Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
The Lamentation of David Over Saul and Jonathan His Son
By George Wither
II. Sam. i: 17.

THY beauty, Israel, is gone
  Slain in the places high is he;
The mighty now are overthrown;
  O thus how cometh it to be!
Let not this news their streets throughout        5
  In Gath or Askalon be told;
For fear Philistia’s daughters flout,
  Lest vaunt the uncircumcised should.
On you, hereafter, let no dew,
  You mountains of Gilboa, fall;        10
Let there be neither showers on you
  Nor fields that breed an offering shall.
For there with shame away was thrown
  The target of the strong (alas),
The shield of Saul, e’en as of one,        15
  That ne’er with oil anointed was.
Nor from their blood that slaughter’d lay,
  Nor from the fat of strong men slain,
Came Jonathan his bow away,
  Nor drew forth Saul his sword in vain.        20
In lifetime they were lovely fair,
  In death they undivided are.
More swift than eagles of the air
  And stronger they than lions were.
Weep, Israel’s daughters, weep for Saul,
  Who you with scarlet hath array’d;
Who clothed you with pleasures all
  And on your garments gold hath laid.
How comes it he, that mighty was
  The foil in battle doth sustain!        30
Thou, Jonathan, oh thou (alas)
  Upon thy places high wert slain.
And, much distressèd is my heart,
  My brother Jonathan, for thee;
My very dear delight thou wert,        35
  And wonderous was thy love to me;
So wonderous, it surpasséd far
  The love of woman (every way).
Oh, how the mighty fallen are!
  How warlike instruments decay!        40

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