O why your good deeds with such pride do you scan,
And why that self-satisfied smile
At the shilling you gave to the poor working man,
That lifted you over the stile?
'Tis not much; all the bread that can with it be bought
Will scarce give a morsel to each
Of his eight hungry children;—reflection and thought
Should you more humility teach.
Vain glory's a worm which the very best action
Will taint, and its soundness eat thro';
But to give one's self airs for a small benefaction,
Is folly and vanity too.
The money perhaps by your father or mother
Was furnish'd you but with that view;
If so, you were only the steward of another,
And the praise you usurp is their due.
Perhaps every shilling you give in this way
Is paid back with two by your friends;
Then the bounty you so ostentatious display,
Has little and low selfish ends.
But if every penny you gave were your own,
And giving diminish'd your purse;
By a child's slender means think how little is done,
And how little for it you're the worse.
You eat, and you drink; when you rise in the morn,
You are cloth'd; you have health and content;
And you never have known, from the day you were born,
What hunger or nakedness meant.
The most which your bounty from you can subtract
Is an apple, a sweetmeat, a toy;
For so easy a virtue, so trifling an act,
You are paid with an innocent joy.
Give thy bread to the hungry, the thirsty thy cup;
Divide with th' afflicted thy lot:
This can only be practis'd by persons grown up,
Who've possessions which children have not.
Having two cloaks, give one (said our Lord) to the poor;
In such bounty as that lies the trial:
But a child that gives half of its infantile store
Has small praise, because small self-denial.
A dozen years since in this house what commotion,
What bustle, what stir, and what joyful ado;
Ev'ry soul in the family at my devotion,
When into the world I came twelve years ago.
I've been told by my friends (if they do not belie me)
My promise was such as no parent would scorn;
The wise and the aged who prophesied by me,
Augur'd nothing but good of me when I was born.
But vain are the hopes which are form'd by a parent,
Fallacious the marks which in infancy shine;
My frail constitution soon made it apparent,
I nourish'd within me the seeds of decline.
On a sick bed I lay, through the flesh my bones started,
My grief-wasted frame to a skeleton fell;
My physicians foreboding took leave and departed,
And they wish'd me dead now, who wished me well.
Life and soul were kept in by a mother's assistance,
Who struggled with faith, and prevail'd 'gainst despair;
Like an angel she watch'd o'er the lamp of existence,
And never would leave while a glimmer was there.
By her care I'm alive now—but what retribution
Can I for a life twice bestow'd thus confer?
Were I to be silent, each year's revolution
Proclaims—each new birth-day is owing to her.
The chance-rooted tree that by way-sides is planted,
Where no friendly hand will watch o'er its young shoots,
Has less blame if in autumn, when produce is wanted,
Enrich'd by small culture it put forth small fruits.
But that which with labour in hot-beds is reared,
Secur'd by nice art from the dews and the rains,
Unsound at the root may with justice be feared,
If it pay not with int'rest the tiller's hard pains.
THE BEASTS IN THE TOWER
Within the precincts of this yard,
Each in his narrow confines barr'd,
Dwells every beast that can be found
On Afric or on Indian ground.
How different was the life they led
In those wild haunts where they were bred,
To this tame servitude and fear,
Enslav'd by man, they suffer here!
In that uneasy close recess
Couches a sleeping Lioness;
The next den holds a Bear; the next
A Wolf, by hunger ever vext;
There, fiercer from the keeper's lashes,
His teeth the fell Hyena gnashes;
That creature on whose back abound
Black spots upon a yellow ground,
A Panther is, the fairest beast
That haunteth in the spacious East.
He underneath a fair outside
Does cruelty and treach'ry hide.
That cat-like beast that to and fro
Restless as fire does ever go,
As if his courage did resent
His limbs in such confinement pent,
That should their prey in forests take,
And make the Indian jungles quake,
A Tiger is. Observe how sleek
And glossy smooth his coat: no streak
On sattin ever match'd the pride
Of that which marks his furry hide.
