Verse > John Dryden > Poems
John Dryden (1631–1700).  The Poems of John Dryden.  1913.
The Second Part of Absalom and Achitophel
SINCE 1 Men, like Beasts, each others Prey were made,
Since Trade began, and Priesthood grew a Trade,
Since Realms were form’d, none sure so curst as those
That madly their own Happiness oppose;
There Heaven itself, and Godlike Kings, in vain        5
Showr down the Manna of a gentle Reign;
While pamper’d Crowds to mad Sedition run,
And Monarchs by Indulgence are undone.
Thus David’s Goodness was e’en 2 fatal grown,
While wealthy Faction aw’d the wanting Throne.        10
For now their Sov’reign’s Orders to contemn
Was held the Charter of Jerusalem;
His Rights t’ invade, his Tributes to refuse,
A Privilege peculiar to the Jews;
As if from Heav’nly Call this Licence fell        15
And Jacob’s seed were chosen to rebell!
  Achitophel with triumph sees his Crimes
Thus suited to the madness of the Times;
And Absalom, to make his hopes succeed,
Of Flatteries 3 Charms no longer stands in need;        20
While fond of Change, though ne’er so dearly bought,
Our Tribes out-strip the Youth’s Ambitious Thought;
His swiftest Hopes with swifter Homage meet,
And crowd their servile Necks beneath his Feet.
Thus to his aid while pressing Tides repair,        25
He mounts and spreads his Streamers in the Air.
The Charms of Empire might his Youth mis-lead,
But what can our besotted Israel plead?
Sway’d by a Monarch, whose serene Command
Seems half the Blessing of our promis’d Land.        30
Whose onely Grievance is excess of Ease,
Freedome our Pain, and Plenty our Disease!
Yet since 4 all Folly wou’d lay claim to Sense,
And Wickedness ne’er wanted a Pretence,
With Arguments they’d make their Treason good        35
And righteous David’s self with Slanders load:
That Arts of foreign Sway he did affect,
And guilty Jebusites from Law protect,
Whose very Chiefs, convict, were never freed,
Nay, we have seen their Sacrificers bleed!        40
Accusers Infamy is urg’d in vain,
While in the bounds of Sense they did contain,
But soon they launcht into th’ unfathom’d Tide
And in the Depths they knew disdain’d to Ride;
For probable Discoveries to dispence        45
Was thought below a pentioned Evidence;
Mere Truth was dull, nor suited with the port
Of pamper’d Corah, when advanc’t to Court.
No less than Wonders now they will impose
And Projects void of Grace or Sense disclose.        50
Such was the Charge on pious Michal brought,
Michal, that ne’er was cruel e’en in thought,
The best of Queens, and most obedient Wife,
Impeach’d of curst Designs on David’s Life!
His Life, the Theam of her eternal Pray’r,        55
’Tis scarce so much his Guardian Angels Care.
Not Summer Morns such Mildness can disclose,
The Hermon Lilly nor the Sharon Rose.
Neglecting each vain Pomp of Majesty,
Transported Michal feeds her thoughts on high.        60
She lives with Angels, and as Angels do,
Quits Heav’n sometimes to bless the world Below,
Where cherisht by her Bounties plenteous Spring,
Reviving Widows smile, and Orphans sing.
Oh! when rebellious Israel’s Crimes at height        65
Are threatned with her Lord’s approaching Fate,
The Piety of Michal then remain
In Heav’ns Remembrance, and prolong his Reign.
  Less Desolation did the Pest pursue
That from Dan’s limits to Beersheba slew,        70
Less fatal the repeated Wars of Tyre,
And less Jerusalem’s avenging Fire.
With gentler terrour these our State o’erran,
Than since our Evidencing Days began!
On every Cheek a pale Confusion sat,        75
Continu’d Fear beyond the worst of Fate!
Trust was no more, Art, Science useless made,
All occupations lost but Corah’s Trade.
Mean while a Guard on modest Corah wait,
If not for safety needfull yet for State.        80
Well might he deem each Peer and Prince his Slave:
And Lord it o’er the Tribes which he could save:
E’en Vice in him was Vertue—what sad Fate,
But for his Honesty had seiz’d our State?
And with what Tyranny had we been curst,        85
Had Corah never proved a Villain first?
T’ have told his knowledge of th’ Intrigue in gross
Had been alas to our Deponent’s loss:
The travell’d Levite had th’ Experience got
To husband well, and make the best of ’s Plot;        90
And therefore like an Evidence of skill,
With wise Reserves secur’d his Pension still;
Nor quite of future Pow’r himself bereft,
But Limbo’s large for unbelievers left.
For now his Writ such Reverence had got,        95
’Twas worse than Plotting to suspect his Plot.
Some were so well convinc’t, they made no doubt,
Themselves to help the founder’d Swearers out.
Some had their Sense impos’d on by their Fear,
But more for Int’rest sake believe and swear:        100
E’en to that height with some the Frenzy grew,
They rag’d to find their danger not prove true.
  Yet, than all these a viler Crew remain,
Who with Achitophel the Cry maintain;
Not urg’d by Fear, nor through misguided Sense,        105
(Blind Zeal, and starving need had some Pretence)
But for the Good Old Cause, that did excite
Th’ Original Rebells Wiles, Revenge and Spight,
These raise the Plot to have the Scandal thrown
Upon the bright Successor of the Crown,        110
Whose Vertue with such wrongs they had pursu’d
As seem’d all hope of pardon to exclude.
Thus, while on private Ends their Zeal is built
The cheated Crowd applaud and share their Guilt.
  Such Practices as These, too gross to lye        115
Long unobserv’d by each discerning Eye,
The more judicious Israelites Unspell’d,
Though still the Charm the giddy Rabble held. 5
Ev’n Absalom amid the dazling Beams
Of Empire, and ambitions flattering Dreams,        120
Perceives the Plot (too foul to be excus’d)
To aid Designs, no less pernicious, us’d.
And (Filial Sense yet striving in his Breast)
Thus to Achitophel his Doubts exprest.
  Why are my Thoughts upon a Crown employ’d,        125
Which once obtain’d, can be but half Enjoy’d?
Not so when Virtue did my Arms require,
And to my Father’s Wars I flew Intire.
My Regal Pow’r how will my Foes resent,
When I my Self have scarce my own Consent?        130
Give me a Son’s unblemish’t Truth again
Or quench the Sparks of Duty that remain.
How slight to force a Throne that Legions guard
The Task to me; to prove Unjust, how hard!
And if th’ imagined Guilt thus wound my Thought,        135
What will it, when the tragick Scene is wrought?
Dire War must first be conjur’d from below,
The Realm we’d Rule we first must Overthrow.
And when the Civil Furies are on wing
That blind and undistinguish’t Slaughters fling,        140
Who knows what impious chance may reach the King?
Oh! 6 rather let me perish in the strife,
Than have my Crown the Price of David’s Life!
