The Abraham Cowley Text and Image Archive

the third Book.

from Poems (1656; editor's copy)

Davids flight to Nob, and entertainment there by the High Priest; from thence to Gath in disguise, where he is discovered and brought to Achis; He counterfeits himself Mad, and escapes to Adullam. A short enumeration of the forces which come thither to him. A description of the Kingdom of Moab, whither David flies; His entertainment at Moabs Court, a Digression of the History of Lot, Father of the Moabites, represented in Picture. Melchors Song at the Feast; Moab desires Joab to relate the story of David. Which he does; His Extraction, his excellency in Poesie, and the effects of it in curing Sauls malady. The Philistims Army encamped at Dammin, the Description of Goliah and his Arms, his Challenge to the Israelites, Davids coming to the Camp, his speech to Saul to desire leave to fight with Goliah; several speeches upon that occasion, the combat and slaughter of Goliah, with the defeat of the Philistims Army. Sauls envy to David. The Characters of Merab and Michol. The Love between David and Michol, his Song at her window, his expedition against the Philistims, and the Dowry of two hundred foreskins for Michol, with whom he is married. The Solemnities of the Wedding; Sauls relapse, and the causes of Davids flight into the Kingdom of Moab.

    Rais'd with the news he from high Heav'en receives,
1 Sam. 21.
    Straight to his diligent God just thanks he gives.
1    To divine Nobe directs then his flight,
    A small Town great in Fame by Levy's right,
2    Is there with sprightly wines, and hallowed bread,
v. 4. 5. 6. Mat. 12. 4.
    (But what's to Hunger hallowed?) largely fed.
3    The good old Priest welcomes his fatal Guest,
    And with long talk prolongs the hasty feast.
4    He lends him vain Goliahs Sacred Sword,
Ver. 9.
    (The fittest help just Fortune could afford)      10
    A Sword whose weight without a blow might slay,
    Able unblunted to cut Hosts away,
    A Sword so great, that i[t] was only fit
    To take off his great Head who came with it.
    Thus he arms David; I your own restore,
    Take it (said he) and use it as before.
    I saw you then, and 'twas the bravest sight
    That e're these Eyes ow'ed the discov'ering light.
1 Sam. 17.
    When you stept forth, how did the Monster rage,
    In scorn of your soft looks, and tender age!      20
    Some your high Spirit did mad Presumption call,
    Some piti'ed that such Youth should idly fall.
    Th'uncircumcis'ed smil'ed grimly with disdain;
    I knew the day was yours: I saw it plain.
    Much more the Reverend Sire prepar'ed to say,
    Rapt with his joy; how the two Armies lay;
    Which way th'amazed Foe did wildly flee,
    All that his Hearer better knew then He.
    But Davids hast denies all needless stay;
    To Gath an Enemies Land, he hastes away,      30
1 Sam. 21. 10.
    Not there secure, but where one Danger's near,
    The more remote though greater disappear.
    So from the Hawk, Birds to Mans succour flee,
    So from fir'ed Ships Man leaps into the Sea.
    There in disguise he hopes unknown t'abide!
    Alas! in vain! what can such greatness hide?
    Stones of small worth may lye unseen by Day,
    But Night it self does the rich Gem betray.
5    Tagal first spi'ed him, a Philistian Knight,
    Who erst from Davids wrath by shameful flight      40
    Had sav'd the sordid remnant of his age;
    Hence the deep sore of Envy mixt with Rage.
    Straight with a band of Souldiers tall and rough,
    Trembling, for scarce he thought that band enough,
    On him he seises whom they all had fear'd,
    Had the bold Youth in his own shape appear'd.
    And now this wisht-for, but yet dreadful prey
    To Achis Court they led in hast away,
    With all unmanly rudeness which does wait
    Upon th'Immod'erate Vulgars Joy and Hate.      50
    His valour now and strength must useless ly,
    And he himself must arts unusu'al try;
    Sometimes he rends his garments, nor does spare
    The goodly curles of his rich yellow haire.
1 Sam. 21. 13.
    Sometimes a violent laughter scru'd his face,
    And sometimes ready tears dropt down apace.
    Sometimes he fixt his staring eyes on ground,
    And sometimes in wild manner hurl'd them round.
    More full revenge Philistians could not wish,
6    But call't the Justice of their mighty Fish.      60
    They now in height of anger, let him Live;
    And Freedom too, t'encrease his scorn, they give.
Ver. 15.
    He by wise Madness freed does homeward flee,
    And Rage makes them all that He seem'd to be.
7    Near to Adullam in an aged Wood,
1 Sam. 22. 1.
    An Hill part earth, part rocky stone there stood,
    Hollow and vast within, which Nature wrought
    As if by 'her Scholar Art she had been taught.
8    Hither young David with his Kindred came,
    Servants, and Friends; many his spreading fame,      70
    Many their wants or discontents did call;
1 Sam. 22.
    Great men in war, and almost Armies all!
    Hither came wise and valiant Joab down,
    One to whom Davids self must owe his Crown,
    A mighty man, had not some cunning Sin,
    Amidst so many Virtues crowded in.
    With him Abishai came by whom there fell
1 Chr. 11. 20.
    At once three hundred; with him Asahel:
9    Asahel, swifter then the Northern wind;      80
    Scarce could the nimble Motions of his Mind
    Outgo his Feet; so strangely would he runne,
    That Time it self perceiv'ed not what was done.
    Oft o're the Lawns and Meadows would he pass,
    His weight unknown, and harmless to the grass;
    Oft o're the sands and hollow dust would trace,
    Yet no one Atome trouble or displace.
    Unhappy Youth, whose end so near I see!
    There's nought but thy Ill Fate so swift as Thee.
10    Hither Jessides wrongs Benaiah drew,
1 Chro. 11. 22.
    He, who the vast exceeding Monster slew.      90
    Th'Egyptian like an Hill himself did rear,
    Like some tall Tree upon it seem'd his Spear.
    But by Benaiahs staff he fell orethrown;
Vers. 23.
    The Earth, as if worst strook, did loudest groan.
    Such was Benaiah; in a narrow pit
    He saw a Lyon, and leapt down to it.
Vers. 22.
    As eas'ily there the Royal Beast he tore
    As that it self did Kids or Lambs before.
    Him Ira follow'ed, a young lovely boy,
    But full of Sp'irit, and Arms was all his joy.      100
1 Chro. 11. 28.
    Oft when a child he in his dream would fight
    With the vain air, and his wak'ed Mother fright.
