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THA. The cause that Thamar shameth to disclose. ABs. Say; I thy brother will revenge that cause. THA. Ammon, our father's son, hath forced me, And thrusts me from him as the scorn of Israel. Abs. Hath Ammon forced thee? by David's hand And by the covenant God hath made with him, Ammon shall bear his violence to hell; Traitor to heaven, traitor to David's throne, Traitor to Absalon and Israel. This fact hath Jacob's ruler seen from heaven, And through a cloud of smoke, and tower of fire, (As he rides vaunting him upon the greens) Shall tear his chariot wheels with violent winds, And throw his body in the bloody sea; At him the thunder shall discharge his bolt; And his fair spouse, with bright and fiery wings,” Sit ever burning on his hateful bones: Myself, as swift as thunder, or his spouse, Will hunt occasion with a secret hate, To work false Ammon an ungracious end.— Go in, my sister; rest thee in my house; And God, in time, shall take this shame from thee. THA. Nor God, nor time, will do that good for me, [Exit Thamar. Restat Absalon. * And his fair spouse, with bright and fiery wings] Hawkins,
(Preface to the Origin of the Eng. Dr. vol. i. p. 11.) thinks this “a metaphor worthy of Æschylus.”
Enter DAv ID with his train. DAv. My Absalon, what mak'st thou here alone, And bears such discontentment in thy brows 7 ABs. Great cause hath Absalon to be displeas'd, And in his heart to shroud the wounds of wrath. DAv. 'Gainst whom should Absalon be thus displeas'd : ABs. 'Gainst wicked Ammon, thy ungracious son, My brother and fair Thamar's by the king, My step-brother, by mother, and by kind; He hath dishonour'd David's holiness, And fix’d a blot of lightness on his throne, Forcing my sister Thamar when he feign'd A sickness, sprung from root of heinous lust. DAv. Hath Ammon brought this evil on my house, And suffer'd sin to smite his father's bones? Smite, David, deadlier than the voice of heaven, And let hate's fire be kindled in thy heart: Frame in the arches of thy angry brows, Making thy forehead, like a comet, shine, To force false Ammon tremble at thy looks. Sin with his sevenfold crown, and purple robe, Begins his triumphs in my guilty throne; There sits he watching with his hundred eyes Our idle minutes, and our wanton thoughts; And with his baits, made of our frail desires, Gives us the hook that hales our souls to hell: But with the spirit of my kingdom's God I'll thrust the flattering tyran” from his throne, * tyran] For tyrant, a form frequently used by our old poets.
And scourge his bondslaves from my hallow'd court
Enter CUs A Y and URIAs, with others.
CU. Pleaseth my lord the king, his servant Joab Hath sent Urias from the Syrian wars.
DAv. Welcome, Urias, from the Syrian wars, Welcome to David as his dearest lord. UR. Thanks be to Israel's God, and David's grace, Urias finds such greeting with the king. DAv. No other greeting shall Urias find As long as David sways th' elected seat, And consecrated throne of Israel. Tell me, Urias, of my servant Joab; Fights he with truth the battles of our God, And for the honour of the Lord's anointed 2 ! . UR. Thy servant Joab fights the chosen wars, With truth, with honour, and with high success; And 'gainst the wicked king of Ammon's sons, Hath by the finger of our sovereign's God, Besieg'd the city Rabbah, and achiev'd The court of waters, where the conduits run, And all the Ammonites' delightsome springs: Therefore he wisheth David's mightiness Should number out the host of Israel, And come in person to the city Rabbah, tThat so her conquest may be made the king's, And Joab fight as his inferior. DAv. This hath not God, and Joab's prowess done, Without Urias’ valours, I am sure, Who, since his true conversion from a Hethite, < To an adopted son of Israel, Hath fought like one whose arms were lift by heaven, And whose bright sword was edg'd with Israel's wrath; Go therefore home, Urias, take thy rest; Visit thy wife, and household, with the joys
A victor and a favourite of the king's