wonders they perform'd, what lands they
How many kings they slew, or captive brought; They held the swords, but God and angels fought. Thus gain'd they the wise spending of their days;
And their whole life was their dear Maker's praise.
No minute's rest, no swiftest thought, they sold
To that beloved plague of mankind, gold;
Gold, for which all mankind with greater pains
Labour tow'rds Hell, than those who digs its
Their wealth was the contempt of it; which
They valued than rich fools the shining ore.
The silk worms' precious death they scorned to
And Tyrian dye appeared but sordid there.
Honour, which since the price of souls became,
Seem'd to these great-ones a low idle name.
Instead of down, hard beds they chose to have,
Such as might bid them not forget their grave,
Their board dispeopled no full element,
Free Nature's bounty thriftily they spent,
And spar'd the stock; nor could their bodies say
We owe this crudeness t' excess yesterday.
Thus souls live cleanly, and no soiling fear,
But entertain their welcome Maker there;
The senses perform nimbly what they 're bid,
And honestly, nor are by Reason chid;
And, when the down of sleep does softly fall,
Their dreams are heavenly then, and mystical;
With hasty wings time present they outtly,
And tread the doubtful maze of Destiny;
There walk, and sport among the years to come.
And with quick eye pierce every cause's womb.
Thus these wise saints enjoy'd their little all,
Free from the spite of much-mistaken Saul:
For, if man's life we in just balance weigh,
David desery'd his envy less than they.
Of this retreat the hunted prince makes choice,
Adds to their choir his nobler lyre and voice.
But long unknown ev'n here he could not lie;
So bright his lustre, so quick Envy's eye!
Th' offended troop, whom he escap'd before,
Pursue him here, and fear mistakes no more:
Belov'd revenge fresh rage to them affords;
Some part of him all promise to their swords.
They came, but a new spirit their hearts pos-
Scattering a sacred calm through every breast:
The furrows of their brow, so rough erewhile,
Sink down into the dimples of a smile :
Their cooler veins swell with a peaceful tide,
Jonathan and David; upon which the latter absents himself from court, and the former goes thither, to inform himself of Saul's resolution. The feast of the New Moon; the manner of the celebration of it; and therein a digression of the history of Abraham. Saul's speech upon David's absence from the feast, and his anger against Jonathan, David's resolution to fly away; he parts with Jonathan and falls asleep under a tree. A description of Phansy! an angel makes up a vision in David's head; the vision itself, which is, a prophecy of all the succession of his race till Christ's time, with their most remarkable actions. At his awaking, Gabriel assumes a human shape, and confirms to him the truth of his vision.
And the chaste streams with even current glide; But now the early birds began to call
A sudden day breaks gently through their eyes,
And morning blushes in their cheeks arise:
The thoughts of war, of blood, and murder,
In peaceful tunes they adore the God of peace!
New messengers twice more the tyrant sent,
And was twice more mock'd with the same event:
His heighten'd rage no longer brooks delay;
It sends him there himself: but on the way
His foolish anger a wise fury grew,
And blessings from his mouth unbidden flew :
His kingly robes he laid at Naioth down,
Began to understand, and scorn, his crown;
Employ'd his mounting thoughts on nobler
And felt more solid joy than empire brings;
Embrac'd his wondering son, and on his head,
The balm of all past wounds, kind tears, he shed.
So covetous Balaam, with a fond intent
Of cursing the blest seed, to Moab went:
But as he went, his fatal tongue to sell,
His ass taught him to speak, God to speak well.
"How comely are thy tents, oh Israel!"
(Thus he began) "what conquest they foretell!
Less fair are orchards in their autumn pride,
Adorn'd with trees on some fair river's side;
Less fair are vallies, their green mantles spread!
Or mountains with tall cedars on their head!
'Twas God himself (thy God who must not fear?)
Brought thee from bondage to be master here.
Slaughter shall wear out these, new weapons
And Death in triumph on thy darts shall sit.
When Judah's lion starts up
to his prey,
The beasts shall hang their ears and creep away;
When he lies down the woods shall silence keep,
And dreadful tigers tremble at his sleep.
Thy cursers, Jacob! shali twice cursed be;
And he shall bless himself that blesses thee !"