    Oft would he shoot young birds, and as they fall,
    Would laugh, and fansie them Philistians all.
    And now at home no longer would he stay,
    Though yet the face did scarce his Sex betray.
    Dodos great Son came next, whose dreadful hand
    Snatcht ripened Glories from a conque'ring band;
1 Chro. 11. 12.
    Who knows not Dammin, and that barley field,
    Which did a strange and bloody Harvest yield?      110
    Many besides did this new Troop encrease;
    Adan, whose wants made him unfit for peace.
    Eliel, whose full quiv'er did alwaies beare
1 Chro. 11. 46.
    As many Deaths as in it Arrows were.
    None from his hand did vain or inn'ocent flee,
    Scarce Love or Fate could aim so well as Hee.
    Many of Judah took wrong'ed Davids side,
1 Chr. 12. 16.
    And many of old Jacobs youngest Tribe;
    But his chief strength the Gathite Souldiers are,
1 Chro. 12. 8.
    Each single man able t'orecome a Warre!      120
    Swift as the Darts they fling through yielding air,
    And hardy all as the strong Steel they bare,
    A Lyons noble rage sits in their face,
    Terrible comely, arm'ed with dreadful grace!
    Th'undaunted Prince, though thus well guarded here,
1 Chr. 12. 8.
    Yet his stout Soul durst for his Parents fear;
    He seeks for them a safe and qui[et] seat,
    Nor trusts his Fortune with a Pledge so great.
    So when in hostile fire rich Asias pride
    For ten years siege had fully satisfi'ed,      130
    Æneas stole an act of higher Fame,
Virg. 2. Æn.
    And bore Anchises through the wondring flame,
    A nobler Burden, and a richer Prey,
    Then all the Græcian forces bore away.
    Go pious Prince, in peace, in triumph go;
    Enjoy the Conquest of thine Overthrow;
    To have sav'd thy Troy would far less glorious be;
    By this thou Overcom'est their Victorie.
11    Moab, next Judah, an old Kingdom, lies;
12    Jordan their touch, and his curst Sea denies.      140
13    They see North-stars from o're Amoreus ground,
14    Edom and Petra their South part does bound.
15    Eastwards the Lands of Cush and Ammon ly,
    The mornings happy beams they first espy.
    The region with fat soil and plenty's blest,
    A soil too good to be of old possest
16    By monstrous Emins; but Lots off-spring came
    And conquer'ed both the People and the Name.
17    Till Seon drave them beyond Arnons flood,
    And their sad bounds markt deep in their own blood.      150
    In Hesbon his triumphant Court he plac'ed,
18    Hesbon by Men and Nature strangely grac'ed.
    A glorious Town, and fill'ed with all delight
    Which Peace could yield, though well prepar'ed for fight.
    But this proud City and her prouder Lord
Num. 21. 24, 25.
    Felt the keen rage of Israels Sacred Sword,
    Whilst Moab triumpht in her torn estate,
    To see her own become her Conqu'erers fate.
    Yet that small remnant of Lots parted Crown
    Did arm'ed with Israels sins pluck Israel down,      160
    Full thrice six years they felt fierce Eglons yoke,
Judg. 3. 14. Ib. v. 21.
    Till Ehuds sword Gods vengeful Message spoke;
    Since then their Kings in quiet held their owne,
    Quiet the good of a not envy'd Throne.
    And now a wise old Prince the Scepter sway'd,
    Well by his Subjects and Himself obey'd.
    Onely before his Fathers Gods he fell;
    Poor wretched Man, almost too good for Hell!
    Hither does David his blest Parents bring,
    With humble greatness begs of Moabs King,      170
1 Sam. 22. 3.
    A safe and fair abode, where they might live,
    Free from those storms with which himself must strive.
    The King with chearful grace his suit approv'd,
19    By hate to Saul, and love to Virtue mov'd.
    Welcome great Knight, and your fair Troop (said he)
    Your Name found welcome long before with me.
20    That to rich Ophirs rising Morn is knowne,
    And stretcht out far to the burnt swarthy Zone.
21    Swift Fame, when her round journey she does make,
    Scorns not sometimes Us in her way to take.      180
    Are you the man, did that huge Gyant kill?
22    Great Bâal of Phegor! and how young he's still!
    From Ruth we heard you came; Ruth was born here,
Ru. 1. 4.
    In Judah sojourn'd, and (they say) matcht there
Ru. 4. 10.
    To one of Bethlem; which I hope is true;
    Howe're your Virtues here entitle you.
    Those have the best alliance always bin,
    To Gods as well as Men they make us Kin.
    He spoke, and straight led in his thankful Guests,
    To'a stately Room prepar'ed for Shows and Feasts.      190
    The Room with golden Tap'estry glister'ed bright,
    At once to please and to confound the sight,
23    Th' excellent work of Babylonian hands;
24    In midst a Table of rich Iv'ory stands,
    By three fierce Tygers, and three Lyons born,
    Which grin, and fearfully the place adorn.
    Widely they gape, and to the eye they roare,
    As if they hunger'd for the food they bore.
25    About it Beds of Lybian Citron stood,
26    With coverings dy'ed in Tyrian Fishes blood,      200
    They say, th'Herculean art; but most delight
27    Some Pictures gave to Davids learned sight.
    Here several ways Lot and great Abram go,
Gen. 13. 6.
    Their too much wealth, vast, and unkind does grow.
    Thus each extream to equal danger tends,
    Plenty as well as Want can separate Friends;
    Here Sodoms Towers raise their proud tops on high;
    The Towers as well as Men outbrave the sky.
    By it the waves of rev'erend Jordan run,
    Here green with Trees, there gilded with the Sun.      210
    Hither Lots Houshould comes, a numerous train,
    And all with various business fill the plain.
Ib. v. 10.
    Some drive the crowding sheep with rural hooks,
    They lift up their mild heads, and bleat in looks.
    Some drive the Herds; here a fierce Bullock scorns
    Th'appointed way, and runs with threatning horns;
    In vain the Herdman calls him back again;
    The Dogs stand off afar, and bark in vain.
    Some lead the groaning waggons, loaded high,      220
    With stuff, on top of which the Maidens ly.      220
    Upon tall Camels the fair Sisters ride,
    And Lot talks with them both on either side.
    Another Picture to curst Sodom brings
Gen. 14. 11, 12.
28    Elams proud Lord, with his three servant Kings:
    They sack the Town, and bear Lot bound away;
Ib. v. 10.