How strong his muscles! he with ease
Upon the tallest man could seize,
In his large mouth away could bear him,
And into thousand pieces tear him:
Yet cabin'd so securely here,
The smallest infant need not fear.
That lordly creature next to him
A Lion is. Survey each limb.
Observe the texture of his claws,
The massy thickness of those jaws;
His mane that sweeps the ground in length,
Like Samson's locks, betok'ning strength.
In force and swiftness he excels
Each beast that in the forest dwells;
The savage tribes him king confess
Throughout the howling wilderness.
Woe to the hapless neighbourhood,
When he is press'd by want of food!
Of man, or child, of bull, or horse,
He makes his prey; such is his force.
A waste behind him he creates,
Whole villages depopulates.
Yet here within appointed lines
How small a grate his rage confines!
This place methinks resembleth well
The world itself in which we dwell.
Perils and snares on every ground
Like these wild beasts beset us round.
But Providence their rage restrains,
Our heavenly Keeper sets them chains;
His goodness saveth every hour
His darlings from the Lion's power.
Anna was always full of thought
As if she'd many sorrows known,
Yet mostly her full heart was fraught
With troubles that were not her own;
For the whole school to Anna us'd to tell
Whatever small misfortunes unto them befell.
And being so by all belov'd,
That all into her bosom pour'd
Their dearest secrets, she was mov'd
To pity all—her heart a hoard,
Or storehouse, by this means became for all
The sorrows can to girls of tender age befall.
Though individually not much
Distress throughout the school prevail'd,
Yet as she shar'd it all, 'twas such
A weight of woe that her assail'd,
She lost her colour, loath'd her food, and grew
So dull, that all their confidence from her withdrew.
Released from her daily care,
No longer list'ning to complaint,
She seems to breathe a different air,
And health once more her cheek does paint.
Still Anna loves her friends, but will not hear
Again their list of grievances which cost so dear.
There, Robert, you have kill'd that fly—
And should you thousand ages try
The life you've taken to supply,
You could not do it.
You surely must have been devoid
Of thought and sense, to have destroy'd
A thing which no way you annoy'd—
You'll one day rue it.
'Twas but a fly perhaps you'll say,
That's born in April, dies in May;
That does but just learn to display
His wings one minute,
And in the next is vanish'd quite.
A bird devours it in his flight—
Or come a cold blast in the night,
There's no breath in it.
The bird but seeks his proper food—
And Providence, whose power endu'd
That fly with life, when it thinks good,
May justly take it.
But you have no excuses for't—
A life by Nature made so short,
Less reason is that you for sport
Should shorter make it.
A fly a little thing you rate—
But, Robert, do not estimate
A creature's pain by small or great;
The greatest being
Can have but fibres, nerves, and flesh,
And these the smallest ones possess,
Although their frame and structure less
Escape our seeing.
Lucy, what do you espy
In the cast in Jenny's eye
That should you to laughter move?
I far other feelings prove.
When on me she does advance
Her good-natur'd countenance,
And those eyes which in their way
Saying much, so much would say,
They to me no blemish seem,
Or as none I them esteem;
I their imperfection prize
Above other clearer eyes.
Eyes do not as jewels go
By the brightness and the show,
But the meanings which surround them,
And the sweetness shines around them.
Isabel's are black as jet,
But she cannot that forget,
And the pains she takes to show them
Robs them of the praise we owe them.
Ann's, though blue, affected fall;
Kate's are bright, but fierce withal;
And the sparklers of her sister
From ill-humour lose their lustre.
Only Jenny's eyes we see,
By their very plainness, free
From the vices which do smother
All the beauties of the other.
"I keep it, dear Papa, within my glove."
"You do—what sum then usually, my love,
Is there deposited? I make no doubt,
Some Penny Pieces you are not without."