THE friendship betwixt Jonathan and David, and, upon that occasion, a digression concerning the nature of love. A discourse between
The morning forth; up rose the Sun and Saul; Both, as men thought, rose fresh from sweet re
But, both alas! from restless labours rose:
For in Saul's breast, Envy, the toilsome sin,
Had all that night active and tyrannous been:
She expell'd all forms of kindness, virtue, grace;
Of the past day no footstep left or trace;
The new-blown sparks of his old rage appear,
Nor could his love dwell longer with his fear.
So near a storm wise David would not stay,
Nor trust the glittering of a faithless day;
He saw the Sun call in his beams apace,
And angry clouds march up into their place;
The sea itself smooths his rough brow awhile,
Flattering the greedy merchant with a smile;
But he, whose shipwreck'd bark it drank be
Sees the deceit, and knows it would have more.
Such is the sea, and such was Saul.
But Jonathan, his son, and only good,
Was gentle as fair Jordan's useful flood;
Whose innocent stream, as it in silence goes,
Fresh honours and a sudden spring bestows,
On both his banks, to every flower and tree;
The manner how lies hid, th' effect we see.
But more than all, more than himself, he lov'd
The man whose worth his father's hatred mov'd;
For, when the noble youth at Dammin stood,
Adorn'd with sweat, and painted gay with
Jonathan pierc'd him through with greedy eye,
And understood the future majesty
Then destin'd in the glories of his look;
He saw, and straight was with amazement strook,
To see the strength, the feature, and the grace
Of his young limbs: he saw his comely face,
Where love and reverence so well mingled were;
And head, already crown'd with golden hair:
He saw what mildness his bold spirit did tame,
Gentler than light, yet powerful as a flame:
He saw his valour, by their safety prov'd;
He saw all this, and as he saw, he lov'd.
What art thou, Love! thou great mysterious thing!
From what hid stock does thy strange nature
From the due place and office first ordain'd;
By thee were all things made, and are sustain'd.
Sometimes we see thee fully, and can say
From hence thou took'st thy rise, and went'st that way;
But oftener the short beams of Reason's eye
See only there thou art, not how, nor why.
How is the loadstone, Nature's subtile pride,
By the rude iron woo'd, and made a bride?
How was the weapon wounded? what hid flame
The strong and conquering metal overcame ?
Love (this world's grace) exalts his natural state;
He feels thee, Love! and feels no more his
Ye learned heads, whom ivy garlands grace,
Why does that twining plant the oak embrace?
The oak, for courtship most of all unfit,
And rough as are the winds that fight with it?
How does the absent pole the needle move?
How does his cold and ice beget hot love?
Which are the wings of lightness to ascend?
Or why does weight to th' centre downwards
Thus creatures void of life obey thy laws,
And seldom we, they never, know the cause.
In thy large state, life gives the next degree,
Where Sense, and Good Apparent, places thee;
But thy chief palace is man's heart alone,
Here are thy triumphs and full glories shown;
Handsome Desires, and Rest about thee flee,
Union, Inherance, Zeal, and Extacy,
With thousand joys cluster around thine head,
O'er which a gall-less dove her wings does
A gentle lamb, purer and whiter far [spread;
Than consciences of thine own martyrs are,
Lies at thy feet; and thy right hand does hold
The mystic sceptre of a cross of gold.
Thus dost thou sit (like men ere sin had fram'd
A guilty blush) naked but not asham'd.
What cause then did the fabulous ancients find,
When first their superstition made thee blind?
Twas they, alas! 'twas they who could not see,
When they mistook that monster, Lust, for thee.
Thou art a bright, but not consuming flame;
Such in th' amazed bush to Moses came; [rear,
When that, secure, its new-crown'd head did
And chid the trembling branches' needless fear.
Thy darts are healthful gold, and downwards
Soft as the feathers that they're fletch'd withall.
Such, and no other, were those secret darts,
Which sweetly touch'd this noblest pair of hearts;
Still to one end they both so justly drew,
As courteous doves together yok'd would do:
No weight of birth did on one side prevail,
Two twins less even lie in Nature's scale;
They mingled fates, and both in each did
They both were servants, they both princes were.