    Whilst in a Pit the vanquisht Bera lay,
    Buried almost alive for fear of Death.
29    But heav'ens just vengeance sav'ed as yet his breath.
    Abraham pursues, and slays the Victors Hoast,
Gen. 14. 13.
    Scarce had their Conquest leisure for a boast.      230
    Next this was drawn the reckless Cities flame,
Gen. 19. 24.
30    When a strange Hell pour'd down from Heaven there came.
    Here the two Angels from Lots window look
    With smiling anger; the lewd wretches, strook
Ib. v. 11.
    With sudden blindness, seek in vain the dore,
31    Their Eyes, first cause of Lust, first Veng'eance bore.
    Through liquid Air, heav'ns busie Souldiers fly,
    And drive on Clouds where seeds of Thunder ly.
    Here the sad sky gloes red with dismal streaks,
    Here Lightning from it with short trembling breaks.      240
    Here the blew flames of scalding brimstone fall,
    Involving swiftly in one ruine all.
    The fire of Trees and Houses mounts on high,
    And meets half way new fires that showre from sky.
    Some in their arms snatch their dear babes away;
    At once drop down the Fathers arms, and They.
    Some into waters leap with kindled hair,
    And more to vex their fate, are burnt ev'en there.
    Men thought, so much a Flame by Art was shown,
    The Pictures self would fall in ashes down.      250
    Afar old Lot to'ward little Zoar hyes,
    And dares not move (good man) his weeping eyes.
Gen. 19. 17. Ib. v. 26.
32    Behinde his Wife stood ever fixt alone;
    No more a Woman, not yet quite a Stone.
    A lasting Death seiz'd on her turning head;
    One cheek was rough and white, the other red,
    And yet a Cheek; in vain to speak she strove;
    Her lips, though stone, a little seem'd to move.
    One eye was clos'ed, surpris'ed by sudden night,
    The other trembled still with parting light.      260
    The wind admir'ed which her hair loosely bore,
    Why it grew stiff, and now would play no more.
    To heav'en she lifted up her freezing hands,
    And to this day a Suppliant Pillar stands.
    She try'ed her heavy foot from ground to rear,
    And rais'd the Heel, but her Toe's rooted there:
    Ah foolish woman! who must always be,
    A sight more strange then that she turn'd to see!
    Whilst David fed with these his curious eye,
    The Feast is now serv'ed in, and down they lye.      270
    Moab a goblet takes of massy gold,
33    Which Zippor, and from Zippor all of old
    Quaft to their Gods and Friends; an Health goes round
    In the brisk grape of Arnons richest ground.
34    Whilst Melchor to his harp with wondrous skill
35    (For such were Poets then, and should be still)
    His noble verse through Natures secrets lead;
    He sung what Spirit, through the whole Mass is spread,
    Ev'ery where All; how Heavens Gods Law approve,
    And think it Rest eternally to Move.      280
    How the kind Sun usefully comes and goes,
    Wants it himself, yet gives to Man repose.
    How his round Journey does for ever last,
36    And how he baits at every Sea in haste.
    He sung how Earth blots the Moons gilded Wane,
37    Whilst foolish men beat sounding Brass in vain,
    Why the Great Waters her slight Horns obey,
    Her changing Horns, not constanter than They;
38    He sung how grisly Comets hang in ayr,
    Why Sword and Plagues attend their fatal hair.      290
    Gods Beacons for the world, drawn up so far,
    To publish ills, and raise all earth to war.
39    Why Contraries feed Thunder in the cloud,
    What Motions vex it, till it roar so loud.
40    How Lambent Fires become so wondrous tame,
    And bear such shining Winter in their Flame.
41    What radiant Pencil draws the Watry Bow:
    What tyes up Hail, and picks the fleecy Snow.
    What Palsie of the Earth here shakes fixt Hills,
    From off her brows, and here whole Rivers spills.      300
    Thus did this Heathen Natures Secrets tell,
    And sometimes mist the Cause, but sought it Well.
    Such was the sawce of Moabs noble feast,
    Till night far spent invites them to their rest.
    Only the good old Prince stays Joab there,
    And much he tells, and much desires to hear.
    He tells deeds antique, and the new desires;
    Of David much, and much of Saul enquires.
    Nay gentle Guest (said he) since now you're in,
    The story of your gallant friend begin.      310
    His birth, his rising tell, and various fate,
    And how he slew that man of Gath of late,
    What was he call'd? that huge and monstrous man?
    With that he stopt, and Joab thus began:
    His birth, great Sir, so much to mine is ty'd,
1 Chr. 2. 16.
    That praise of that might look from me like pride.
    Yet without boast, his veins contain a flood
42    Of the old Judæan Lyons richest blood.
Gen. 49. 9. 1 Chr. 2. Mat. 1.
    From Judah Pharez, from him Esrom came
    Ram, Nashon, Salmon, Names spoke loud by Fame.      320
    A Name no less ought Boaz to appear,
    By whose blest match we come no strangers here.
    From him and your fair Ruth good Obed sprung,
    From Obed Jesse, Jesse whom fames kindest tongue,
    Counting his birth, and high nobil'ity, shall
    Not Jesse of Obed, but of David call,
    David born to him sev'enth; the six births past
1 Chr. 2. 15. 1 Sam. 16.
    Brave Tryals of a work more great at last.
    Bless me! how swift and growing was his wit?
    The wings of Time flag'd dully after it.      330
    Scarce past a Child, all wonders would he sing
    Of Natures Law, and Pow'er of Natures King.
    His sheep would scorn their food to hear his lay,
    And savage Beasts stand by as tame as they.
    The fighting Winds would stop there, and admire;
    Learning Consent and Concord from his Lyre.
    Rivers, whose waves roll'd down aloud before;
    Mute, as their Fish, would listen to'wards the shore.
    'Twas now the time when first Saul God forsook,
1 Sam. 16. 14.
    God Saul; the room in's heart wild Passions took;      340
    Sometimes a Tyrant-Frensie revell'd there,
    Sometimes black sadness, and deep, deep despair.
    No help from herbs or learned drugs he finds,
    They cure but sometime Bodies, never Minds.
    Musick alone those storms of Soul could lay;
    Not more Saul them, then Musick they obey.
1 Sam. 16. 23.
    Davia's now sent for, and his Harp must bring;
    His Harp that Magick bore on ev'ery string.