Or if the Tempest of the War he stand,
In Peace, some vile officious Villain’s hand        145
His Soul’s anointed Temple may invade,
Or, prest by clamorous Crowds, my Self be made
His murtherer; rebellious Crowds, whose Guilt
Shall dread his vengeance till his Bloud be spilt.
Which if my filial Tenderness oppose,        150
Since to the Empire by their Arms I rose,
Those very Arms on Me shall be employ’d,
A new Usurper Crown’d, and I Destroyed:
The same Pretence of Publick Good will hold
And new Achitophels be found, as bold        155
To urge the needfull Change, perhaps the Old.
  He said. The statesman with a Smile replies,
(A smile that did his rising Spleen disguise.)
My thoughts presum’d our labours at an End,
And are we still with Conscience to contend?        160
Whose Want in Kings, as needfull is allow’d
As ’tis for them to find it in the Crowd.
Far in the doubtfull Passage you are gone,
And onely can be Safe by pressing on.
The Crowns true Heir, a Prince severe, and wise,        165
Has view’d your Motions long with Jealous Eyes:
Your Persons Charms, your more prevailing Arts,
And marked your Progress in the Peoples Hearts,
Whose Patience is th’ effect of stinted Pow’r,
But treasures Vengeance for the fatal hour.        170
And if remote the Perill He can bring,
Your Present Danger’s greater from the King.
Let not a Parent’s name deceive your Sense,
Nor trust the Father in a Jealous Prince!
Your trivial Faults if he could so resent,        175
To doom you little less than Banishment,
What rage must your Presumption Since inspire,
Against his Orders your Return from Tyre?
Nor onely so, but with a Pomp more high
And open Court of Popularity,        180
The Factious Tribes—And this Reproof from Thee?
(The Prince replies) O Statesman’s winding Skill,
They first Condemn that first Advis’d the Ill!
Illustrious Youth (returned Achitophel)
Misconstrue not the Words that mean you well.        185
The Course you steer I worthy Blame conclude,
But ’tis because you leave it Unpersu’d.
A Monarch’s Crown with Fate surrounded lyes,
Who reach, lay hold on Death that miss the Prize.
Did you for this expose yourself to Show,        190
And to the Crowd bow popularly low?
For this your Glorious Progress next ordain,
With Chariots, Horsemen, and a numerous Train, 7
With Fame before you like the Morning Starr,
And Shouts of Joy saluting from afarr? 8        195
Oh from the Heights you’ve reached but take a View,
Scarce leading Lucifer cou’d fall like you!
And must I here my Shipwrackt Arts bemoan?
Have I for this so oft made Israel groan!
Your single interest with the Nation weigh’d,        200
And turned the Scale where your Desires were laid?
Ev’n when at Helm a Course so dang’rous mov’d,
To Land your Hopes, as my Removal prov’d.
  I not dispute (the Royal youth replys)
The known Perfection of your Policies,        205
Nor in Achitophel yet grudge, or blame,
The Priviledge that Statesmen ever claim;
Who private Interest never yet persu’d,
But still pretended ’twas for Others good:
What Polititian yet e’er scap’t his Fate        210
Who saving his own Neck not sav’d the State?
From hence on ev’ry hum’urous Wind that veer’d
With shifted Sayls a sev’ral Course you Steer’d.
What Form of 9 Sway did David e’er persue
That seem’d like Absolute but sprung from You?        215
Who at your instance quasht each penal Law,
That kept dissenting factious Jews in awe;
And who suspends fixt Laws, may abrogate,
That done, form New, and so enslave the State.
Ev’n Property, whose Champion now you stand,        220
And seem for this the Idol of the Land,
Did ne’er sustain such Violence before
As when your Counsel shut the Royal Store;
Advice, that Ruine to whole Tribes procur’d,
But secret kept till your own Banks secur’d.        225
Recount with this the tripple Cov’nant broke,
And Israel fitted for a Foreign Yoke,
Nor here your Counsels fatal Progress staid,
But sent our levied Pow’rs to Pharaoh’s Aid.
Hence Tyre and Israel, low in Ruins laid,        230
And Egypt, once their Scorn, their common Terrour made.
Ev’n yet of such a Season we can dream,
When Royal Rights you made your darling Theam.
For Pow’r unlimited could Reasons draw,
And place Prerogative above the Law;        235
Which on your fall from Office grew Unjust,
The Laws made King, the King a Slave in Trust:
Whom with State-craft, to Int’rest onely True,
You now Accuse of ills contriv’d by You.
  To this Hell’s Agent—Royal Youth fix here,        240
Let Int’rest be the Star by which I Steer. 10
Hence to repose your Trust in Me was wise,
Whose Int’rest most in your Advancement lies.
A Tye so firm as always will avail
When Friendship, Nature and Religion fail;        245
On ours the Safety of the Crowd depends,
Secure the Crowd and we obtain our Ends,
Whom I will cause so far our Guilt to share
Till they are made our Champions by their Fear.
What Opposition can your Rival bring,        250
While Sanhedrims are Jealous of the King?
His strength as yet in David’s Friendship lies,
And what can David’s Self without supplies?
Who with Exclusive Bills must now dispence,
Debar the Heir, or Starve in his Defence.        255
Conditions which our Elders ne’er will quit
And David’s Justice never can admit.
Or forc’t by Wants his Brother to betray,
To your Ambition next he clears the Way;
For if Succession once to Nought they bring        260
Their next Advance removes the present King:
Persisting else his Senates to dissolve
In equal Hazzard shall his Reign involve.
Our Tribes, whom Pharaoh’s Pow’r so much Alarms,
Shall rise without their Prince t’ oppose his Arms;        265
Nor boots it on what Cause at first they Joyn,
Their Troops once up, are Tools for our Design.
At least such subtle Covenants shall be made,
Till peace it self is War in Masquerade.
Associations of Mysterious Sense,        270
Against, but seeming for the King’s Defence:
Ev’n on their Courts of Justice Fetters draw,
And from our Agents Muzzle up their Law.
By which, a Conquest if we fail to make,
’Tis a drawn Game at worst, and we secure our Stake.        275
  He said, and for the dire Success depends
On various Sects, by common Guilt made Friends.
Whose Heads, though ne’er so diff’ring in their Creed,
I’ th’ point of Treason yet were well Agreed.
’Mongst these, Extorting Ishban first appears,        280
Persu’d b’ a meagre Troop of Bankrupt Heirs.
Blest times when Ishban, He whose Occupation
So long has been to Cheat, Reformes the Nation!
Ishban of Conscience suited to his Trade,
As good a Saint as Usurer e’er made.        285
Yet Mammon has not so engrost him quite
But Belial lays as large a Claim of Spight;
Who, for those Pardons from his Prince he draws
Returns Reproaches, and cries up the Cause.
That Year in which the City he did sway,        290
He left Rebellion in a hopefull way;
Yet his Ambition once was found so bold
To offer Talents of Extorted Gold;
Could David’s Wants have So been brib’d to shame
And scandalize our Peerage with his Name;        295
For which, his dear Sedition he’d forswear,
And e’en turn Loyal, to be made a Peer.