"O no, Papa, they'd soil my glove, and be
Quite odious things to carry. O no—see,
This little bit of gold is surely all
That I shall want; for I shall only call
For a small purchase I shall make, Papa,
And a mere trifle I'm to buy Mamma,
Just to make out the change: so there's no need
To carry Penny Pieces, Sir, indeed."
"O now I know then why a blind man said
Unto a dog which this blind beggar led,—
'Where'er you see some fine young ladies, Tray,
Be sure you lead me quite another way.
The poor man's friend fair ladies us'd to be;
But now I find no tale of misery
Will ever from their pockets draw a penny.'—
The blind man did not see they wear not any."
After the tempest in the sky
How sweet yon Rainbow to the eye!
Come, my Matilda, now while some
Few drops of rain are yet to come,
In this honeysuckle bower
Safely shelter'd from the shower,
We may count the colours o'er.—
Seven there are, there are no more;
Each in each so finely blended,
Where they begin, or where are ended,
The finest eye can scarcely see.
A fixed thing it seems to be;
But, while we speak, see how it glides
Away, and now observe it hides
Half of its perfect arch—now we
Scarce any part of it can see.
What is colour? If I were
A natural philosopher,
I would tell you what does make
This meteor every colour take:
But an unlearned eye may view
Nature's rare sights, and love them too.
Whenever I a Rainbow see,
Each precious tint is dear to me;
For every colour find I there,
Which flowers, which fields, which ladies wear;
My favourite green, the grass's hue,
And the fine deep violet-blue,
And the pretty pale blue-bell,
And the rose I love so well,
All the wondrous variations
Of the tulip, pinks, carnations,
This woodbine here both flower and leaf;—
'Tis a truth that's past belief,
That every flower and every tree,
And every living thing we see,
Every face which we espy,
Every cheek and every eye,
In all their tints, in every shade,
Are from the Rainbow's colours made.
THE FORCE OF HABIT
A little child, who had desired
To go and see the Park guns fired,
Was taken by his maid that way
Upon the next rejoicing day.
Soon as the unexpected stroke
Upon his tender organs broke,
Confus'd and stunn'd at the report,
He to her arms fled for support,
And begg'd to be convey'd at once
Out of the noise of those great guns,
Those naughty guns, whose only sound
Would kill (he said) without a wound:
So much of horror and offence
The shock had giv'n his infant sense.
Yet this was He in after days
Who fill'd the world with martial praise,
When from the English quarter-deck
His steady courage sway'd the wreck
Of hostile fleets, disturb'd no more
By all that vast conflicting roar,
That sky and sea did seem to tear,
When vessels whole blew up in air,
Than at the smallest breath that heaves,
When Zephyr hardly stirs the leaves.
Did I hear the church-clock a few minutes ago,
I was ask'd, and I answer'd, I hardly did know,
But I thought that I heard it strike three.
Said my friend then, "The blessings we always possess
We know not the want of, and prize them the less;
The church-clock was no new sound to thee.
"A young woman, afflicted with deafness a year,
By that sound you scarce heard, first perceiv'd she could hear;
I was near her, and saw the girl start
With such exquisite wonder, such feelings of pride,
A happiness almost to terror allied,
She shew'd the sound went to her heart."
WHY NOT DO IT, SIR, TO-DAY?
"Why so I will, you noisy bird,
This very day I'll advertise you,
Perhaps some busy ones may prize you.
A fine-tongu'd parrot as was ever heard,
I'll word it thus—set forth all charms about you,
And say no family should be without you."
Thus far a gentleman address'd a bird,
Then to his friend: "An old procrastinator,
Sir, I am: do you wonder that I hate her?
Though she but seven words can say,
Twenty and twenty times a day
She interferes with all my dreams,
My projects, plans, and airy schemes,
Mocking my foible to my sorrow:
I'll advertise this bird to-morrow."
To this the bird seven words did say:
"Why not do it, Sir, to-day?"
To operas and balls my cousins take me,
And fond of plays my new-made friend would make me.