    When Sauls rude passions did most tumult keep;
    With his soft notes they all dropt down asleep.      350
    When his dull Spir'its lay drown'd in Death and Night;
    He with quick strains rais'd them to Life and Light.
    Thus chear'd he Saul, thus did his fury swage,
    Till wars began, and times more fit for rage.
    To Helah Plain Philistian Troops are come,
1 Sam. 17.
    And Wars loud noise strikes peaceful Musick dumb.
    Back to his rural Care young David goes,
    For this rough work Saul his stout Brethren chose.
    He knew not what his hand in War could do,
    Nor thought his Sword could cure mens Madness too.      360
    Now Dammin's destin'ed for this Scene of Blood,
    On two near Hills the two proud Armies stood.
    Between a fatal Valley stretcht out wide,
    And Death seem'd ready now on either side,
    When (Lo!) their Host rais'd all a joyful shout,
43    And from the midst an huge & monstrous man stept out.
1 Sam. 17. 4.
    Aloud they shouted at each step he took;
    We and the Earth it self beneath him shook,
    Vast as the Hill, down which he marcht, he'appear'd;
    Amaz'ed all Eyes, nor was their Army fear'd.      370
    A young tall Squire (though then he seem'd not so)
    Did from the Camp at first before him go;
    At first he did, but scarce could follow strait,
    Sweating beneath a Shields unruly weight,
44    On which was wrought the Gods, and Gyants fight,
    Rare work! all fill'd with terrour and delight.
45    Here a vast Hill, 'gainst thundring Baal was thrown,
    Trees and Beasts on't fell burnt with Lightning down.
    One flings a Mountain, and its River too
    Torn up with't; that rains back on him that threw.      380
    Some from the Main to pluck whole Islands try;
    The Sea boils round with flames shot thick from sky.
    This he believ'd, and on his shield he bore,
    And prais'd their strength, but thought his own was more.
    The Valley now this Monster seem'd to fill;
46    And we (methoughts) lookt up to'him from our Hill.
47    All arm'd in Brass, the richest dress of War
    (A dismal glorious sight) he shone afar.
    The Sun himself started with sudden fright,
    To see his beams return so dismal bright.      390
    Brass was his Helmet, his Boots brass; and o're
1 Sam. 17. 7, &c.
    His breast a thick plate of strong brass he wore,
    His Spear the Trunk was of a lofty Tree,
    Which Nature meant some tall ships Mast should be,
    The'huge I'ron head six hundred shekels weigh'd,
    And of whole bodies but one wound it made,
    Able Deaths worst command to overdo,
    Destroying Life at once and Carcase too;
    Thus arm'd he stood; all direful, and all gay,
    And round him flung a scornful look away.      400
    So when a Scythian Tyger gazing round,
    An Herd of Kine in some fair Plain has found
    Lowing secure, he swells with angry pride,
48    And calls forth all his spots on ev'ery side.
    Then stops, and hurls his haughty eyes at all,
    In choise of some strong neck on which to fall.
    Almost he scorns, so weak, so cheap a prey,
    And grieves to see them trembling hast away.
    Ye men of Jury, 'he cries, if Men you be,
Ib. v. 8.
    And such dare prove your selves to Fame and Me,      410
    Chuse out 'mongst all your Troops the boldest Knight,
    To try his strength and fate with me in fight.
    The chance of War let us two bear for all,
49    And they the Conqu'eror serve whose Knight shall fall.
Ib. v. 9. 10.
    At this he paws'd a while; straight, I defie
    Your Gods and You; dares none come down and dy?
    Go back for shame, and Egypts slav'ery bear,
    Or yield to us, and serve more nobly here.
    Alas ye'have no more Wonders to be done,
    Your Sorc'erer Moses now and Josua's gone,      420
    Your Magick Trumpets then could Cities take,
Jos. 6. 20.
    And sounds of Triumph did your Battels make.
    Spears in your hands and manly Swords are vain;
    Get you your Spells, and Conjuring Rods again.
    Is there no Sampson here? Oh that there were!
    In his full strength, and long Enchanted Hair.
Judg. 16. 17.
    This Sword should be in the weak Razors stead;
    It should not cut his Hair off, but his Head.
    Thus he blasphem'd aloud; the Valleys round
    Flatt'ering his voice restor'd the dreadful sound.      430
    We turn'd us trembling at the noise, and fear'd
    We had behind some new Goliah heard.
    'Twas Heav'en, Heav'en sure (which Davids glory meant
1 Sam. 17. 11.
    Through this whole Act) such sacred terrour sent
    To all our Host, for there was Saul in place,
    Who ne're saw fear but in his Enemies face,
    His god-like Son there in bright Armour shone,
    Who scorn'd to conquer Armies not Alone.
1 Sam. 14.
    Fate her own Book mistrusted at the sight;
    On that side War, on this a Single Fight.      440
    There stood Benaiah, and there trembled too,
    He who th' Egyptian, proud Goliah slew.
    In his pale fright, rage through his eyes shot flame,
1 Chr. 11.
50    He saw his staff, and blusht with generous shame.
    Thousands beside stood mute and heartless there,
    Men valiant all; nor was I us'ed to Fear.
    Thus forty days he marcht down arm'd to fight,
    Once every morn he marcht, and once at night.
    Slow rose the Sun, but gallopt down apace,
    With more than Evening blushes in his face.      450
    When Jessey to the Camp young David sent;
    His purpose low, but high was Fates intent.
1 Sam. 17. 12, &c.
    For when the Monsters pride he saw and heard,
    Round him he look'd, and wonder'd why they fear'd.
    Anger and brave disdain his heart possest,
    Thoughts more than manly swell'd his youthful brest.
    Much the rewards propos'd his spirit enflame,
1 Sam. 17. 25.
    Sauls Daughter much, and much the voice of Fame.
    These to their just intentions strongly move,
    But chiefly God, and his dear Countrys Love,      460
    Resolv'd for combat to Sauls Tent he's brought,
    Where thus he spoke, as boldly as he fought:
    Henceforth no more, great Prince, your sacred brest
Ib. v. 32.
    With that huge talking wretch of Gath molest.
    This hand alone shall end his cursed breath;
    Fear not, the wretch blasphemes himself to death,
    And cheated with false weight of his own might,
    Has challeng'd Heaven, not Us, to single fight.
    Forbid it God, that where thy right is try'd,
    The strength of man should find just cause for pride!      470
    Firm like some Rock, and vast he seems to stand,
    But Rocks we know were op'ed at thy command.
Exod. 17. 6.
