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As the beauty, the pride of our dwelling. When he trusted thee forth with the -And then, the great march
armies, for glorious reward? Wherein man runs to man to assist him Didst thou see the thin hands of thy and buttress an arch
mother, held up as men sung Naught can break; who shall harm them, The low song of the nearly-departed, and
our friends?—Then, the chorus in- hear her faint tongue toned
Joining in while it could to the witness, As the Levites go up to the altar in glory 'Let one more attest enthroned.
60 I have lived, seen God's hand through a But I stopped here: for here in the dark- lifetime, and all was for best?' 85 ness Saul groaned.
Then they sung through their tears in
strong triumph, not much, but the VIII
rest. And I paused, held my breath in such
And thy brothers, the help and the consilence, and listened apart;
test, the working whence grew And the tent shook, for mighty Saul shud
Such result as, from seething grapedered: and sparkles 'gan dart
bundles, the spirit strained true: From the jewels that woke in his turban, And the friends of thy boyhood—that boyat once with a start,
hood of wonder and hope, All its lordly male-sapphires, and rubies Present promise and wealth of the future
beyond the eye's scope, courageous at heart. So the head: but the body still moved not,
Till lo, thou art grown to a monarch; a still hung there erect.
people is thine; And I bent once again to my playing, pur
And all gifts, which the world offers singly, sued it unchecked,
on one head combine! As I sang
On one head, all the beauty and strength,
love and rage (like the throe IX
That, a-work in the rock, helps its labor “Oh, our manhood's prime vigor! No and lets the gold go), spirit feels waste,
High ambition and deeds which surpass it, Not a muscle is stopped in its playing nor fame crowning them,--all
95 sinew unbraced.
Brought to blaze on the head of one creaOh, the wild joys of living! the leaping tureKing Saul!”
from rock up to rock, The strong rending of boughs from the
X fir-tree, the cool silver shock Of the plunge in a pool's living water, the | And lo, with that leap of my spirit,-heart, hunt of the bear,
hand, harp and voice, And the sultriness showing the lion is | Each lifting Saul's name out of sorrow, couched in his lair.
each bidding rejoice And the meal, the rich dates yellowed over Saul's fame in the light it was made forwith gold dust divine,
as when, dare I say, And the locust-flesh steeped in the pitcher, The Lord's army, in rapture of service, the full draft of wine,
strains through its array, And the sleep in the dried river-channel And upsoareth the cherubim-chariotwhere bulrushes tell
"Saul!” cried I, and stopped, That the water was wont to go warbling And waited the thing that should follow. so softly and well.
Then Saul, who hung propped How good is man's life, the mere living! By the tent's cross-support in the center, how fit to employ
was struck by his name. All the heart and the soul and the senses Have ye seen when Spring's arrowy sumforever in joy!
mons goes right to the aim, Hast thou loved the white locks of thy And some mountain, the last to withstand father, whose sword thou didst guard her, that held (he alone,
While the vale laughed in freedom and Glean a vintage more potent and perfect to flowers) on a broad bust of stone
brighten the eye A year's snow bound about for a breast- And bring blood to the lip, and commend plate, -leaves grasp of the sheet?
them the cup they put by? Fold on fold all at once it crowds thunder- He saith, “It is good;” still he drinks not: ously down to his feet,
he lets me praise life, And there fronts you, stark, black, but Gives assent, yet would die for his own part. alive yet, your mountain of old,
XII With his rents, the successive bequeathings of ages untold
Then fancies grew rife 135 Yea, each harm got in fighting your bat
Which had come long ago on the pasture, tles, each furrow and scar
when round me the sheep Of his head thrust 'twixt you and the
Fed in silence above, the one eagle tempest-all hail, there they are!
wheeled slow as in sleep; Now again to be softened with verdure, And I lay in my hollow and mused on the again hold the nest
world that might lie Of the dove, tempt the goat and its young
’Neath his ken, though I saw but the strip to the green on his crest
'twixt the hill and the sky: For their food in the ardors of summer.
And I laughed—“Since my days are orOne long shudder thrilled
dained to be passed with my flocks, 140
115 All the tent till the very air tingled, then
Let me people, at least with my fancies, the sank and was stilled
plains and the rocks, At the King's self left standing before me,
Dream the life I am never to mix with, and released and aware.
image the show What was gone, what remained? All to
Of mankind as they live in those fashions traverse 'twixt hope and despair;
I hardly shall know! Death was past, life not come: so he
Schemes of life, its best rules and right waited. Awhile his right hand
uses, the courage that gains, Held the brow, helped the eyes left too
And the prudence that keeps what men vacant, forthwith to remand
strive for.” And now these old trains To their place what new objects should
Of vague thought came again; I grew enter: 't was Saul as before.
surer; so once more the string
146 I looked up, and dared gaze at those
Of my harp made response to my spirit, as
eyes, nor was hurt any more
thusThan by slow pallid sunsets in autumn, ye
XIII watch from the shore,
“Yea, my King,” At their sad level gaze o'er the ocean- I began—"thou dost well in rejecting sun's slow decline
mere comforts that spring Over hills which, resolved in stern silence, From the mere mortal life held in common o'erlap and entwine
125 by man and by brute: Base with base to knit strength more in- In our flesh grows the branch of this life, tensely; so, arm folded arm
in our soul it bears fruit.