In summer season, when the days are fair,
In my godmother's coach I take the air.
My uncle has a stately pleasure barge,
Gilded and gay, adorn'd with wondrous charge;
The mast is polish'd, and the sails are fine,
The awnings of white silk like silver shine;
The seats of crimson sattin, where the rowers
Keep time to music with their painted oars;
In this on holydays we oft resort
To Richmond, Twickenham, or to Hampton Court.
By turns we play, we sing—one baits the hook,
Another angles—some more idle look
At the small fry that sport beneath the tides,
Or at the swan that on the surface glides.
My married sister says there is no feast
Equal to sight of foreign bird or beast.
With her in search of these I often roam:
My kinder parents make me blest at home.
Tir'd of excursions, visitings, and sights,
No joys are pleasing to these home delights.
THE COFFEE SLIPS
Whene'er I fragrant coffee drink,
I on the generous Frenchman think,
Whose noble perseverance bore
The tree to Martinico's shore.
While yet her colony was new,
Her island products but a few,
Two shoots from off a coffee-tree
He carried with him o'er the sea.
Each little tender coffee slip
He waters daily in the ship,
And as he tends his embryo trees,
Feels he is raising midst the seas
Coffee groves, whose ample shade
Shall screen the dark Creolian maid.
But soon, alas! his darling pleasure
In watching this his precious treasure
Is like to fade,—for water fails
On board the ship in which he sails.
Now all the reservoirs are shut,
The crew on short allowance put;
So small a drop is each man's share,
Few leavings you may think there are
To water these poor coffee plants;—
But he supplies their gasping wants,
Ev'n from his own dry parched lips
He spares it for his coffee slips.
Water he gives his nurslings first,
Ere he allays his own deep thirst;
Lest, if he first the water sip,
He bear too far his eager lip.
He sees them droop for want of more;—
Yet when they reached the destin'd shore,
With pride th' heroic gardener sees
A living sap still in his trees.
The islanders his praise resound;
Coffee plantations rise around;
And Martinico loads her ships
With produce from those dear-sav'd slips.
[Footnote 1: The name of this man was Desclieux, and the story is to be found in the Abbé Raynal's History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies, book XIII.]
With the apples and the plums
Little Carolina comes,
At the time of the dessert she
Comes and drops her new last curt'sy;
Graceful curt'sy, practis'd o'er
In the nursery before.
What shall we compare her to?
The dessert itself will do.
Like preserves she's kept with care,
Like blanch'd almonds she is fair,
Soft as down on peach her hair,
And so soft, so smooth is each
Pretty cheek as that same peach,
Yet more like in hue to cherries;
Then her lips, the sweet strawberries,
Caroline herself shall try them
If they are not like when nigh them;
Her bright eyes are black as sloes,
But I think we've none of those
Common fruit here—and her chin
From a round point does begin,
Like the small end of a pear;
Whiter drapery she does wear
Than the frost on cake; and sweeter
Than the cake itself, and neater,
Though bedeck'd with emblems fine,
Is our little Caroline.
TO A YOUNG LADY, ON BEING TOO FOND OF MUSIC
Why is your mind thus all day long
Upon your music set;
Till reason's swallow'd in a song,
Or idle canzonet?
I grant you, Melesinda, when
Your instrument was new,
I was well pleas'd to see you then
Its charms assiduous woo.
The rudiments of any art
Or mast'ry that we try,
Are only on the learner's part
Got by hard industry.
But you are past your first essays;
Whene'er you play, your touch,
Skilful, and light, ensures you praise:
All beyond that's too much.
Music's sweet uses are, to smooth
Each rough and angry passion;
To elevate at once, and soothe:
A heavenly recreation.
But we misconstrue, and defeat
The end of any good;
When what should be our casual treat,
We make our constant food.
While, to th' exclusion of the rest,
This single art you ply,
Your nobler studies are supprest,
Your books neglected lie.