    That Soul which now does such large members sway,
    Through one small wound will creep in hast away.
    And he who now dares boldly Heav'en defie,
    To ev'ery bird of Heav'en a prey shall lie.
    For 'tis not humane force we ought to fear;
    Did that, alas, plant our Forefathers here?
51    Twice fifteen Kings did they by that subdue?
Josh. 12.
    By that whole Nations of Goliahs slew?      480
    The wonders they perform'd may still be done;
    Moses and Josua is, but God's not gone.
    We'have lost their Rod and Trumpets, not their skill:
    Pray'rs and Belief are as strong Witchcraft still.
    These are more tall, more Gyants far then He,
    Can reach to Heav'en, and thence pluck Victorie.
    Count this, and then, Sir, mine th'advantage is;
    He's stronger far then I, my God then His.
    Amazement seiz'd on all, and shame to see,
    Their own fears scorn'd by one so young as He.      490
    Brave Youth (replies the King) whose daring mind
1 Sam. 17. 33.
    Ere come to Manhood, leaves it quite behind;
    Reserve thy valour for more equal fight,
    And let thy Body grow up to thy Spright.
    Thou'rt yet too tender for so rude a foe,
    Whose touch would wound thee more then him thy blow.
    Nature his Limbs onely for war made fit,
    In thine as yet nought beside Love she'has writ.
    With some less Foe thy unflesht valour try;
    This Monster can be no first Victory.      500
    The Lyons royal whelp does not at first
    For blood of Basan Bulls or Tygers thirst.
    In timorous Deer he hansels his young paws,
    And leaves the rugged Bear for firmer claws.
    So vast thy hopes, so unproportion'd bee,
    Fortune would be asham'ed to second Thee.
    He said, and we all murmur'd an assent;
    But nought moves David from his high intent.
    It brave to him, and om'inous does appear,
    To be oppos'ed at first, and conquer here,      510
    Which he resolves; Scorn not (said he) mine age,
    For Vict'ory comes not like an Heritage,
1 Sam. 37. 33.
    At set-years; when my Fathers flock I fed,
    A Bear and Lyon by fierce hunger led,
    Broke from the wood, and snatcht my Lambs away;
    From their grim mouths I forc'ed the panting prey.
    Both Bear and Lyon ev'en this hand did kill,
    On our great Oak the Bones and Jaws hang still.
    My God's the same, which then he was, to day,
    And this wild wretch almost the same as They.      520
    Who from such danger sav'ed my Flock, will he
    Of Isra'el, his own Flock less careful be?
    Be't so then (Saul bursts forth:) and thou on high,
    Who oft in weakness do'st most strength descry,
    At whose dread beck Conquest expecting stands,
    And casts no look down on the Fighters hands,
    Assist what Thou inspir'est; and let all see,
    As Boys to Gyants, Gyants are to Thee.
    Thus; and with trembling hopes of strange success,
52    In his own arms he the bold Youth does dress.      530
1 Sam. 17. 34.
    On's head an helm of well-wrought brass is place'd,
    The top with warlike Plume severely grace'd.
    His breast a plate cut with rare Figures bore,
    A Sword much practis'ed in Deaths art he wore.
    Yet David use'd so long to no defence,
    But those light Arms of Spirit and Innocence,
    No good in fight of that gay burden knows,
    But fears his own arms weight more then his Foes.
    He lost himself in that disguise of warre,
    And guarded seems as men by Prisons are.      540
    He therefore to exalt the wondrous sight,
    Prepares now, and disarms himself for fight.
    'Gainst Shield, Helm, Breast-plate, and instead of those
1 Sam. 17. 40.
    Five sharp smooth stones from the next brook he chose,
    And fits them to his sling; then marches down;
    For Sword, his Enemies he esteem'd his Own.
    We all with various passion strangely gaz'ed,
    Some sad, some 'sham'd, some angry, all amaz'ed.
    Now in the Valley'he stands; through's youthful face
    Wrath checks the Beauty, and sheds manly grace.      550
    Both in his looks so joyn'd, that they might move
    Fear ev'n in Friends, and from an En'emy Love.
    Hot as ripe Noon, sweet as the blooming Day,
    Like July furious, but more fair than May.
    Th'accurst Philistian stands on th'other side,
Ib. v. 45.
    Grumbling aloud, and smiles 'twixt rage and pride.
    The Plagues of Dagon! a smooth Boy, said he,
    A cursed beardless foe oppos'd to Me!
    Hell! with what arms (hence thou fond Child) he's come!
    Some friend his Mother call to drive him home.      560
    Not gone yet? if one minute more thou stay,
    The birds of heav'en shall bear thee dead away.
    Gods! a curst Boy! the rest then murmuring out,
    He walks, and casts a deadly grin about.
    David with chearful anger in his Eyes,
    Advances boldly on, and thus replies,
    Thou com'est, vain Man, all arm'ed into the field,
Ib. v. 45.
    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      570
    Of Thee and Battels; who hath sent forth me
    Unarm'ed thus, not to Fight, but Conquer thee.
    In vain shall Dagon thy false Hope withstand;
53    In vain thy other God, thine own right hand.
    Thy fall to man shall heavens strong justice shew;
    Wretch! 'tis the only Good which thou canst do.
    He said; our Hoast stood dully silent by;
    And durst not trust their Ears against the Eye.
    As much their Champions threats to him they fear'd,
    As when the Monsters threats to them they heard,      580
    His flaming Sword th'enrag'd Philistian shakes,
    And hast to'his ruine with loud Curses makes.
    Backward the Winds his active Curses blew,
54    And fatally round his own head they flew.
    For now from Davids sling the stone is fled,
Ib. v. 49.
    And strikes with joyful noise the Monsters head.
    It strook his forehead, and pierc'ed deeply there;
    As swiftly as it pierc'ed before the Ayre.
    Down, down he falls, and bites in vain the ground;
    Blood, Brain, and Soul crowd mingled through the Wound.      590
    So a strong Oak, which many years had stood
    With fair and flourishing boughs, it self a Wood;
    Though it might long the Axes violence bear,
    And play'd with Winds which other Trees did tear;
    Yet by the Thunders stroke from th'root 'tis rent;
    So sure the blows that from high heav'en are sent.
    What tongue the joy and wonder can express,
    Which did that moment our whole Host possess?
    Their jocond shouts th'air like a storm did tear,
    Th'amazed Clouds fled swift away with Fear.      600
    But far more swift th'accurs'd Philistians fly,
1 Sam. 17. 52.
    And their ill fate to perfect, basely dye.