Next him, let Railing Rabsheka have place,
So full of Zeal He has no need of grace;
A Saint that can both Flesh and Spirit use,        300
Alike haunt Conventicles and the Stews:
Of whom the Question difficult appears,
If most i’ th’ Preachers or the Bawds arrears.
What Caution cou’d appear too much in Him
That keeps the Treasure of Jerusalem!        305
Let David’s Brother but approach the Town,
Double our guards, He cries, We are undone.
Protesting that He dares not Sleep in ’s Bed,
Lest he shou’d rise next Morn without his Head.
  Next these, a Troop of buisy Spirits press,        310
Of little Fortunes and of Conscience Less;
With them the Tribe, whose Luxury had drain’d
Their Banks, informer Sequestrations gain’d:
Who Rich and Great by past Rebellions grew,
And long to fish the troubled Waves 11 anew.        315
Some future Hopes, some present Payment draws,
To Sell their Conscience and espouse the Cause,
Such Stipends those vile Hirelings best befit,
Priests without Grace, and Poets without wit,
Shall that false Hebronite escape our Curse,        320
Judas that keeps the Rebells Pension-Purse;
Judas that pays the Treason-writers Fee,
Judas that well deserves his Namesake’s Tree;
Who at Jerusalem’s own Gates Erects
His College for a Nursery of Sects.        325
Young Prophets with an early Care secures,
And with the Dung of his own Arts manures.
What have the Men of Hebron here to doe?
What part in Israels promis’d Land have you?
Here Phaleg the Lay Hebronite is come,        330
Cause like the rest he could not live at Home;
Who from his own Possessions cou’d not drain
An Omer even of Hebronitish Grain,
Here Struts it like a Patriot, and talks high
Of Injur’d Subjects, alter’d Property:        335
An Emblem of that buzzing Insect Just,
That mounts the Wheell, and thinks she raises Dust.
Can dry Bones Live? or Skeletons produce
The Vital Warmth of Cuckoldizing Juice?
Slim Phaleg cou’d, and at the Table fed,        340
Return’d the gratefull product to the Bed.
A Waiting-man to Trav’ling Nobles chose,
He, his own Laws wou’d Sawcily impose;
Till Bastinado’d back again he went,
To Learn those Manners he to Teach was sent.        345
Chastiz’d, he ought to have retreated Home,
But He reads politicks to Absalom.
For never Hebronite, though Kickt and Scorn’d,
To his own Country willingly return’d.
—But leaving famish’d Phaleg to be fed        350
And to talk Treason for his daily Bread,
Let Hebron, nay let Hell produce a Man
So made for Mischief as Ben Jochanan,
A Jew of humble Parentage was He,
By Trade a Levite, though of low Degree:        355
His Pride no higher than the Desk aspir’d,
But for the Drudgery of Priests was hir’d
To Reade and Pray in Linen Ephod brave,
And pick up single Sheckles from the Grave.
Married at last, and 12 finding Charge come faster,        360
He cou’d not live by God, but chang’d his Master:
Inspir’d by Want, was made a Factious Tool,
They Got a Villain, and we lost a Fool.
Still Violent, whatever Cause he took,
But most against the Party he forsook,        365
For Renegadoes, who ne’er turn by halves,
Are bound in Conscience to be double Knaves.
So this Prose-Prophet took most monstrous Pains,
To let his Masters see he earn’d his Gains.
But as the Dev’l ows all his Imps a Shame,        370
He chose th’ Apostate for his proper Theme;
With little Pains he made the Picture true,
And from Reflexion took the Rogue he drew.
A wondrous Work, to prove the Jewish nation
In every Age a Murmuring Generation;        375
To trace ’em from their Infancy of Sinning,
And shew ’em Factious from their First Beginning;
To prove they cou’d Rebell, and Rail, and Mock,
Much to the Credit of the Chosen Flock;
A strong Authority which must Convince,        380
That Saints own no Allegiance to their Prince.
As ’tis a Leading-Card to make a Whore,
To prove her Mother had turn’d up before.
But tell me, did the Drunken Patriarch 13 Bless
The Son that shew’d his Father’s Nakedness?        385
Such Thanks the present Church thy Pen will give,
Which proves Rebellion was so Primitive.
Must Ancient Failings be Examples made,
Then Murtherers from Cain may learn their Trade.
As thou the Heathen and the Saint hast drawn,        390
Methinks th’ Apostate was the better man:
And thy hot Father (waving my respect)
Not of a mother church but of a Sect.
And Such he needs must be of thy Inditing,
This Comes of drinking Asses milk and writing.        395
If Balack should be cal’d to leave his place,
(As Profit is the loudest call of Grace,)
His Temple, dispossessed of one, would be
Replenish’d with seven Devils more by thee.
  Levi, thou art a load, I’ll lay thee down,        400
And shew Rebellion bare, without a Gown;
Poor Slaves in metre, dull and adle-pated,
Who Rhime below ev’n David’s Psalms translated.
Some in my Speedy pace I must outrun,
As lame Mephibosheth the Wisard’s Son;        405
To make quick way I’ll Leap o’er heavy blocks,
Shun rotten Uzza as I woud the Pox;
And hasten Og and Doeg to rehearse,
Two Fools that Crutch their Feeble sense on Verse,
Who by my Muse, to all succeeding times        410
Shall live in spight of their own Dogrell Rhimes.
  Doeg, though without knowing how or why,
Made still a blund’ring kind of Melody;
Spurd boldly on, and Dash’d through Thick and Thin,
Through Sense and Non-sense, never out nor in;        415
Free from all meaning, whether good or bad,
And in one word, Heroically mad,
He was too warm on Picking-work to dwell,
But Faggotted his Notions as they fell,
And, if they Rhim’d and Rattl’d, all was well.        420
Spightfull he is not, though he wrote a Satyr,
For still there goes some thinking to ill-Nature:
He needs no more than Birds and Beasts to think,
All his occasions are to eat and drink.
If he call Rogue and Rascal from a Garrat,        425
He means you no more Mischief than a Parat:
The words for Friend and Foe alike were made,
To Fetter ’em in Verse is all his Trade.
For Almonds he’ll cry Whore to his own Mother:
And call young Absalom King David’s Brother.        430
Let him be Gallows-Free by my consent,
And nothing suffer, since he nothing meant:
Hanging Supposes humane Soul and reason,
This Animal’s below committing Treason
Shall he be hang’d who never cou’d Rebell?        435
That’s a preferment for Achitophel.
The Woman that Committed Buggary,
Was rightly Sentenc’d by the Law to die;
But ’twas hard Fate that to the Gallows led
The Dog that never heard the Statute read.        440
Railing in other Men may be a crime,
But ought to pass for mere instinct in him;
Instinct he follows and no farther knows,
For to write Verse with him is to Transprose.