Could you in what you so affect
The utmost summit reach;
Beyond what fondest friends expect,
Or skilful'st masters teach:
The skill you learn'd would not repay
The time and pains it cost,
Youth's precious season thrown away,
And reading-leisure lost.
A benefit to books we owe,
Music can ne'er dispense;
The one does only sound bestow,
The other gives us sense.
TIME SPENT IN DRESS
In many a lecture, many a book,
You all have heard, you all have read,
That time is precious. Of its use
Much has been written, much been said.
The accomplishments which gladden life,
As music, drawing, dancing, are
Encroachers on our precious time;
Their praise or dispraise I forbear.
They should be practis'd or forborne,
As parents wish, or friends desire:
What rests alone in their own will
Is all I of the young require.
There's not a more productive source
Of waste of time to the young mind
Than dress; as it regards our hours
My view of it is now confin'd.
Without some calculation, youth
May live to age and never guess,
That no one study they pursue
Takes half the time they give to dress.
Write in your memorandum-book
The time you at your toilette spend;
Then every moment which you pass,
Talking of dress with a young friend:
And ever when your silent thoughts
Have on this subject been intent,
Set down as nearly as you can
How long on dress your thoughts were bent.
If faithfully you should perform
This task, 'twould teach you to repair
Lost hours, by giving unto dress
Not more of time than its due share.
Said Ann to Matilda, "I wish that we knew
If what we've been reading of fairies be true.
Do you think that the poet himself had a sight of
The fairies he here does so prettily write of?
O what a sweet sight if he really had seen
The graceful Titania, the Fairy-land Queen!
If I had such dreams, I would sleep a whole year;
I would not wish to wake while a fairy was near.—
Now I'll fancy that I in my sleep have been seeing
A fine little delicate lady-like being,
Whose steps and whose motions so light were and airy,
I knew at one glance that she must be a fairy.
Her eyes they were blue, and her fine curling hair
Of the lightest of browns, her complexion more fair
Than I e'er saw a woman's; and then for her height,
I verily think that she measur'd not quite
Two feet, yet so justly proportion'd withal,
I was almost persuaded to think she was tall.
Her voice was the little thin note of a sprite—
There—d'ye think I have made out a fairy aright?
You'll confess, I believe, I've not done it amiss."
"Pardon me," said Matilda, "I find in all this
Fine description, you've only your young sister Mary
Been taking a copy of here for a fairy."
CONQUEST OF PREJUDICE
Unto a Yorkshire school was sent
A Negro youth to learn to write,
And the first day young Juba went
All gaz'd on him as a rare sight.
But soon with alter'd looks askance
They view his sable face and form,
When they perceive the scornful glance
Of the head boy, young Henry Orme.
He in the school was first in fame:
Said he, "It does to me appear
To be a great disgrace and shame
A black should be admitted here."
His words were quickly whisper'd round,
And every boy now looks offended;
The master saw the change, and found
That Orme a mutiny intended.
Said he to Orme, "This African
It seems is not by you approv'd;
I'll find a way, young Englishman,
To have this prejudice remov'd.
"Nearer acquaintance possibly
May make you tolerate his hue;
At least 'tis my intent to try
What a short month may chance to do."
Young Orme and Juba then he led
Into a room, in which there were
For each of the two boys a bed,
A table, and a wicker chair.
He lock'd them in, secur'd the key,
That all access to them was stopt;
They from without can nothing see;
Their food is through a sky-light dropt.
A month in this lone chamber Orme
Is sentenc'd during all that time
To view no other face or form
Than Juba's parch'd by Afric clime.
One word they neither of them spoke
The first three days of the first week;
On the fourth day the ice was broke;
Orme was the first that deign'd to speak.
The dreary silence o'er, both glad
To hear of human voice the sound,
The Negro and the English lad
Comfort in mutual converse found.
Of ships and seas, and foreign coast,
Juba can speak, for he has been
A voyager: and Orme can boast
He London's famous town has seen.