    With thousand corps the ways around are strown,
    Till they, by the days flight secure their own.
    Now through the Camp sounds nought but Davids name;
    All joys of several stamp and colours came
    From several passions; some his Valour praise,
    Some his free Speech, some the fair pop'ular rayes
    Of Youth, and Beauty, and his modest Guise;
    Gifts that mov'd all, but charm'ed the Female Eyes.      610
    Some wonder, some they thought t'would be so swear;
    And some saw Angels flying through the air.
    The basest spi'rits cast back a crooked glance
    On this great act, and fain would give't to Chance.
    Women our Host with Songs and Dances meet,
1 Sam. 18.
    With much joy Saul, David with more they greet.
    Hence the Kings politique rage and envy flows,
Ib. v. 8.
    Which first he hides, and seeks his life t'expose
    To gen'erous dangers that his hate might clear,
    And Fate or Chance the blame, nay David bear.      620
    So vain are mans designs! for Fate, and Chance,
    And Earth, and Heav'en conspir'ed to his advance;
    His Beauty, Youth, Courage and wondrous Wit,
    In all Mankind but Saul did Love begit.
1 Sam. 18. 16.
    Not Sauls own house, not his own nearest blood,
    The noble causes sacred force withstood.
    You'have met no doubt, and kindly us'ed the fame,
    Of God-like Jonathans illustrious Name;
    A Name which ev'ery wind to heav'en would bear,
    Which Men to speak, and Angels joy to hear.      630
55    No Angel e're bore to his Brother-Mind
    A kindness more exalted and refin'd,
    Then 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
1 Sam. 18.
    Leapt forth, the wondrous Conqu'eror to embrace;
56    On him his Mantle, Girdle, Sword, and Bow,
Ib. v. 4.
    On him his Heart and Soul he did bestow.
    Not all that Saul could threaten or perswade,
    In this close knot the smallest looseness made.      640
    Oft his wise care did the Kings rage suspend.
    His own lifes danger shelter'd oft his Friend
1 Sam. 20. 33.
    His own lifes danger shelter'd oft his Friend
    Which he expos'ed a Sacrifice to fall
    By th'undiscerning rage of furious Saul.
    Nor was young Davids active vertue grown
    Strong and triumphant in one Sex alone.
    Imperious Beauty too it durst invade,
    And deeper Prints in the soft breast it made,
1 Sam. 18. 20. 28.
    For there t' esteem and Friendships graver name,      650
    Passion was pour'd like Oyl into the Flame.
    Like two bright Eyes in a fair Body plac'ed,
    Sauls Royal house two beauteous Daughters grac'ed.
    Merab the first, Michol the younger nam'ed,
    Both equally for different glories fam'ed.
    Merab with spatious beauty fill'ed the sight,
    But too much aw chastis'ed the bold delight.
    Like a calm Sea, which to th'enlarged view,
    Gives pleasure, but gives fear and rev'erence too.
    Michols sweet looks clear and free joys did move,      660
    And no less strong, though much more gentle Love.
    Like virtuous Kings whom men rejoyce t'obey,
    Tyrants themselves less absolute then They.
    Merab appear'd like some fair Princely Tower,
    Michol some Virgin Queens delicious Bower.
    All Beauties stores in Little and in Great;
    But the contracted Beams shot fiercest heat.
    A clean and lively Brown was Merabs dy,
    Such as the Prouder colours might envy.
    Michols pure skin shone with such taintless White,      670
    As scatter'd the weak rays of humane sight.
    Her lips and cheeks a nobler red did shew,
    Then e're on fruits or flowers Heav'ens Pencil drew.
    From Merabs eyes fierce and quick Lightnings came,
    From Michols the Suns mild, yet active flame;
    Merabs long hair was glossy chestnut brown,      680
    Tresses of palest gold did Michol crown.
    Such was their outward form, and one might find
    A difference not unlike it in the Mind.
    Merab with comely Majesty and state
    Bore high th'advantage of her Worth and Fate.
    Such humble sweetness did soft Michol show,
    That none who reach so high e're stoopt so low.
    Merab rejoyc'd in her wrackt Lovers pain,
    And fortifi'd her vertue with Disdain.
    The griefs she caus'd gave gentle Michol grief,
    She wisht her Beauties less for their relief,
    Ev'en to her Captives civil; yet th'excess
    Of naked Virtue guarded her no less.
    Business and Power Merabs large thoughts did vex,      690
    Her wit disdain'd the Fetters of her Sex.
    Michol no less disdain'd affairs and noise,
    Yet did it not from Ignorance, but Choise.
    In brief, both Copies were most sweetly drawn;
    Merab of Saul, Michol of Jonathan.
    The day that David great Goliah slew,
    Not great Goliahs Sword was more his due,
    Then Merab; by Sauls publick promise she
    Was sold then and betroth'd to Victory.
    But haughty she did this just match despise,      700
    Her Pride debaucht her Judgment and her Eyes.
    An unknown Youth, ne're seen at Court before,
    Who Shepherds-staff, and Shepherds habit bore;
    The seventh-born Son of no rich house, were still
    Th'unpleasant forms which her high thoughts did fill.
    And much aversion in her stubborn mind
    Was bred by being promis'd and design'd.
    Long had the patient Adriel humbly born
    The roughest shocks of her imperious scorn,
    Adriel the Rich, but riches were in vain,      710
    And could nor set him free, nor her enchain.
    Long liv'ed they thus; but as the hunted Dear
    Closely pursu'ed quits all her wonted fear,
    And takes the nearest waves, which from the shore
    She oft with horrour had beheld before.
    So whilst the violent Maid from David fled,
    She leapt to Adriels long avoided bed.
1 Sam. 18. 19.
    The match was nam'd, agreed, and finisht strait;
    So soon comply'd Sauls Envy with her Hate.
    But Michol in whose breast all virtues move      720
    That hatch the pregnant seeds of sacred Love,
    With juster eyes the noble Object meets,
    And turns all Merabs Poyson into Sweets.
    She saw and wondred how a Youth unknown,
    Should make all Fame to come so soon his own:
    She saw, and wondred how a Shepherds Crook
    Despis'd that Sword at which the Scepter shook.
    Though he seventh-born, & though his House but poor,
    She knew it noble was, and would be more.
    Oft had she heard, and fansied oft the sight,      730
    With what a generous calm he marcht to fight.
