Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
By Johan Sebastian Cammermeyer Welhaven (1807–1873)
Translation of William Morton Payne

WHEN little Goliath in stature was growing,
He was carefully fed by the Philistines knowing;
So Goliath grew up, both stout and tall,
And a weaver’s beam was his lance withal,
While the Philistines were to themselves confessing:        5
“How lucky we are in a giant possessing!”
And viewing with pride his blustering gait,
The Philistines lived in his strength elate.
“The deuce take you all!” thought Goliath defiant,
“I am not for my health in this business of giant;        10
Let them gape as they please, they dare not frown,
I will yet reign in Gaza, the wealthy town.”
Now many a rich Judæan village
Did the braggart crew of the Philistines pillage,
Till the folk of Judæa took arms in hand,        15
And a tempest threatened the robber band.
The Philistines thought: “What a fright will soon seize you,
When you see what a giant we have here to tease you!”
So they gave to Goliath both helmet and shield,
And the fellow he was stood then first revealed.        20
And Goliath he thought: “These Philistines bore me,
But now I can see my reward lies before me.
The rich tabernacle I’ll take for my share,
The rest they may have—for all that I care.”
But the Philistines thought: “A sure thing we have made us,        25
The day that we have such a giant to aid us.
We’ll put him before us, and watch the show,
While he lays about him with many a blow.”
Then Goliath marched forth, all wrathful his bearing,—
The biggest he was of those Philistines daring;        30
But quickly a pebble his bare temple found,
And he suddenly stretched his full length on the ground.
And the Philistines asked, as they viewed him with wonder,
How on earth could the fellow so quickly go under;
For thirteen feet, they were ready to swear,        35
Was Goliath’s length as they measured him there.

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