In eager talk they pass the day,
And borrow hours ev'n from the night;
So pleasantly time past away,
That they have lost their reckoning quite.
And when their master set them free,
They thought a week was sure remitted,
And thank'd him that their liberty
Had been before the time permitted.
Now Orme and Juba are good friends;
The school, by Orme's example won,
Contend who most shall make amends
For former slights to Afric's son.
THE GREAT GRANDFATHER
My father's grandfather lives still,
His age is fourscore years and ten;
He looks a monument of time,
The agedest of aged men.
Though years lie on him like a load,
A happier man you will not see
Than he, whenever he can get
His great grand-children on his knee.
When we our parents have displeas'd,
He stands between us as a screen;
By him our good deeds in the sun,
Our bad ones in the shade are seen.
His love's a line that's long drawn out,
Yet lasteth firm unto the end;
His heart is oak, yet unto us
It like the gentlest reed can bend.
A fighting soldier he has been—
Yet by his manners you would guess,
That he his whole long life had spent
In scenes of country quietness.
His talk is all of things long past,
For modern facts no pleasure yield—
Of the fam'd year of forty-five,
Of William, and Culloden's field.
The deeds of this eventful age,
Which princes from their thrones have hurl'd,
Can no more interest wake in him
Than stories of another world.
When I his length of days revolve,
How like a strong tree he hath stood,
It brings into my mind almost
Those patriarchs old before the flood.
THE SPARTAN BOY
When I the memory repeat
Of the heroic actions great,
Which, in contempt of pain and death,
Were done by men who drew their breath
In ages past, I find no deed
That can in fortitude exceed
The noble Boy, in Sparta bred,
Who in the temple minist'red.
By the sacrifice he stands,
The lighted incense in his hands.
Through the smoking censer's lid
Dropp'd a burning coal, which slid
Into his sleeve, and passed in
Between the folds ev'n to the skin.
Dire was the pain which then he prov'd;
But not for this his sleeve he mov'd,
Or would the scorching ember shake
Out from the folds, lest it should make
Any confusion, or excite
Disturbance at the sacred rite.
But close he kept the burning coal,
Till it eat itself a hole
In his flesh. The slanders by
Saw no sign, and heard no cry,
Of his pangs had no discerning,
Till they smell'd the flesh aburning
All this he did in noble scorn,
And for he was a Spartan born.
Young student, who this story readest,
And with the same thy thoughts now feedest,
Thy weaker nerves might thee forbid
To do the thing the Spartan did;
Thy feebler heart could not sustain
Such dire extremity of pain.
But in this story thou mayst see,
What may useful prove to thee.
By his example thou wilt find,
That to the ingenuous mind
Shame can greater anguish bring
Than the body's suffering;
That pain is not the worst of ills,
Not when it the body kills;
That in fair religion's cause,
For thy country, or the laws,
When occasion due shall offer
'Tis reproachful not to suffer.
If thou shouldst a soldier be,
And a wound should trouble thee,
If without the soldier's fame
Thou to chance shouldst owe a maim,
Do not for a little pain
On thy manhood bring a stain;
But to keep thy spirits whole,
Think on the Spartan and the coal.
QUEEN ORIANA'S DREAM
(Text of 1818)
On a bank with roses shaded,
Whose sweet scent the violets aided,
Violets whose breath alone
Yields but feeble smell or none,
(Sweeter bed Jove ne'er repos'd on
When his eyes Olympus closed on,)
While o'er head six slaves did hold
Canopy of cloth o' gold,
And two more did music keep,
Which might Juno lull to sleep,
Oriana who was queen
To the mighty Tamerlane,
That was lord of all the land
Between Thrace and Samarchand,
While the noon-tide fervor beam'd,
Mused herself to sleep, and dream'd.