    In the great danger how exempt from Fear,
    And after it from Pride he did appear.
    Greatness, and Goodness, and an Ayr divine,
    She saw through all his words and actions shine.
    She heard his eloquent Tongue, and charming Lyre,
    Whose artful sounds did violent Love inspire,
    Though us'd all other Passions to relieve;
    She weigh'd all this, and well we may conceive,
    When those strong thoughts attaqu'd her doubtful brest,      740
    His Beauty no less active than the rest.
    The Fire thus kindled soon grew fierce and great,
    When Davids brest reflected back its heat.
    Soon she perceiv'd (scarce can Love hidden ly
    From any sight, much less the Loving Eye)
    She Conqu'eror was as well as Overcome,
    And gain'd no less Abroad than lost at Home.
57    Even the first hour they met (for such a pair,
    Who in all mankind else so matchless were,
    Yet their own Equals, Natures self does wed)      750
    A mutual warmth through both their bosoms spred.
    Fate gave the Signal; both at once began
    The gentle Race, and with just pace they ran.
    Ev'en so (methinks) when two Fair Tapers come,
    From several Doors entring at once the Room,
    With a swift flight that leaves the Eye behind;
    Their amorous Lights into one Light are join'd.
    Nature herself, were she to judge the case,
    Knew not which first began the kind embrace.      760
    Michol her modest flames sought to conceal,
    But Love ev'en th' Art to hide it does reveal.
    Her soft unpractis'd Eyes betray'd the Theft,
    Love past through them, and there such footsteps left.
    She blusht when he approacht, and when he spoke,
    And suddenly her wandring answers broke,
    At his names sound, and when she heard him prais'd,
    With concern'd haste her thoughtful looks she rais'd.
    Uncall'd for sighs oft from her bosome flew,
    And Adriels active friend she'abruptly grew.
    Oft when the Courts gay youth stood waiting by,      770
    She strove to act a cold Indifferency;
    In vain she acted so constrain'd a part,
    For thousand Nameless things disclos'd her Heart.
    On th'other side David with silent pain
    Did in respectful bounds his Fires contain.
    His humble fear t'offend, and trembling aw,
    Impos'd on him a no less rigorous Law
    Then Modesty on her, and though he strove
    To make her see't, he durst not tell his Love.
    To tell it first the timorous youth made choice      780
    Of Musicks bolder and more active voice.
    And thus beneath her Window, did he touch
    His faithful Lyre; the words and numbers such,
    As did well worth my Memory appear,
    And may perhaps deserve your princely Ear.
        Awake, awake my Lyre,
    And tell thy silent Masters humble tale,
        In sounds that may prevail;
        Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire,
        Though so Exalted she      790
        And I so Lowly be,
    Tell her such diffe'rent Notes make all thy Harmonie.
        Hark, how the Strings awake,
    And though the Moving Hand approach not near,
        Themselves with awful fear,
        A kind of num'erous Trembling make.
        Now all thy Forces try,
        Now all thy charms apply,
    Revenge upon her Ear the Conquests of her Eye.
        Weak Lyre! thy vertue sure      800
    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,
    Physick to other Ills, thou'rt Nourishment to Love.
        Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre;
    For thou can'st never tell my humble tale,
        In sounds that will prevail,
        Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire;      810
        All thy vain mirth lay by,
        Bid thy strings silent ly,
    Sleeep, sleep again, my Lyre, and let thy Master dy.
    She heard all this, and the prevailing sound
    Toucht with delightful pain her tender wound.
    Yet though she joy'd th' authentique news to hear,
    Of what she guest before with jealous fear,
    She checkt her forward joy, and blusht for shame,
    And did his boldness with forc'ed anger blame.
    The senseless rules, which first False Honour taught,      820
    And into Laws the Tyrant Custom brought,
    Which Womens 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 curst his voice, his fingers, and his Lyre,
    He curst his too bold Tongue, and bold Desire.
    In vain he curst the last, for that still grew;      830
    From all things Food its strong Complexion drew:
    His Joy and Hope their chearful motions ceast,
    His Life decay'd, but still his Love encreast.
    Whilst she whose Heart approv'd not her Disdain,
    Saw and endur'd his pains with greater pain.
    But Jonathan, to whom both hearts were known
    With a concernment equal to their own,
    Joyful that Heav'en with his sworn love comply'd
    To draw that knot more fast which he had ty'd,
    With well-tim'd zeal, and with an artful care,      840
    Restor'd, and better'd soon the nice affair.
    With ease a Brothers lawful power o'recame
    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 ev'en Enjoyment seldom can improve!
    Themselves agreed, which scarce could fail alone,
    All Israels wish concurrent with their own.
    A Brothers powerful ayd firm to the side,      850
    By solemn vow the King and Father tyde:
    All jealous fears, all nice disguises past,
    All that in less-ripe Love offends the Tast,
    In eithers Breast their Souls both meet and wed,
    Their Heart the Nuptial-Temple and the Bed.
    And though the grosser cates were yet not drest,
    By which the Bodies must supply this Feast;
    Bold Hopes prevent slow Pleasures lingring birth,
    As Saints assur'd of Heav'en enjoy't on Earth.
    All this the King observ'd, and well he saw      860
    What scandal, and what danger it might draw
    T'oppose this just and pop'ular match, but meant
    T' out-malice all Refusals by Consent.
    He meant the pois'onous grant should mortal prove,
    He meant t'ensnare his Virtue by his Love.
1 Sam. 18. 21.
    And thus he to him spoke, with more of art
    And fraud, then well became the Kingly part.
    Your valour, David, and high worth (said he)
    To praise, is all mens duty, mine to see
    Rewarded; and we shall t'our utmost powers      870
    Do with like care that part, as you did yours.
    Forbid it God, we like those Kings should prove,
    Who Fear the Vertues which they're bound to Love.
    Your Pi'ety does that tender point secure,
    Nor will my Acts such humble thoughts endure.
    Your neerness to't rather supports the Crown,
    And th'honours giv'en to you encrease our own.
    All that we can we'll give; 'tis our intent
    Both as a Guard, and as an Ornament
    To place thee next our selves; Heav'en does approve,      880
    And my Sons Friendship, and my Daughters Love,
    Guide fatally, methinks, my willing choice;
    I see, methinks, Heav'en in't, and I rejoice.
    Blush not, my Son, that Michols 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 Merabs choice could have comply'd with mine,
    Merab, my elder comfort, had been thine.
    And hers at last should have with mine comply'd,      890
    Had I not Thine and Michols heart descry'd.
