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But, preach I to thee, while I should revenge
Enter five or six Soldiers.
Sold. See where the rebel in his glory hangs:
Will any of us here now fear thy looks,
Enter in triumph with drum and ensign, JoAB, ABISAI and Soldiers, to ABSALON.
JoAB. Well done, talli soldiers; take the traitor down, And in this miry ditch inter his bones, Covering his hateful breast with heaps of stones. This shady thicket of dark Ephraim Shall ever lower on his cursed grave;
Night ravens and owls shall ring his fatal knell,
And sit exclaiming on his damned soul;
* bulk] i.e. body. t tall] i.e. brave.
CHORUs. O dreadful precedent of his just doom, Whose holy heart is never touch'd with ruth Offickle beauty, or of glorious shapes, But with the virtue of an upright soul, Humble and zealous in his inward thoughts, Though in his person loathsome and deform'd Now, since this story lends us other store, To make a third discourse of David's life, Adding thereto his most renowned death, And all their deaths, that at his death he judg’d, Here end we this, and what here wants to please, We will supply with treble willingness.”
Trumpets sound: Enter JoAB, AHIMAAs, CUs A Y, AMAs A, with all the rest.
JoA.B. Soldiers of Israel, and ye sons of Judah, That have contended in these irksome broils, And ript old Israel's bowels with your swords; The godless general of your stubborn arms Is brought by Israel's helper to the grave, A grave of shame, and scorn of all the tribes: Now then, to save your honours from the dust,
* After this speech of the Chorus, the old copy (Sig. G 4.)
gives the following fragment, which belongs to some earlier scene of the play that has been lost;
“Absalon, with three or four of his servants or gentlemen.
“Ab. What boots it, Absalon, unhappy Absalon,
And keep your bloods in temper by your bones,
AHI. Now let me go inform my lord the king How God hath freed him from his enemies. JoAB. Another time, Ahimaas, not now; But Cusay, go thyself, and tell the king The happy message of our good success. CU. I will, my lord, and thank thee for thy grace. [Er. Cus. AH1. What if thy servant should go too, my lord 2 JoAB. What news hast thou to bring since he is gone? AHI. Yet do Ahimaas so much content, That he may run about so sweet a charge. [Erit. JoAB. Run, if thou wilt; and peace be with thy steps. Now follow, that you may salute the king With humble hearts, and reconciled souls. AMA. We follow, Joab, to our gracious king; And him our swords shall honour to our deaths. [Exeunt.
DAv1D, BETHSABE, SALOMON, NATHAN, ADONIA, CHILEA B, with their train.
BETH. What means my lord, the lamp of Israel, From whose bright eyes all eyes receive their light, To dim the glory of his sweet aspects, And paint his countenance with his heart's distress 2 Why should his thoughts retain a sad conceit, When every pleasure kneels before his throne, And sues for sweet acceptance with his grace 2