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DAVID in his gown, walking sadly :
To him NATHAN.
DAv. The babe is sick, and sad is David's heart,
To see the guiltless bear the guilty's pain.
David, hang up thy harp; hang down thy head;
And dash thy ivory lute against the stones.
The dew, that on the hill of Hermon falls,
Rains not on Sion's tops, and lofty towers;
And David's thoughts are spent in pensiveness:
The plains of Gath and Ascalon rejoice.
The babe is sick, sweet babe, that Bethsabe
With woman's pain brought forth to Israel.
But what saith Nathan to his lord the king?
NA. Thus Nathan saith unto his lord the king :

There were two men both dwellers in one town,
The one was mighty, and exceeding rich
In oxen, sheep, and cattle of the field;
The other poor, having nor ox, nor calf,
Nor other cattle, save one little lamb,
Which he had bought and nourish’d by the hand;
And it grew up, and fed with him and his,
And eat and drank, as he and his were wont,
And in his bosom slept, and was to live
As was his daughter or his dearest child.
There came a stranger to this wealthy man;
And he refus'd, and spar'd to take his own,
Or of his store to dress or make him meat,
But took the poor man's sheep, partly, poor man's

store,

And dress'd it for this stranger in his house. What, tell me, shall be done to him for this 2 DAv. Now as the Lord doth live this wicked man Is judg’d and shall become the child of death; Fourfold to the poor man shall he restore, That without mercy took his lamb away. NA. Thou art the man; and thou hast judg'd thyself. David, thus saith the Lord thy God by me; I thee anointed king in Israel, And sav'd thee from the tyranny of Saul; Thy master's house I gave thee to possess; His wives into thy bosom did I give, And Judah and Jerusalem withal; And might, thou know'st if this had been too small, Have given thee more : Wherefore then hast thou gone so far astray, And hast done evil, and sinned in my sight 2 Urias thou hast killed with the sword; Yea, with the sword of the uncircumcis'd Thou hast him slain: wherefore, from this day forth, The sword shall never go from thee and thine; For thou hast ta'en this Hethite's wife to thee: Wherefore behold, I will, saith Jacob's God, In thine own house stir evil up to thee; Yea, I before thy face will take thy wives, And give them to thy neighbour to possess: This shall be done to David in the day, • That Israel openly may see thy shame.

DAv. Nathan, I have against the Lord, I have Sinned: O, sinned grievously and, lo, From heaven's throne doth David throw himself, And groan and grovel to the gates of hell! [He falls down. NA. David, stand up; thus saith the Lord by me, David the king shall live, for he hath seen The true repentant sorrow of thy heart; But, for thou hast in this misdeed of thine Stirr'd up the enemies of Israel To triumph, and blaspheme the God of Hosts, And say, he set a wicked man to reign Over his loved people and his tribes; The child shall surely die, that erst was born, His mother's sin, his kingly father's scorn. [Erit Nathan. DAv. How just is Jacob's God in all his works! But must it die, that David loveth so? O, that the mighty one of Israel, Nill" change his doom, and says the babe must die! Mourn, Israel, and weep in Sion gates; Wither, ye cedar trees of Lebanon; Ye sprouting almonds with your flowering tops, Droop, drown, and drench in Hebron's fearful StreamS : The babe must die that was to David born, His mother's sin, his kingly father's scorn. [David sits sadly. Enter CUsAY to DAv ID and his train. SER vus. What tidings bringeth Cusay to the king?

* mill] see note, p. 6, vol. i.

CU. To thee, the servant of king David's court, This bringeth Cusay, as the prophet spake: The Lord hath surely striken to the death The child new born by that Urias' wife, That by the sons of Ammon erst was slain.

SER. Cusay, be still ; the king is vexed sore: How shall he speed that brings this tidings first, When, while the child was yet alive, we spake, And David's heart would not be comforted 2

DAv. Yea, David's heart will not be comforted 2 What murmur ye, the servants of the king? What tidings telleth Cusay to the king? Say, Cusay, lives the child, or is he dead?

CU. The child is dead, that of Urias' wife David begat.

DAv. Urias' wife, say'st thou ? The child is dead, then ceaseth David's shame: Fetch me to eat, and give me wine to drink; Water to wash, and oil to clear my looks; Bring down your shalms, your cymbals, and your

pipes;

Let David's harp and lute, his hand and voice,
Give laud to him that loveth Israel,
And sing his praise, that shendeth" David's fame,
That put away his sin from out his sight,

* Shendeth] “In the following passage,” says Nares in his WOL. II. D

And sent his shame into the streets of Gath.
Bring ye to me the mother of the babe, -
That I may wipe the tears from off her face,
And give her comfort with this hand of mine,
And deck fair Bethsabe with ornaments,
That she may bear to me another son,
That may be loved of the Lord of Hosts;
For where he is, of force must David go,
But never may he come where David is.
[They bring in water, wine, and oil, music and
a banquet [and enter Bethsabe.]
Fair Bethsabe, sit thou, and sigh no more;
And sing and play, you servants of the king :
Now sleepeth David's sorrow with the dead,
And Bethsabe liveth to Israel.
They use all solemnities together and sing, &c.
DAv. Now arms, and warlike engines for assault,
Prepare at once, ye men of Israel,
Ye men of Judah and Jerusalem,
That Rabbah may be taken by the king,
Lest it be called after Joab's name,
Nor David's glory shine in Sion's streets;
To Rabbah marcheth David with his men,
To chastise Ammon and the wicked ones.
[Ereunt omnes.
Glossary, “it [shend] seems to mean to protect, which must be
considered as an error, being contrary to all analogy:—
This I must succour, this I must defend,
And from the wild boare's rooting ever shend. -

Brown, Brit. Past. part ii. p. 144.” But in our text shendeth certainly appears to mean protecteth.

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