’Twere pity treason at his Door to lay        445
Who makes Heaven’s gate a Lock to its own Key:
Let him rayl on, let his invective muse
Have four and Twenty letters to abuse,
Which if he Jumbles to one line of Sense,
Indict him of a Capital Offence.        450
In Fire-works give him leave to vent his spight,
Those are the only Serpents he can write;
The height of his ambition is we know
But to be Master of a Puppet-show;
On that one Stage his works may yet appear,        455
And a months Harvest keeps him all the Year.
  Now stop your noses, Readers, all and some,
For here’s a tun of Midnight work to come,
Og from a Treason Tavern rowling home.
Round as a Globe, and Liquored ev’ry chink,        460
Goodly and Great he Sayls behind his Link;
With all this Bulk there’s nothing lost in Og,
For ev’ry inch that is not Fool is Rogue:
A Monstrous mass of foul corrupted matter,
As all the Devils had spew’d to make the batter.        465
When wine has given him courage to Blaspheme,
He curses God, but God before Curst him;
And if man cou’d have reason, none has more,
That made his Paunch so rich and him so poor.
With wealth he was not trusted, for Heav’n knew        470
What ’twas of Old to pamper up a Jew;
To what would he on Quail and Pheasant swell,
That ev’n on Tripe and Carrion cou’d rebell?
But though Heaven made him poor, (with rev’rence speaking,)
He never was a Poet of God’s making;        475
The Midwife laid her hand on his Thick Skull,
With this Prophetick blessing—Be thou Dull;
Drink, Swear, and Roar, forbear no lew’d delight
Fit for thy Bulk, doe anything but write.
Thou art of lasting Make, like thoughtless men,        480
A strong Nativity—but for the Pen;
Eat Opium, mingle Arsenick in thy Drink,
Still thou mayst live, avoiding Pen and Ink.
I see, I see, ’tis Counsell given in vain,
For Treason botcht in Rhime will be thy bane;        485
Rhime is the Rock on which thou art to wreck,
’Tis fatal to thy Fame and to thy Neck.
Why should thy Metre good King David blast?
A Psalm of his will Surely be thy last.
Dar’st thou presume in verse to meet thy foes,        490
Thou whom the Penny Pamphlet foil’d in prose?
Doeg, whom God for Mankinds mirth has made,
O’er-tops thy tallent in thy very Trade;
Doeg to thee, thy paintings are so Course,
A Poet is, though he’s the Poets Horse.        495
A Double Noose thou on thy Neck dost pull
For Writing Treason and for Writing dull;
To die for Faction is a common Evil,
But to be hang’d for Non-sense is the Devil.
Hadst thou the Glories of thy King exprest,        500
Thy praises had been Satyr at the best;
But thou in Clumsy verse, unlickt, unpointed,
Hast Shamefully defi’d the Lord’s Anointed:
I will not rake the Dunghill of thy Crimes,
For who would reade thy Life that reads thy rhimes?        505
But of King David’s Foes be this the Doom,
May all be like the Young-man Absalom;
And for my Foes may this their Blessing be,
To talk like Doeg and to Write like Thee.
  Achitophel each Rank, Degree, and Age        510
For various Ends neglects not to Engage,
The Wise and Rich for Purse and Counsell brought,
The Fools and Beggars for their Number sought:
Who yet not onely on the Town depends,
For Ev’n in Court the Faction had its Friends.        515
These thought the Places they possest too small,
And in their Hearts wisht Court and King to fall:
Whose Names the Muse, disdaining, holds i’ th’ dark,
Thrust in the Villain Herd without a Mark;
With Parasites and Libell-spawning Imps,        520
Intriguing Fopps, dull Jesters, and worse Pimps.
Disdain the Rascal Rabble to persue,
Their Sett Caballs are yet a viler Crew;
See where involv’d in Common Smoak they sit;
Some for our Mirth, some for our Satyr fit;        525
These Gloomy, Thoughtfull and on Mischief bent,
While those for mere good Fellowship frequent
Th’ appointed Clubb can let Sedition pass,
Sense, Non-sence, anything t’ employ the Glass;
And who believe in their dull honest Hearts,        530
The Rest talk Treason but to show their Parts;
Who ne’er had Wit or Will for Mischief yet,
But pleased to be reputed of a Set.
  But in the Sacred Annals of our Plot,
Industrious AROD never be forgot:        535
The Labours of this Midnight-Magistrate,
May vie with Corah’s to preserve the State;
In search of Arms, He failed not to lay hold
On War’s most powerfull dang’rous Weapon, GOLD.
And last, to take from Jebusites, all odds,        540
Their Altars pillaged, stole their very Gods.
Oft wou’d he Cry, when Treasure he surpriz’d,
’Tis Baalish Gold in David’s Coyn Disguiz’d.
Which to his House with richer Relicts came
While Lumber Idols onely fed the Flame:        545
For our wise Rabble ne’er took pains t’ inquire,
What ’twas he burnt, so ’t made a rousing Fire.
With which our Elder was enricht no more
Than False Gehazi with the Syrian’s Store;
So Poor, that when our Choosing-Tribes were met,        550
Even for his Stinking Votes He ran in Debt;
For Meat the Wicked, and, as Authours think,
The Saints He Choused for His Electing Drink;
Thus, ev’ry Shift and subtle Method past,
And All to be no Zaken at the Last.        555
  Now, rais’d on Tyre’s sad Ruines, Pharaoh’s Pride
Soar’d high, his Legions threatning far and wide;
As when a battring Storm ingendred high,
By Winds upheld, hangs hov’ring in the Skye,
Is gaz’d upon by ev’ry trembling Swain,        560
This for his Vineyard fears, and that his Grain,
For blooming Plants and Flow’rs new Opening, These
For Lambs ean’d 14 lately, and far-lab’ring Bees;
To Guard his Stock each to the Gods does call,
Uncertain where the Fire-charg’d Clouds will Fall:        565
Even so the doubtfull Nations watch his Arms,
With Terrour each expecting his Alarms.
Where, Judah, where was now thy Lyons Roar?
Thou onely cou’dst the Captive Lands restore;
But Thou, with inbred Broils and Faction prest,        570
From Egypt needst a Guardian with the Rest.
Thy Prince from Sanhedrims no Trust allow’d,
Too much the Representers of the Crow’d,
Who for their own Defence give no Supply
But what the Crowns Prerogatives must buy:        575
As if their Monarch’s Rights to violate,
More needfull were than to preserve the State!
From present Dangers they divert their Care,
And all their Fears are of the Royal Heir;
Whom now the reigning Malice of his Foes        580
Unjudged wou’d Sentence and e’er Crown’d, Depose:
Religion the Pretence, but their Decree
To barr his Reign, whate’er his Faith shall be!
By Sanhedrims, and clam’rous Crowds, thus prest
What passions rent the Righteous David’s Breast?        585
Who knows not how t’ oppose or to comply,
Unjust to Grant and dangerous to Deny!