Thus far, in magnific strain,
A young poet sooth'd his vein,
But he had nor prose nor numbers
To express a princess' slumbers.—
Youthful Richard had strange fancies,
Was deep versed in old romances,
And could talk whole hours upon
The great Cham and Prester John,—
Tell the field in which the Sophi
From the Tartar won a trophy—
What he read with such delight of,
Thought he could as eas'ly write of—
But his over-young invention
Kept not pace with brave intention.
Twenty suns did rise and set,
And he could no further get;
But, unable to proceed,
Made a virtue out of need,
And, his labours wiselier deem'd of,
Did omit what the queen dream'd of.
ON A PICTURE OF THE FINDING OF MOSES BY PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER
This Picture does the story express
Of Moses in the Bulrushes.
How livelily the painter's hand
By colours makes us understand!
Moses that little infant is.
This figure is his sister. This
Fine stately lady is no less
A personage than a princess,
Daughter of Pharaoh, Egypt's king;
Whom Providence did hither bring
This little Hebrew child to save.
See how near the perilous wave
He lies exposed in the ark,
His rushy cradle, his frail bark!
Pharaoh, king of Egypt land,
In his greatness gave command
To his slaves, they should destroy
Every new-born Hebrew boy.
This Moses was an Hebrew's son.
When he was born, his birth to none
His mother told, to none reveal'd,
But kept her goodly child conceal'd.
Three months she hid him; then she wrought
With Bulrushes this ark, and brought
Him in it to this river's side,
Carefully looking far and wide
To see that no Egyptian eye
Her ark-hid treasure should espy.
Among the river-flags she lays
The child. Near him his sister stays.
We may imagine her affright,
When the king's daughter is in sight.
Soon the princess will perceive
The ark among the flags, and give
Command to her attendant maid
That its contents shall be display'd.
Within the ark the child is found,
And now he utters mournful sound.
Behold he weeps, as if he were
Afraid of cruel Egypt's heir!
She speaks, she says, "This little one
I will protect, though he the son
Be of an Hebrew." Every word
She speaks is by the sister heard.
And now observe, this is the part
The painter chose to show his art.
Look at the sister's eager eye,
As here she seems advancing nigh.
Lowly she bends, says, "Shall I go
And call a nurse to thee? I know
A Hebrew woman liveth near,
Great lady, shall I bring her here?"
See! Pharaoh's daughter answers, "Go."—
No more the painter's art can show.
He cannot make his figures move.—
On the light wings of swiftest love
The girl will fly to bring the mother
To be the nurse, she'll bring no other.
To her will Pharaoh's daughter say,
"Take this child from me away:
For wages nurse him. To my home
At proper age this child may come.
When to our palace he is brought,
Wise masters shall for him be sought
To train him up, befitting one
I would protect as my own son.
And Moses be a name unto him,
Because I from the waters drew him."
It is not always to the strong
Victorious battle shall belong.
This found Goliath huge and tall:
Mightiest giant of them all,
Who in the proud Philistian host
Defied Israel with boast.
With loud voice Goliath said:
"Hear, armed Israel, gathered,
And in array against us set:
Ye shall alone by me be met.
For am not I a Philistine?
What strength may be compar'd to mine?
"Chuse ye a man of greatest might:
And if he conquer me in fight,
Then we will all servants be,
King of Israel, unto thee.
But if I prove the victor, then
Shall Saul and all his armed men
Bend low beneath Philistian yoke."
Day by day these words he spoke,
Singly traversing the ground.
But not an Israelite was found
To combat man to man with him,
Who such prodigious force of limb
Display'd. Like to a weaver's beam
The pond'rous spear he held did seem.
In height six cubits he did pass,
And he was arm'd all o'er in brass.
Him we will leave awhile—and speak
Of one, the soft down on whose cheek
Of tender youth the tokens bare.
Ruddy he was and very fair.
David, the son of Jesse he,
Small-siz'd, yet beautiful to see.
Three brothers had he in the band
Of warriors under Saul's command;
Himself at home did private keep
In Bethlem's plains his father's sheep.
Jesse said to this his son:
"David, to thy brothers run,
Where in the camp they now abide,
And learn what of them may betide.