If any joy to one of them was sent,
It was most his, to whom it least was meant;
And Fortune's malice betwixt both was crost,
For, striking one, it wounded th' other most.
Never did marriage such true union find,
Or men's desires with so glad violence bind,
For there is still some tincture left of sin,
And still the sex will needs be stealing-in.
Those joys are full of dross, and thicker far;
These, without matter, clear and liquid are.
Where love is but to understand and will
With swift and unseen motions; such as we
Somewhat express in heighten'd charity.
O ye blest One! whose love on Earth became
So pure, that still in Heaven 'tis but the same!
There now ye sit, and with mixt souls embrace,
Gazing upon great Love's mysterious face;
And pity this base world, where friendship's made
A bait for sin, or else at best a trade.
Ah, wondrous prince! who a true friend could'st
When a crown flatter'd, and Saul threaten'd thee! Who held'st him dear, whose stars thy birth did cross!
And bought'st him nobly at a kingdom's loss! Israel's bright sceptre far less glory brings; There have been fewer friends on Earth than kings.
To this strange pitch their high affections flew, Till Nature's self scarce look'd on them as two. Hither flies David for advice and aid,
As swift as love and danger could persuade :
As safe in Jonathan's trust his thoughts remain,
As when himself but dreams them o'er again.
My dearest lord, farewell!" said he, "fare
Heaven bless the king! may no misfortune tell
Th' injustice of his hate when I am dead!
They're coming now; perhaps my guiltless
Here in your sight, must then -bleeding lie,
And scarce your own stand safe for being nigh.
Think me not scar'd with Death, howe'er 't ap-
I know thou canst not think so: 'tis a fear
From which thy love and Dammin speaks me
I'ave met him face to face, and ne'er could see
One terrour in his looks to make me fly
When Virtue bids me stand; but I would die
So as becomes my life, so as may prove
Saul's malice, and at least excuse your love."
He stopt and spoke some passion with his eyes: "Excellent friend!" the gallant prince replies, "Thou hast so prov'd thy virtues, that they're known
To all good men, more than to each his own.
Who lives in Israel that can doubtful be
Of thy great actions? for he lives by thee.
Such is thy valour, and thy vast success,
That all things but thy loyalty are less.
And should my father at thy ruin aim,
'Twould wound as much his safety as his fame:
Think them not coming, then, to slay thee here,
But doubt mishaps, as little as you fear;
For, by thy loving God, whoe'er design
Against thy life, must strike at it through mine.
But I my royal father must acquit
From such base guilt, or the low thought of it.
Think on his softness when from death he freed
The faithless king of Amalek's cursed seed;
Can he t' a friend, t' a son, so bloody grow,
He who ev'n sinn'd but now to spare a foe?
Admit he could; but with what strength or art
Could he so long close and seal up his heart?
Such counsels jealous of themselves become,
And dare not fix without consent of some;
Few men so boldly ill, great sins to do,
Till licens'd and approv'd by others too.
No more (believe 't) could he hide this from me,
Than I, had he discover'd it, from thee."
Here they embraces join, and almost tears; Till gentle David thus new prov'd his fears; "The praise you pleas'd (great prince!) on me to spend,
Or that the law be kept in memory still, Given with like noise on Sinai's shining hill; Or that (as some men teach) it did arise From faithful Abram's righteous sacritice, Who, whilst the ram on Isaac's fire did fry, His horn with joyful tunes stood sounding by. Obscure the cause; but God his will declar'd, And all nice knowledge then with ease is spar'd. At the third hour Saul to the hallow'd tent, 'Midst a large train of priests and courtiers, went; The sacred herd march'd proud and softly by; im-Too fat and gay to think their deaths so nigh. [part, Hard fate of beasts, more innocent than we! Prey to our luxury, and our piety! Whose guiltless blood, on boards and altars spilt, Serves both to make, and expiate too, our guilt! Three bullocks of free neck, two gilded rams, Two well-wash'd goats, and fourteen spotless lambs,
Was all out spoken when you styl'd me friend;
That name alone does dangerous glories bring,
And gives excuse to th' envy of a king.