150 O'er the chest whose slow heavings subsided. Thou hast marked the slow rise of the tree,
-how its stem trembled first XI
Till it passed the kid's lip, the stag's What spell or what charm,
antler; then safely outburst (For a while there was trouble within me,) The fan-branches all round; and thou what next should I urge
mindest when these too, in turn To sustain him where song had restored Broke a-bloom and the palm-tree seemed him?-Song filled to the verge
perfect: yet more was to learn, His cup with the wine of this life, press- E'en the good that comes in with the palming all that it yields
fruit. Our dates shall we slight, 155 Of mere "fruitage, the strength and the When their juice brings a cure for all sorbeauty: beyond, on what fields,
row? or care for the plight
Of the palm's self whose slow growth For not half, they'll affirm, is comprised
produced them? Not so! stem and there! Which fault to amend, branch
In the grove with his kind grows the cedar, Shall decay, nor be known in their place, whereon they shall spend
while the palm wine shall stanch (See, in tablets 't is level before them) their Every wound of man's spirit in winter. I praise, and record
185 pour thee such wine.
With the gold of the graver, Saul's story, Leave the flesh to the fate it was fit for! —the statesman's great word the spirit be thine!
Side by side with the poet's sweet comBy the spirit, when age shall o'ercome thee, ment. The river's a-wave thou still shalt enjoy
With smooth paper-reeds grazing each More indeed, than at first when incon- other when prophet-winds rave: scious, the life of a boy.
So the pen gives unborn generations their Crush that life, and behold its wine run- due and their part
ning! Each deed thou hast done In thy being!. Then, first of the mighty, Dies, revives, goes to work in the world; thank God that thou art!”
until e'en as the sun Looking down on the earth, though clouds
XIV spoil him, though tempests efface, 165
And behold while I
but O Thou Can find nothing his own deed produced
who didst grant me that day, not, must everywhere trace
And before it not seldom hast granted thy The results of his past summer-prime, -
help to essay, so, each ray of thy will,
Every flash of thy passion and prowess, long Carry on, and complete an adventure,–
my shield and my sword over, shall thrill
In that act where my soul was thy servant, Thy whole people, the countless, with
thy word was my word, ardor, till they too give forth
Still be with me, who then at the summit A like cheer to their sons; who in turn, fill
of human endeavor the South and the North
170 And scaling the highest, man's thought With the radiance thy deed was the germ
could, gazed hopeless as ever of. Carouse in the past!
On the new stretch of heaven above me But the license of age has its limit; thou
till, mighty to save, diest at last:
Just one lift of thy hand cleared that disAs the lion when age dims his eyeball, the
tanceGod's throne from man's rose at her height,
grave! So with man-so his power and his beauty
Let me tell out my tale to its ending-my for ever take flight.
voice to my heart No! Again a long draft of my soul-wine!
Which can scarce dare believe in what marLook forth o'er the years!
175 vels last night I took part, Thou hast done now with eyes for the ac
As this morning I gather the fragments, tual; begin with the seer's!
alone with my sheep, Is Saul dead? In the depth of the vale
And still fear lest the terrible glory evanish make his tomb—bid arise
like sleep! A gray mountain of marble heaped four
For I wake in the gray dewy covert, while square, till built to the skies, Let it mark where the great First King The dawn struggling with night on his
Hebron upheaves slumbers: whose fame would ye
shoulder, and Kidron retrieves know?
Slow the damage of yesterday's sunUp above see the rock's naked face, where
shine. the record shall go In great characters cut by the scribe,Such was Saul, so he did;
I say then,-my song With the sages directing the work, by the While I sang thus, assuring the monarch, populace chid,
and, ever more strong,
Made a proffer of good to console him, I would add, to that life of the past, both he slowly resumed
the future and this; His old motions and habitudes kingly. I would give thee new life altogether, as The right hand replumed
good, ages hence,
235 His black locks to their wonted composure, As this moment, -had love but the waradjusted the swathes
rant love's heart to dispense!” Of his turban, and see--the huge sweat that his countenance bathes,
XVI He wipes off with the robe; and he girds now his loins as of yore,
Then the truth came upon me. No harp And feels slow for the armlets of price, more—no song more! outbroke
with the clasp set before. He is Saul, ye remember in glory,--ere
XVII error had bent The brow from the daily communion; and "I have gone the whole round of creation: still, though much spent
I saw and I spoke: Be the life and the bearing that front you, I, a work of God's hand for that purpose, the same, God did choose,
received in my brain To receive what a
may waste, And pronounced on the rest of his handdesecrate, never quite lose.