How near in this dark Juncture Israel’s Fate,
Whose Peace one sole Expedient could create,
Which yet th’ extremest Virtue did require,        590
Ev’n of that Prince whose Downfall they conspire!
His Absence David does with Tears advise,
T’ appease their Rage, Undaunted He Complies;
Thus he who, prodigal of Bloud, and Ease,
A Royal Life expos’d to Winds and Seas,        595
At once contending with the Waves and Fire,
And heading Danger in the Wars of Tyre,
Inglorious now forsakes his Native Sand
And, like an Exile, quits the promis’d Land!
Our Monarch scarce from pressing Tears refrains,        600
And painfully his Royal State maintains.
Who, now embracing on th’ extremest Shore.
Almost Revokes what he Injoyn’d before:
Concludes at last more Trust to be allow’d
To Storms and Seas than to the raging Crow’d!        605
Forbear, rash Muse, the parting Scene to draw,
With Silence charm’d as deep as theirs that saw!
Not onely our attending Nobles weep,
But hardy Saylers swell with Tears the Deep!
The Tyde restrained her Course, and more amaz’d,        610
The Twyn Stars on the Royal Brothers gaz’d;
While this sole Fear——
Does Trouble to our suff’ring Heroe bring,
Lest next the Popular Rage oppress the King.
Thus parting, each for th’ Others Danger griev’d,        615
The Shore the King, and Seas the Prince receiv’d.
Go injur’d Heroe, while propitious Gales,
Soft as thy Consorts breath, inspire thy Sails;
Well may She trust her Beauties on a Flood,
Where thy Triumphant Fleets so oft have rode!        620
Safe on thy Breast reclin’d, her Rest be deep,
Rockt like a Nereid by the waves asleep;
While happiest Dreams her Fancy entertain,
And to Elysian Fields convert the Main!
Go injur’d Heroe, while the shores of Tyre,        625
At thy Approach so Silent shall admire,
Who on thy Thunder still their thoughts imploy,
And greet thy Landing with a trembling Joy.
  On Heroes thus the Prophet’s Fate is thrown,
Admir’d by ev’ry Nation but their Own;        630
Yet while our factious Jews his Worth deny,
Their Aking Conscience gives their Tongue the Lye.
Ev’n in the worst of Men the noblest Parts
Confess him, and he Triumphs in their Hearts,
Whom to his King the best Respects commend        635
Of Subject, Souldier, Kinsman, Prince and Friend;
All Sacred Names of most divine Esteem,
And to Perfection all sustained by Him,
Wise, Just and Constant, Courtly without Art,
Swift to discern and to reward Desert;        640
No Hour of His in fruitless Ease destroy’d,
But on the noblest Subjects still employed;
Whose steddy Soul ne’er learnt to Separate
Between his Monarch’s Int’rest and the State,
But heaps those Blessings on the Royal Head,        645
Which He well knows must be on Subjects shed.
  On what Pretence cou’d then the Vulgar Rage
Against his Worth, and native Rights engage?
Religious Fears their Argument are made,
Religious Fears his Sacred Rights invade!        650
Of future Superstition They complain
And Jebusitic Worship in his Reign;
With such Alarms his Foes the Crowd deceive,
With Dangers fright, which not Themselves believe.
  Since nothing can our Sacred Rites remove,        655
Whate’er the Faith of the Successour prove,
Our Jews their Ark shall undisturb’d retain,
At least while their Religion is their Gain,
Who know by old Experience Baal’s Commands
Not onely claim’d their Conscience but their Lands;        660
They grutch God’s Tythes, how therefore shall they yield
An Idol full possession of the Field?
Grant such a Prince enthron’d, we must confess
The People’s Suff’rings than that Monarch’s less,
Who must to hard Conditions still be bound        665
And for his Quiet with the Crowd compound;
Or shou’d his thoughts to Tyranny incline,
Where are the means to compass the design?
Our Crowns Revenues are too short a Store,
And Jealous Sanedrims would give no more!        670
  As vain our Fears of Egypt’s potent Aid;
Not so has Pharoah learnt Ambition’s Trade,
Nor ever with such Measures can comply
As Shock the common Rules of Policy;
None dread like Him the growth of Israel’s King,        675
And He alone sufficient Aids can bring;
Who knows that Prince to Egypt can give Law
That on our Stubborn Tribes his Yoak cou’d draw.
At such profound Expense He has not stood,
Nor dy’d for this his Hands so deep in blood;        680
Wou’d nere through Wrong and Right his Progress take,
Grudge his own Rest, and keep the World awake,
To fix a Lawless Prince on Judah’s Throne,
First to Invade our Rights, and then his Own;
His dear-gain’d Conquests cheaply to despoil,        685
And Reap the Harvest of his Crimes and Toil.
We grant his Wealth Vast as our Ocean’s Sand
And Curse its Fatal Influence on our Land,
Which our Brib’d Jews so num’rously pertake
That ev’n an Host his Pensioners wou’d make;        690
From these Deceivers our Divisions spring,
Our Weakness, and the Growth of Egypt’s King:
These with pretended Friendship to the State
Our Crowd’s Suspition of their Prince Create,
Both pleas’d and frightened with the specious Cry,        695
To Guard their Sacred Rights and Property;
To Ruin, thus, the Chosen Flock are Sold,
While Wolves are tane for Guardians of the Fold;
Seduc’d by these, we groundlessly complain,
And loath the Manna of a gentle Reign:        700
Thus our Fore-fathers crooked Paths are trod,
We trust our Prince, no more than They their God.
But all in vain our Reasoning Prophets Preach,
To those whom sad Experience ne’re could Teach,
Who can commence new Broils in Bleeding Scars        705
And fresh Remembrance of Intestine Wars;
When the same Houshold Mortal Foes did yeild,
And Brothers stain’d with Brothers Blood the Feild;
When Sons Curst Steel the Fathers Gore did Stain,
And Mothers Mourn’d for Sons by Fathers Slain!        710
When thick, as Egypt’s Locusts on the Sand,
Our Tribes lay Slaughter’d through the promis’d Land,
Whose few Survivers with worse Fate remain,
To drag the Bondage of a Tyrants Reign:
Which Scene of Woes, unknowing We renew,        715
And madly, ev’n those ills we Fear, persue;
While Pharoah laughs at our Domestick Broils
And safely crowds his Tents with Nations Spoils.
Yet our fierce Sanedrim in restless Rage,
Against our absent Heroe still engage,        720
And chiefly urge, (such did their frenzy prove),
The only Suit their Prince forbids to move,
Which till obtain’d, they cease Affairs of State,
And real Dangers wave, for groundless Hate.
Long Davids patience waits relief to bring,        725
With all th’ Indulgence of a lawful King,
Expecting till the troubled Waves wou’d cease,
But found the raging Billows still increase.
The Crowd, whose Insolence Forbearance swells,
While he forgives too far, almost Rebels.        730
At last his deep Resentments silence broke,
Th’ imperial Palace shook, while thus He spoke,
  Then Justice wake, and Rigour take her time,
For Lo! Our Mercy is become our Crime.
