Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Asia
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII.  1876–79.
Syria: Adullam
Cave of Adullam
Charles Lamb (1775–1834)
DAVID and his three captains bold
Kept ambush once within a hold.
It was in Adullam’s cave,
Nigh which no water they could have,
Nor spring nor running brook was near        5
To quench the thirst that parched them there.
Then David, King of Israel,
Straight bethought him of a well,
Which stood beside the city gate,
At Bethlem; where, before his state        10
Of kingly dignity, he had
Oft drunk his fill, a shepherd lad;
But now his fierce Philistine foe
Encamped before it he does know.
Yet ne’er the less, with heat opprest,        15
Those three bold captains he addrest;
And wished that one to him would bring
Some water from his native spring.
His valiant captains instantly
To execute his will did fly.        20
The mighty Three the ranks broke through
Of armed foes, and water drew
For David, their beloved king,
At his own sweet native spring.
Back through their armed foes they haste,        25
With the hard-earned treasure graced.
But when the good King David found
What they had done, he on the ground
The water poured. “Because,” said he,
“That it was at the jeopardy        30
Of your three lives this thing ye did,
That I should drink it, God forbid.”

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