    Take whom thou lov'est, and who loves thee; the last
    And dearest Present made me by the chast
    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
58    To ghess, they are what Jointure thou shalt make,
    Fitting her birth and fortune: and since so
    Custom ordains, we mean t'exact it too.      900
    The Joynture we exact, is that shall be
    No less advantage to thy Fame than She.
    Go where Philistian Troops infest the Land;
    Renew the terrours of thy conquering hand.
    When thine own hand, which needs must conqu'ror prove,
    In this joint cause of Honour and of Love,
    An hundred of the faithless Foe shall slay,
59    And for a Dowre their hundred foreskins pay,
1 Sam. 18. 25.
    Be Michol thy Reward; did we not know
    Thy mighty Fate, and Worth that makes it so,      910
    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 publick benefit design,
    A publick good shall its beginning grace,
    And give triumphant Omens of thy race.
    Thus spoke the King: the happy Youth bow'd low;
    Modest and graceful his great joy did show,
    The noble task well pleas'd his generous mind;
    And nought t' except against it could he find,      920
    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 receiv'd,
    At her high rate she trembled, blusht, and griev'd.
    'Twas a less work the conquest of his Foes,
    Than to obtain her leave his life t'expose.
    Their kind debate on this soft point would prove
    Tedious, and needless to repeat: If Love
    (As sure it has) e're toucht your princely brest,
    'Twill to your gentle thoughts at full suggest      930
    All that was done, or said; the grief, hope, fears;
    His troubled joys, and her obliging Tears.
    In all the pomp of Passions reign, they part;
    And bright prophetique forms enlarge his heart;
    Vict'ory and Fame; and that more quick delight
    Of the rich prize for which he was to fight.
    Tow'ards Gath he went; and in one month (so soon
    A fatal, and a willing work is done)
    A double Dowre, two hundred foreskins brought
60    Of choice Philistian Knights with whom he fought,      940
    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.
    Though this days coming long had seem'd and slow,
    Yet seem'd its stay as long and tedious now.
    For now the violent weight of eager Love,
61    Did with more haste so near its Centre move,
    He curst the stops of form and state, which lay
62    In this last stage like Scandals in his way.      950
    On a large gentle Hill, crown'd with tall wood,
    Neer where the regal Gabaah proudly stood,
63    A Tent was pitcht, of green wrought Damask made,
    And seem'd but the fresh Forrests nat'ural shade,
    Various, and vast within, on pillars born
    Of Shittim Wood, that usefully adorn.
    Hither to grace the Nuptial-Feast does Saul
    Of the Twelve Tribes th' Elders and Captains call,
    And all around the idle, busie crowd,
    With shouts and Blessings tell their joy alowd.      960
    Lo, the press breaks, and from their several homes
    In decent pride the Bride and Bridegroom comes.
    Before the Bride, in a long double row
    With solemn pace thirty choice Virgins go,
    And make a Moving Galaxy on earth;
    All heav'enly Beauties, all of highest Birth;
64    All clad in liveliest colours, fresh and fair,
65    As the bright flowers that crown'd their brighter Hair,
    All in that new-blown age, which does inspire
    Warmth in Themselves, in their Beholders Fire.      970
    But all this, and all else the Sun did ere,
    Or Fancy see, in her less bounded Sphere,
    The Bride her self out-shone; and one would say
    They made but the faint Dawn to her full Day.
    Behind a numerous train of Ladies went,
    Who on their dress much fruitless care had spent,
    Vain Gems, and unregarded cost they bore,
    For all mens eyes were ty'd to those before.
    The Bridegrooms flourishing Troop fill'd next the place,
66    With thirty comly youths of noblest race,      980
    That marcht before; and Heav'en around his head,
    The graceful beams of Joy and Beauty spread.
67    So the glad star which Men and Angels love,
    Prince of the glorious Host that shines above,
    No Light of Heav'en so chearful or so gay,
    Lifts up his sacred Lamp, and opens Day.
    The King himself, at the Tents crowned gate
    In all his robes of ceremony' and state
    Sate to receive the train; on either hand
    Did the High Priest, and the Great Prophet stand.      990
    Adriel behind, Jonathan, Abner, Jesse,
    And all the Chiefs in their due order presse.
    First Saul declar'd his choice, and the just cause,
    Avow'd by' a gene'ral murmur of applause,
68    Then sign'd her Dow're, and in few words he pray'd,
    And blest, and gave the joyful trembling Maid
    T' her Lovers hands, who with a chearful look
    And humble gesture the vast Present took.
69    The Nuptial-Hymn strait sounds, and Musicks play,
70    And Feasts and Balls shorten the thoughtless day      1000
    To all but to the wedded; till at last
    The long-wisht night did her kind shadow cast;
    At last th' inestimable hour was come
    To lead his Conquering prey in triumph home,
71    To'a Palace near, drest for the Nuptial-bed
    (Part of her Dowre) he his fair Princess led,
    Saul, the High-Priest, and Samuel here they leave,
    Who as they part, their weighty blessings give.
72    Her Vail is now put on; and at the gate
    The thirty Youths, and thirty Virgins wait      1010
73    With golden Lamps, bright as the flames they bore,
    To light the Nuptial-pomp, and march before.
    The rest bring home in state the happy Pair,
    To that last Scene of Bliss, and leave them there
    All those free joys insatiably to prove
    With which rich Beauty feasts the Glutton Love.
74    But scarce, alas, the first sev'en days were past,
    In which the publick Nuptial Triumphs last,
    When Saul this new Alliance did repent,
    Such subtle cares his jealous thoughts torment,      1020
    He envy'ed the good work himself had done;
    Fear'd David less his Servant than his Son.
    No longer his wild wrath could he command;
    He seeks to stain his own imperial hand
    In his Sons blood; and that twice cheated too,
    With Troops and Armies does one life pursue.
    Said I but One? his thirsty rage extends
    To th' Lives of all his kindred, and his friends;
    Ev'en Jonathan had dyed for being so,
    Had not just God put by th' unnat'ural blow.      1030
    You see, Sir, the true cause which brings us here;
    No sullen discontent, or groundless fear,
    No guilty Act or End calls us from home.
    Only to breath in peace a while we come,
    Ready to Serve, and in mean space to Pray
    For You who us receive, and Him who drives away.

Click here for a facsimile sequence of Cowley's elaborate prose notes; the verse text has been normalized in the same way as Cowley's "Hymn to Light."
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