While haulting Punishment her stroke delays,        735
Our Sov’reign Right, Heav’ns Sacred Trust, decays;
For whose support ev’n Subjects Interest calls,
Wo! to that Kingdom where the Monarch Falls.
That Prince who yields the least of Regal Sway,
So far his Peoples Freedom does Betray.        740
Right lives by Law, and Law subsists by Pow’r;
Disarm the Shepherd, Wolves the Flock devour.
Hard Lot of Empire o’re a stubborn Race,
Which Heav’n it Self in vain has try’d with Grace!
When will our Reasons long-charm’d Eyes unclose,        745
And Israel judge between her Friends and Foes?
When shall we see expir’d Deceivers Sway,
And credit what our God and Monarchs say?
Dissembled Patriots bribed with Egypts Gold
Even Sanedrims in blind Obedience hold;        750
Those Patriots Falshood in their Actions see,
And judge by the pernicious Fruit the Tree;
If ought for which so loudly they declaim
Religion, Laws, and Freedom, were their Aim;
Our senates in due Methods they had led,        755
T’ avoid those Mischeifs which they seem’d to dread;
But first e’re yet they propt the sinking State,
T’ impeach and charge, as urg’d by private Hate;
Proves that they ne’re beleiv’d the Fears they prest,
But Barb’rously destroy’d the Nations Rest!        760
O! Whither will ungovern’d Senates drive,
And to what Bounds licentious Votes arrive?
When their Injustice We are prest to share,
The Monarch urg’d t’ exclude the lawful Heir;
Are princes thus distinguish’d from the Crowd,        765
And this the Priviledge of Royal Blood?
But grant we shou’d Confirm the Wrongs they press,
His Sufferings yet were than the Peoples less;
Condemn’d for Life the Murd’ring Sword to weild,
And on their Heirs entail a Bloody Feild.        770
Thus madly their own Freedom they betray,
And for th’ Oppression which they fear, make way;
Succession fixt by Heav’n the Kingdoms Bar,
Which once dissolv’d, admits the Flood of War;
Wast, Rapine, Spoil, without th’ Assault begin,        775
And our mad Tribes Supplant the Fence within.
Since then their Good they will not understand,
’Tis time to take the Monarchs Power in Hand;
Authority, and Force to joyn with Skill,
And save the Lunaticks against their Will.        780
The same rough Means that swage the Crowd, appease
Our senates raging with the Crowds Disease.
Henceforth unbiass’d Measures let ’em draw
From no false Gloss, but Genuine text of Law;
Nor urge those Crimes upon Religions score        785
Themselves so much, in Jebusites abhor.
Whom Laws convict (and only they) shall Bleed,
Nor Pharisees by Pharisees be Freed.
Impartial Justice from our Throne shall shou’r,
All shall have Right, and We our Sov’reign Pow’r.        790
  He said, th’ Attendants heard with awful Joy,
And glad Presages their fixt Thoughts employ;
From Hebron now the Suffering Heir Return’d,
A Realm that long with Civil Discord Mourn’d;
Till his Approach, like some Arriving God,        795
Compos’d, and heal’d the place of his Aboad;
The Deluge checkt that to Judea spread,
And stopt Sedition at the Fountain’s Head.
Thus in forgiving David’s Paths he drives,
And, chas’d from Israel, Israels Peace contrives.        800
The Feild confest his Pow’r in Arms before,
And Seas proclaim’d his Tryumphs to the Shore;
As nobly has his Sway in Hebron shown,
How fit t’ inherit Godlike Davids Throne. 15
Through Sion’s-Streets his glad Arrivals spread        805
And Conscious Faction shrinks her snaky head;
His Train their Sufferings think o’repaid, to see
The Crowds Applause with Vertue once agree.
Success charms All, but Zeal for Worth distrest
A Virtue proper to the Brave and Best; 810        810
’Mongst whom was Jothran, Jothran always bent
To serve the Crown and Loyal by Descent.
Whose Constancy so Firm, and Conduct Just,
Deserv’d at once Two Royal Masters Trust;
Who Tyre’s proud Arms had Manfully withstood        815
On Seas, and gather’d Lawrels from the Flood;
Of Learning yet no Portion was deny’d,
Friend to the Muses, and the Muses Pride.
Nor can Benaiah’s Worth forgotten lie,
Of steddy Soul when Publick Storms were high;        820
Whose Conduct, while the Moor fierce Onsets made,
Secur’d at once our Honour and our Trade.
Such were the Chiefs, who most his Suff’rings mourn’d,
And viewd with silent Joy the Prince return’d;
While those that sought his Absence to Betray,        825
Press first their Nauseous False Respects to pay;
Him still th’ officious Hypocrites Molest,
And with malicious Duty break his Rest.
While real Transports thus his Friends Employ,
And Foes are Loud in their dissembled Joy,        830
His Tryumphs so resounded far and near,
Mist not his Young Ambitious Rival’s Ear;
And as when joyful Hunters clam’rous Train,
Some Slumbring Lion Wakes in Moab’s Plain,
Who oft had forc’d the bold Assailants yeild,        835
And scatter’d his Persuers through the Feild,
Disdaining, furls his Main, and tears the Ground,
His Eyes enflaming all the Desart Round,
With Roar of Seas directs his Chasers Way,
Provokes from far, and dares them to the Fray;        840
Such Rage storm’d now in Absalom’s fierce Breast,
Such Indignation his Fir’d Eyes Confest;
Where now was the Instructer of his Pride?
Slept the Old Pilot in so rough a Tide?
Whose Wiles had from the happy Shore betray’d,        845
And thus on Shelves the cred’lous Youth convey’d;
In deep revolving Thoughts He weighs his State,
Secure of Craft, nor doubts to baffle Fate,
At least, if his storm’d Bark must go adrift,
To baulk his Charge and for himself to shift,        850
In which his dextrous Wit had oft been shown,
And in the wreck of Kingdoms sav’d his own;
But now with more than Common Danger prest,
Of various Resolutions stands possest,
Perceives the Crowds unstable Zeal decay,        855
Least their Recanting Chief the Cause betray,
Who on a Father’s Grace his Hopes may ground,
And for his Pardon with their Heads compound.
Him therefore, e’re his Fortune slip her Time,
The Statesman Plots t’ engage in some bold Crime        860
Past Pardon, whether to Attempt his Bed,
Or Threat with open Arms the Royal Head
Or other daring Method, and Unjust,
That may secure 16 him in the Peoples Trust.
But failing thus t’ ensnare him, nor secure        865
How long his foil’d Ambition may endure,
Plots next to lay him by, as past his Date,
And try some new Pretenders luckier Fate;
Whose Hopes with equal Toil he wou’d persue,
Nor cares what Claimer’s Crownd, except the True.        870
Wake Absalom, approaching Ruin shun,
And see, O see, for whom thou art Undone!