What did his spear, force, and dark plots,
But some eternal rancour in his heart?
Still does he glance the fortune of that day
When, drown'd in his own blood, Goliah lay,
And cover'd half the plain; still hears the sound
How that vast monster fell, and struck the ground:
The dance, and David his ten thousand slew,'
Still wound his sickly soul, and still are new.
Great acts, t' ambitious princes, treasons grow,
So much they hate that safety which they owe.
Tyrants dread all whom they raise high in place,
From the good, danger: from the bad, disgrace:
They doubt the lords, mistrust the people's hate,
Till blood become a principle of state:
Secur'd nor by their guards, nor by their right,
But still they fear ev`n more than they affright.
Pardon me, sir! your father's rough and stern;
His will too strong to bend, too proud to learn:
Remember, sir! the honey's deadly sting;
Think on that savage justice of the king;
When the same day that saw you do before
Things above man, should see you man no more.
'Tis true th' accursed Agag mov'd his ruth,
He pitied his tall limbs and comely youth:
Had seen, alas! the proof of Heaven's fierce
And fear'd no mischief from his powerless fate :
Remember how th' old seer came raging down,
And taught him boldly to suspect his crown;
Since then, his pride quakes at th' Almighty's
Nor dares he love the man belov'd by God,
Hence his deep rage and trembling envy springs;
(Nothing so wild as jealousy of kings!)
Whom should he council ask, with whom advise,
Who reason and God's council does despise ?
Whose headstrong will no law or conscience daunt,
Dares he not sin, do you think, without your
The deep resolves of his griev'd father's mind :
The danger now appears, love can soon show 't,
And force his stubborn piety to know 't.
The' agree that David should conceal'd abide,
Fill his great friend had the court's temper try'd;
Till he had Saul's most secret purpose found,
And search'd the depth and rancour of his wound.
'Twas the year's seventh-born Moon, the so-
That with most noise its sacred mirth express'd.
From opening morn till night shuts in the day,
On trumpets and shrill horns the Levites play.
Whether by this in mystic type we see
The New-year's-day of great eternity, [make,
When the chang'd Moon shall no more changes
And scatter'd deaths by trumpets' sound awake;
With the three vital fruits, wine, oil, and bread, (Small fees to Heaven of all by which we 're fed! Are offer'd up; the hallow'd flames arise, [skies. And faithful prayers mount with them to the From hence the king to th' outmost court is brought,
Where heavenly things an inspir'd prophet taught,
And from the sacred tent to his palace-gates,
With glad kind shouts th' assembly on him waits;
The chearful horns before him loudly play,
And fresh-strew'd flow'rs paint his triumphant
Thus in slow state to th' palace-hall they go,
Rich drest for solemn luxury and show:
Ten pieces of bright tap'stry hung the room,
The noblest work e'er stretch'd on Syrian loom,
For wealthy Adriel in proud Sidon wrought,
And given to Saul when Saul's best gift he sought,
The bright-cy'd Merab; for that mindful day
No ornament so proper seem'd as they.
There all old Abram's story you might see;
And still some angel bore him company.
His painful, but well-guided, travels show
The fate of all his sons, the church below.
Here beauteous Sarah to great Pharaoh came,
He blush'd with sudden passion, she with shame;
Troubled she seem'd, and labouring in the strife
'Twixt her own honour and her husband's life,
Here on a conquering host, that caroless lay,
Drown'd in the joys of their new gotten prey,
The patriarch falls; well-mingled might you see
The confus'd marks of death and luxury.
In the next piece, blest Salem's mystic king
Does sacred presents to the victor bring;
Like him whose type he bears, his rights re
Strictly requires his due, yet freely gives;
Ev'n in his port, his habit and his face, [place
The mild and great, the priest and prince, had
Here all their starry host the heavens display;
And lo! an heavenly youth, more fair than they,
Leads Abram forth; points upwards: "Such,"
"So bright and numberless, thy seed shall be."
Here he with God a new alliance makes,
And in his flesh the marks of homage takes:
And here he three mysterious persons feas's,
Well paid with joyful tidings by his guests:
Here for the wicked town he prays, and near
Scarce did the wicked town through flames ap-