work-returned him again 240 So sank he along by the tent-prop, till, His creation's approval or censure: I stayed by the pile
spoke as I saw, Of his armor and war-cloak and garments, I report, as a man may of God's workhe leaned there awhile,
all's love, yet all's law. And sat out my singing, -one arm round Now I lay down the judgeship he lent me. the tent-prop, to raise
Each faculty tasked His bent head, and the other hung slack- To perceive him has gained an abyss, till I touched on the praise
where a dewdrop was asked. I foresaw from all men in all time, to the Have I knowledge? confounded it shrivels man patient there;
at Wisdom laid bare. And thus ended, the harp falling forward. Have I forethought? how purblind, how Then first I was 'ware
blank, to the Infinite Care! That he sat, as I say, with my head just Do I task any faculty highest, to image above his vast knees
success? Which were thrust out on each side around I but open my eyes, -and perfection, no me, like oak roots which please
more and no less, To encircle a lamb when it slumbers. I In the king I imagined, full-fronts me, looked up to know
and God is seen God If the best I could do had brought solace: | In the star, in the stone, in the flesh, in he spoke not, but slow
the soul and the clod.
250 Lifted up the hand slack at his side, till he | And thus looking within and around me, laid it with care
I ever renew Soft and grave, but in mild settled will, (With that stoop of the soul which in bendon my brow: through my hair
ing upraises it too) The large fingers were pushed, and he The submission of man's nothing-perfect
bent back my head, with kind power- to God's all-complete, All my face back, intent to peruse it, as As by each new obeisance in spirit, I climb men do a flower.
to his feet. Thus held he me there with his great eyes Yet with all this abounding experience, that scrutinized mine
this deity known,
255 And oh, all my heart how it loved him! I shall dare to discover some province, but where was the sign?
some gift of my own. I yearned—“Could I help thee, my father, There's a faculty pleasant to exercise, hard inventing a bliss,
I am fain to keep still in abeyance (I laugh By the pain-throb, triumphantly winning as I think)
285 Lest, insisting to claim and parade in it, And the next world's reward and repose, wot ye, I worst
by the struggles in this. E'en the Giver in one gift.-Behold, I could love if I durst!
260 But I sink the pretension as fearing a man
may o'ertake God's own speed in the one way of love: “I believe it! 'Tis thou, God, that givest, I abstain for love's sake.
'tis I who receive: -What, my soul? see thus far and no In the first is the last, in thy will is my farther? when doors great and small,
power to believe. Nine-and-ninety flew ope at our touch, All's one gift: thou canst grant it moreover, should the hundredth appal?
as prompt to my prayer In the least things have faith, yet distrust As I breathe out this breath, as open in the greatest of all?
290 Do I find love so full in my nature, God's From thy will, stream the worlds, life and ultimate gift,
nature, thy dread Sabaoth: That I doubt his own love can compete I will?—the mere atoms despise me! Why with it? Here, the parts shift?
am I not loth Here, the creature surpass the Creator, - To look that, even that in the face too? the end, what Began?
Why is it I dare Would I fain in my impotent yearning Think but lightly of such impuissance? do all for this man,
What stops my despair? And dare doubt he alone shall not help him, This;—'tis pot what man Does which exwho yet alone can?
alts him, but what man Would do! Would it ever have entered my mind, the See the King—I would help him but canbare will, much less power,
not, the wishes fall through. To bestow on this Saul what I sang of, Could I wrestle to raise him from sorrow, the marvelous dower
grow poor to enrich, Of the life he was gifted and filled with? To fill up his life, starve my own out, I to make such a soul,
would-knowing which, Such a body, and then such an earth for I know that my service is perfect. Oh, insphering the whole?
speak through me now! And doth it not enter my mind (as my Would I suffer for him that I love? So warm tears attest),
wouldst thou so wilt thou! These things being given, to go on, and So shall crown thee the topmost, inefiagive one more, the best?
blest, uttermost crownAy, to save and redeem and restore him, And thy love fill infinitude wholly, nor maintain at the height
leave up nor down This perfection, succeed with life's day- One spot for the creature to stand in! It spring, death's minute of night?
is by no breath, Interpose at the difficult minute, snatch Turn of eye, wave of hand, that salvation Saul the mistake,
joins issue with death! Saul the failure, the ruin he seems now, As thy Love is discovered almighty, al-and bid him awake 280 mighty be proved
305 From the dream, the probation, the pre- Thy power, that exists with and for it, of lude, to find himself set
being Beloved! Clear and safe in new light and new life, He who did most, shall bear most; the -a new harmony yet
strongest shall stand the most weak. To be run and continued, and ended 'Tis the weakness in strength, that I cry who knows?-or endure!
for! my flesh, that I seek The man taught enough by life's dream, of In the Godhead! I seek and I find it. O the rest to make sure;
Saul, it shall be