How are thy Honours, and thy Fame betray’d,
The Property of desp’rate Villains made! 17
Lost Pow’r and Conscious Fears their Crimes Create,        875
And Guilt in them was little less than Fate;
But why shou’dst Thou, from ev’ry Grievance free,
Forsake thy Vineyards for their Stormy Sea?
For Thee did Canaan’s Milk and Honey flow,
Love drest thy Bow’rs and Lawrels sought thy Brow,        880
Preferment, Wealth and Pow’r thy Vassals were,
And of a Monarch all things but the Care.
Oh shou’d our Crimes, again, that Curse draw down,
And Rebel-Arms once more attempt the Crown,
Sure Ruin waits unhappy Absalon,        885
Alike by Conquest or Defeat undone;
Who cou’d relentless see such Youth and Charms,
Expire with wretched Fate in Impious Armes?
A Prince so form’d with Earth’s, and Heaven’s Applause,
To Tryumph ore Crown’d Heads in David’s Cause:        890
Or grant him Victor, still his Hopes must fail,
Who, Conquering, wou’d not for himself prevail;
The Faction whom He trusts for future Sway,
Him and the Publique wou’d alike Betray;
Amongst themselves divide the Captive State,        895
And found their Hydra-Empire in his Fate!
Thus having beat the Clouds with painful Flight,
The pitty’d Youth with Scepters in his Sight;
(So have their Cruel Politicks Decreed,)
Must by that Crew that made him Guilty, Bleed.        900
For cou’d their Pride brook any Prince’s Sway,
Whom but mild David would they choose t’ Obey?
Who once at such a gentle Reign Repine,
The Fall of Monarchy it self Design;
From Hate to That their Reformations spring,        905
And David not their Grievance, but the King.
Seiz’d now with pannick Fear the Faction lies,
Least this clear Truth strike Absaloms charm’d Eyes;
Least He perceive, from long Enchantment free,
What all, beside the flatter’d Youth, must see        910
But whate’re doubts his troubled Bosome swell,
Fair Carriage still became Achitophel.
Who now an envious Festival enstalls,
And to survey their Strength the Faction calls,
Which Fraud, Religious Worship too must Guild;        915
But oh how weakly does Sedition Build! 18
For Lo! the Royal Mandate issues Forth,
Dashing at once their Treason, Zeal, and Mirth!
So have I seen disastrous Chance Invade,
Where careful Emmits had their Forrage laid,        920
Whether fierce Vulcan’s rage the Furzy Plain
Had seiz’d, Engendred by some careless Swain;
Or swelling Neptune lawless Inroads made
And to their Cell of Store his Flood convey’d;
The Common-Wealth broke up distracted go,        925
And in wild Hast their loaded Mates o’rethrow:
Ev’n so our scatter’d Guests confus’dly meet,
With Boil’d, Bak’d, Roast, all Justling in the Street;
Dejected all, and rufully dismaid,
For Sheckle without Treat, or Treason paid.        930
  Seditions dark Eclipse now fainter shows,
More bright each Hour the Royal Plannet grows,
Of Force the Clouds of Envy to disperse,
In kind Conjunction of Assisting Stars.
Here lab’ring Muse those Glorious Chiefs relate        935
That turned the doubtful Scale of David’s Fate;
The rest of that Illustrious Band rehearse,
Immortalliz’d in Lawrell’d Asaph’s Verse:
Hard task! yet will not I thy Flight recall,
View Heav’n, and then enjoy thy glorious Fall.        940
  First Write Bezaliel, whose Illustrious Name
Forestals our Praise, and gives his Poet Fame.
The Kenites Rocky Province his Command,
A barren Limb of Fertile Canaans Land,
Which for its gen’rous Natives yet cou’d be        945
Held Worthy such a President as He!
Bezaliel with each Grace, and Virtue Fraught,
Serene his Looks, Serene his Life and Thought,
On whom so largely Nature heapt her Store,
There scarce remain’d for Arts to give him more!        950
To Aid the Crown and State his greatest Zeal,
His Second Care that Service to Conceal;
Of Dues Observant, Firm in 19 ev’ry Trust,
And to the Needy always more than Just.
Who Truth from specious falsehood can divide,        955
Has all the Gown-mens Skill without their Pride;
Thus crown’d with worth from heights of honor won,
Sees all his Glories copied in his Son,
Whose forward Fame should every Muse Engage:
Whose Youth boasts skill denied to others Age.        960
Men, Manners, Language, Books of noblest kind
Already are the Conquest of his Mind.
Whose Loyalty before it’s Date was prime,
Nor waited the dull course of rowling Time:
The Monster Faction early he dismaid,        965
And David’s Cause long since confest his Aid.
  Brave Abdael o’re the Prophets’ 20 School was place’d;
Abdael, with all his Father’s Virtue grac’d;
A Heroe, who, while Stars look’d wondring down,
Without one Hebrew’s Bloud restor’d the Crown.        970
That praise was His; what therefore did remain
For following Chiefs, but boldly to maintain
That Crown restor’d? 21 and in this Rank of Fame,
Brave Abdael with the First a place must claim.
Proceed, illustrious, happy, Chief, proceed,        975
Foreseize the Garlands for thy Brow decreed,
While th’ inspir’d Tribe attend with noblest strein
To Register the Glories thou shalt gain:
For sure, the Dew shall Gilboah’s Hills forsake,
And Jordan mix his Stream with Sodom’s Lake;        980
Or Seas retir’d their Secret stores disclose,
And to the Sun their scaly Brood expose,
Or swell’d above the Clifts, their Billows raise,
Before the Muses leave their Patron’s Praise.
  Eliab our Next labour do’s invite,        985
And hard the Task to do Eliab right:
Long with the royal Wanderer he rovd,
And firm in all the Turns of Fortune prov’d!
Such ancient Service and Desert so large,
Well claim’d the Royal Household for his Charge.        990
His Age with only one mild Heiress blest,
In all the Bloom of smiling Nature drest,
And blest again to see his Flow’r ally’d
To David’s Stock, and made young Othniel’s Bride!
The bright Restorer of his Father’s Youth,        995
Devoted to a Son’s and Subject’s Truth:
Resolv’d to bear that prize of Duty home,
So bravely sought (while sought) by Absalom.
Ah Prince! th’ illustrious Planet of thy Birth,
And thy more powerful Virtue guard thy worth;        1000
That no Achitophel thy Ruine boast;
Israel too much in one such Wreck has lost.
  Ev’n Envy must consent to Helon’s Worth,
Whose Soul (tho’ Egypt glories in his Birth)
Cou’d for our Captive-Ark its Zeal retain,        1005
And Pharoah’s Altars in their Pomp disdain:
To slight his Gods was small; with nobler pride,
He all th’ Allurements of his Court defi’d.
Whom Profit nor Example cou’d betray
But Israel’s friend, and true to David’s Sway.        1010
What acts of favour in his Province fall
On Merit he confers, and Freely all.
