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With wonder late posterity shall dwell On Absalom and false Achithophel; Thy strains shall be our slumb'ring prophets' dream, And when our Sion virgins sing their theme, Our jubilees shall with thy verse be grac'd; The song of Asaph shall for ever last.
How fierce his satire loos’d! restrain'd, how tame! How tender of th' offending young man's fame! 1051 How well his worth and brave adventures stil'd, Just to his virtues, to his error mild. No page of thine that fears the strictest view, But teems with just reproof, or praise as due; Not Eden could a fairer prospect yield, All Paradise without one barren field; Whose wit the censure of his fues has past; The song of Asaph shall for ever last.
What praise for such rich strains shall we allow ? What just rewards the grateful Crown bestow ? 1C61 While bees in flow'rs rejoice, and flow'rs in dew, While stars and fountains to their course are true; While Judah's throne and Sion's rock stand fast, The song of Asaph, and the fame, shalllast.
Still Hebron's honour'd, happy soil, retains Our Royal Hero's beauteous dear remains, Who now sails off with winds nor wishes slack, so bring his suff'rings' bright companion back; But e'er such transport can our sense employ, 1070 A bitter grief must poison half our joy ; Volume II.
Nor can our coasts restor'd those blessings see,
Without a bribe to envious Destiny!
Curs'd Sodom's doom for ever fix the tide
Where, by inglorious Chance, the valiant dy'd.)
Give not insulting Askalon to know,
Nor let Gath's daughters triumph in our woe!
No sailor with the news swell Egypt's pride,
By what inglorious fate our valiant dy'd !
Weep, Arnon! Jordan, weep thy fountains dry, 1080
While Zion's rock dissolves for a supply.
Calm were th' elements, Night's silence deep,
The waves scarce murm'ring, and the winds asleep;
Yet Fate for ruin takes so still an hour,
And treach'rous sands the princely bark deyour;
Then Death unworthy seiz’d a gen'rous race,
To virtue's scandal, and the star's disgrace!
Oh! had th' indulgent pow'rs vouchsaf'd to yield,
Instead of faithless shelves, á listed field,
A listed field of Heav'n's and David's foes, 1099
Fierce as the troops that did his youth oppose,
Each life had on his slaughter'd heap retird,
Not tamely, and unconqu’ring, thus expir’d;
But Destiny is now their only foe,
And dying, e'en o'er that they triumph too;
With loud last breaths their master's 'scape applaud,
Of whom kind Force could scarce the Fates defraud;
Whọ for such foll’wers lost, ( matchless mind !
At his own safety now almost repin'd!
Say, Royal Sir, by all your fame in arms,
Your praise in peace, and by Urania's charms,
If all your suff'rings past so nearly prest,
Or pierc'd with half so painful grief your breast ?
Thus some diviner Muse her hero forms,
Not sooth'd with soft delights, but toss'd in storms;
Nor stretch'd on roses in the myrtle grove,
Nor crowns his days with mirth, his nights with love;
But far remov'd in thund'ring camps is found,
His slumbers short, his bed the herbless ground;
In tasks of danger always seen the first,
Feeds from the hedge, and slakes with ice his thirst:
Long must his patience strive with Fortune's rage,
And long opposing gods themselves engage,
Must see his country flame, his friends destroy'd,
Before the promis'd empire be enjoy'd:
Such toil of fate must build a man of fame,
And such to Isr’el's crown the godlike David came.
What sudden beams dispel the clouds so fast,
Whose drenching rains laid all our vineyards waste?
The Spring, so far behind her course delay'd,
On th' instant is in all her bloom array'd;
The winds breathe low, the element serene,
Yet mark what motion in the waves is seen!
Thronging and busy as Hyblæan swarms,
Or straggled soldiers summon’d to their arms,
See where the princely bark in loosest pride,
With all her guardian fleet, adorns the tide.
High on her deck the Royal Lovers stand,
Our crimes to pardon ere they touch'd our land.
Welcome to Isr'el and to David's breast ! 1130
Here all your toils, here all your suff'rings rest.
This year did Ziloah rale Jerusalem,
And boldly all sedition's syrtes stem,
Howe'er incumber'd with a viler pair
Than Ziph or Shimei to assist the chair:
Yet Ziloah's loyal labours so prevailid,
That faction at the next election failid,
When e'en the common cry did Justice sound,
And Merit by the multitude was crown'd:
With David then was Isr'el's peace restoi'd, 1140
Crowds mourn'd their error, and obey'd their lord,
----Antiquam exquisite matrem,
Et vera incessu patuit Dea.
A MILK-WHITE Hind, immortal and unchang’d,
Fed on the lawns, and in the forest rang'd;
Without unspotted, innocent within,
She fear'd no danger, for she knew no sin:
Yet had she oft been chas'd with horns and hounds,
And Scythian shafts, and many winged wounds
Aim'd at her heart; was often forc'd to fly,
And doom'd to death, tho' fated not to die.
Not so her young; for their unequal line
Was Hero's make, half human, half divine.
Their earthly mold obnoxious was to Fate,
Th’immortal part assum'd immortal state.
Of these a slaughter'd army lay in blood,
Extended o'er the Caledonian wood,
Their native walk; whose vocal blood arose,
And cry'd for pardon on their perjur'd foes.
Their fate was fruitful and the sanguine seed,
Endu'd with souls, increas'd the sacred breed.
So captive Isr'el multiply'd in chains,
A num'rous exile, and enjoy'd her pains.