These presents for their captains take,
And of their fare inquiries make."
With joy the youth his sire obey'd.—
David was no whit dismay'd
When he arrived at the place
Where he beheld the strength and face
Of dread Goliath, and could hear
The challenge. Of the people near
Unmov'd he ask'd, what should be done
To him who slew that boasting one,
Whose words such mischiefs did forebode
To th' armies of the living God?
"The king," they unto David say,
"Most amply will that man repay,
He and his father's house shall be
Evermore in Israel free.
With mighty wealth Saul will endow
That man: and he has made a vow;
Whoever takes Goliath's life,
Shall have Saul's daughter for his wife."
His eldest brother, who had heard
His question, was to anger stirr'd
Against the youth: for (as he thought)
Things out of his young reach he sought.
Said he, "What mov'd thee to come here,
To question warlike men? say, where
And in whose care are those few sheep,
That in the wilderness you keep?
I know thy thoughts, how proud thou art:
In the naughtiness of thy heart,
Hoping a battle thou mayst see,
Thou comest hither down to me."
Then answer'd Jesse's youngest son
In these words: "What have I done?
Is there not cause?" Some there which heard,
And at the manner of his word
Admir'd, report this to the king.
By his command they David bring
Into his presence. Fearless then,
Before the king and his chief men,
He shews his confident design
To combat with the Philistine.
Saul with wonder heard the youth,
And thus address'd him: "Of a truth,
No pow'r thy untried sinew hath
To cope with this great man of Gath."
Lowly David bow'd his head,
And with firm voice the stripling said:
"Thy servant kept his father's sheep.—
Rushing from a mountain steep
There came a lion, and a bear,
The firstlings of my flock to tear.
Thy servant hath that lion kill'd,
And kill'd that bear, when from the field
Two young lambs by force they seiz'd.
The Lord was mercifully pleas'd
Me to deliver from the paw
Of the fierce bear, and cruel jaw
Of the strong lion. I shall slay
Th' unrighteous Philistine this day,
If God deliver him also
To me." He ceas'd. The king said, "Go:
Thy God, the God of Israel, be
In the battle still with thee."
David departs, unarmed, save
A staff in hand he chanc'd to have.
Nothing to the fight he took,
Save five smooth stones from out a brook;
These in his shepherd's scrip he plac'd,
That was fasten'd round his waist.
With staff and sling alone he meets
The armed giant, who him greets
With nought but scorn. Looking askance
On the fair ruddy countenance
Of his young enemy—"Am I
A dog, that thou com'st here to try
Thy strength upon me with a staff—?"
Goliath said with scornful laugh.
"Thou com'st with sword, with spear, with shield,
Yet thou to me this day must yield.
The Lord of Hosts is on my side,
Whose armies boastful thou'st defied.
All nations of the earth shall hear
He saveth not with shield and spear."
Thus David spake, and nigher went,
Then chusing from his scrip, he sent
Out of his slender sling a stone.—
The giant utter'd fearful moan.
The stone though small had pierced deep
Into his forehead, endless sleep
Giving Goliath—and thus died
Of Philistines the strength and pride.
DAVID IN THE CAVE OF ADULLAM
(Text of 1818)
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
To quench the thirst that parch'd them there.
Then David, king of Israel,
Strait bethought him of a well,
Which stood beside the city gate,
At Bethlem; where, before his state
Of kingly dignity, he had
Oft drunk his fill, a shepherd lad;
But now his fierce Philistine foe
Encamp'd before it he does know.
Yet ne'er the less, with heat opprest,
Those three bold captains he addrest,
And wish'd that one to him would bring
Some water from his native spring.
His valiant captains instantly
To execute his will did fly.
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,
With the hard earn'd treasure graced.
But when the good king David found
What they had done, he on the ground
The water pour'd. "Because," said he,
"That it was at the jeopardy
Of your three lives this thing ye did,
That I should drink it, God forbid."