  Our List of Nobles next let Amri Grace,
Whose Merits claim’d the Abethdins high place;
Who, with a Loyalty that did excel,        1015
Brought all th’ endowments of Achitophel.
Sincere was Amri, and not only knew,
But Israel’s Sanctions into practice drew;
Our Laws, that did a boundless Ocean seem,
Were coasted all, and fathom’d all by Him.        1020
No Rabbin speaks like him their mystick Sense,
So just, and with such Charms of Eloquence:
To whom the double Blessing does belong,
With Mose’s Inspiration Aaron’s Tongue.
  Than Sheva, none more loyal Zeal have shown,        1025
Wakeful as Judah’s Lion for the Crown.
Who for that Cause still combats in his Age,
For which his Youth with danger did engage.
In vain our factious Priests the Cant revive;
In vain seditious Scribes with Libels strive        1030
T’ enflame the Crow’d, while He with watchful Eye
Observes, and shoots their Treasons as They fly;
Their weekly Frauds his keen Replies detect,
He undeceives more fast than they infect.
So Moses, when the Pest on Legions prey’d,        1035
Advanced his Signal and the Plague was stay’d.
  Once more my fainting Muse thy Pinnions try,
And Strengths exhausted store let Love supply.
What Tribute Asaph shall we render Thee?
We’ll crown thee with a Wreath from thy own Tree!        1040
Thy Lawrel Grove no Envye’s flash can blast.
The Song of Asaph shall for ever last!
With wonder late Posterity shall dwell
On Absalom, and false Achitophel:
Thy streins shall be our slumbring Prophets dream,        1045
And, when our Sion Virgins sing their Theam,
Our Jubilees shall with thy Verse be grac’t,
The Song of Asaph shall for ever last!
How fierce his Satyr loos’d, restrain’d, how tame
How tender of th’ offending Young man’s Fame!        1050
How well his worth, and brave Adventures still’d,
Just to his Vertues, to his Error mild.
No Page of thine that fears the strictest view,
But teems with just Reproof, or Praise, as due;
Not Eden cou’d a fairer Prospect yield,        1055
All Paradise without one barren Field:
Whose Wit the Censure of his Foes 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?        1060
While Bees in Flow’rs rejoyce, 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 shall last.
  Still Hebron’s honour’d happy Soil Retains        1065
Our Royal Heroes beauteous dear remains;
Who now sails off, with Winds nor Wishes slack,
To bring his suff’rings bright Companion back,
But e’re such Transport can our sense employ
A bitter grief must poyson half our Joy;        1070
Nor can our Coasts restor’d those Blessings see
Without a Bribe to envious Destiny!
Curs’d Sodom’s Doom for ever fix the Tyde,
Where, by inglorious Chance, the Valiant dy’d.
Give not insulting Askalon to know,        1075
Nor let Gath’s Daughters triumph in our Woe!
No Sailer with the News swell Egypt’s Pride
By what inglorious Fate our Valiant dy’d!
Weep, Arnon! Jordan weep thy fountains dry
While Sion’s Rock dissolves for a supply!        1080
Calm were the Elements, Night’s silence deep,
The Waves scarce murm’ring, and the Winds asleep;
Yet Fate for Ruine takes so still an hour,
And treacherous Sands the Princely Barque devour;
Then Death unworthy seiz’d a gen’rous Race,        1085
To Virtues scandal, and the Stars disgrace!
Oh! had th’ Indulgent Pow’rs vouchsaf’t to yield
Instead of faithless Shelves, a listed Field;
A listed Field of Heav’ns and David’s Foes,
Fierce as the Troops that did his Youth oppose,        1090
Each Life had on his slaughter’d heap retir’d,
Not Tamely, and Unconqu’ring thus expir’d:
But Destiny is now their only Foe,
And dying, even o’re that they tryumph too;
With loud last Breaths their Master’s Scape applaud,        1095
Of whom kind Force cou’d scarce the Fates defraud;
Who for such Followers lost, O 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;        1100
If all your Suff’rings past so nearly prest,
Or pierct with half so painful Grief your Breast?
Thus some Diviner Muse her Heroe forms,
Not sooth’d with soft Delights, but tost in storms.
Not stretched on Roses in the Myrtle Grove,        1105
Nor Crowns his Days with Mirth, his Nights with Love
But far remov’d in Thundring 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.        1110
Long must his Patience strive with Fortunes 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,        1115
And such, to Israel’s Crown, the God-like David came.
  What suddain 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;        1120
The Winds breathe low, the Element serene,
Yet mark what Motion in the Waves is seen!
Thronging and busie as Hyblæan Swarms,
Or stragled Souldiers Summon’d to their Arms.
See where the Princely Barque in loosest Pride,        1125
With all her Guardian Fleet, Adorns the Tide!
High on her Deck the Royal Lovers stand,
Our Crimes to Pardon e’re they toucht our Land.
Welcome to Israel and to David’s Breast!
Here all your Toils, here all your Suff’rings rest.        1130
  This year did Ziloah Rule Jerusalem,
And boldly all Sedition’s Syrges 22 stem,
How e’re incumbred with a viler Pair
Than Ziph or Shimei, to assist the Chair;
Yet Ziloah’s loyal Labours so prevail’d        1135
That Faction at the next Election Fail’d,
When ev’n the common Cry did Justice Sound,
And Merrit by the Multitude was Crown’d:
With David then was Israel’s peace restor’d,
Crowds Mourn’d their Errour and Obey’d their Lord.        1140
Note 1. PART II. Text from the original edition, 1682. Most of this part is by Nahum Tate. The only part known to be Dryden’s is ll. 310–509. In the second edition, 1716, there are some changes which may have been made by Tate who died the year before. [back]
Note 2. Goodness was e’en] Clemency was 1716. [back]
Note 3. Flatteries] Flattering 1716. [back]
Note 4. since] The editors give as. [back]
Note 5. held.] 1716: held, 1682. [back]
Note 6. Oh!] 1716: Or 1682. [back]
Note 7. Train,] 1716: Train. 1682. [back]
Note 8. afarr?] 1716: afarr. 1682. [back]
Note 9. Form of] Derrick and others give from a. [back]
Note 10. I Steer] you steer 1716, a false and feeble reading which Dr. Saintsbury prefers. [back]
Note 11. Waves] Streams 1716. [back]
Note 12. and] but 1716. [back]
Note 13. Patriarch] 1716: Patriot 1682. A misprint. [back]
Note 14. ean’d] yean’d 1716. [back]
Note 15. Throne.] 1716: Throne? 1682. [back]
Note 16. secure] confirm 1716. [back]
Note 17. made!] 1716: made? 1682. [back]
Note 18. Build!] 1716: Build? 1682. [back]
Note 19. in] to 1716. [back]
Note 20. Prophets’] 1716: Prophet’s 1682. [back]
Note 21. restor’d?] 1716: restor’d; 1682. [back]
Note 22. Syrges] Syrtes 1716. This is a false correction. The original reading is right, the later spelling being Surges. [back]

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