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Jotham of piercing wit, and pregnant thought;
Endued by nature, and by learning taught,
To move assemblies, who but only try'd
The worse a-while, then chose the better fide :
Nor chose alone, but turn’d the balance too ;
So much the weight of one brave man can do.
Husai, the friend of David in distress ;
In public storms of manly stedfastness :
By foreign treaties he inform’d his youth,
And join'd experience to his native truth.
His frugal care supply'd the wanting throne
Frugal for that, but bounteous of his own :
'Tis easy conduct when exchequers Aow;
But hard the task to manage well the low :
For fovereign power is too depress'd or high,
When kings are forc'd to sell, or crowds to buy.
Indulge one labour more, my weary Muse,
For Amiel : who can Amiel's praise refuse ?
Of ancient race by birth, but nobler yet
In his own worth, and without title great :
The fanhedrim long time as chief he rul'd,
T'heir reason guided, and their pasion coold:
So dextrous was he in the crown's defence,
So form’d to speak a loyal nation's sense,
That, as their band was Ifrael's tribes in small,
So fit was he to represent them all.
Now rather charioteers the seat atcend,
Whose loose careers his steady skill commend :
They, like th’ unequal ruler of the day,
Misguide the seasons, and mistake the way;
While he withdrawn at their mad labours smiles,
And safe enjoys the fabbath of his toils.
These were the chief, a sinall but faithful band
Of worthies, in the breach who dar'd to stand,
And tempt th'united fury of the land,
With grief they view'd such powerful engines bent,
To batter down the lawful government.
A numerous faction, with pretended frights,
In fanhedrims to plume the regal rights ;
The true successor from the court remov'd;
The plot, by hireling witnesses, iinprovod.
These ills they saw, and, as their duty bound,
They shew'd the king the danger of the wound;
That no concessions from the throne would please,
But lenitives fomented the disease :
That Absalom, ambitious of the crown,
Was made the lure to draw the people down :
That false Achitophel's pernicious hate
Had turn'd the plot to ruin church and state :
The council violent, the rabble worse :
That Shimei taught Jerusalem to curse.
With all these loads of injuries opprest,
And long revolving in his careful breast
Th' event of things, at last his patience tir’d,
Thus, from his royal throne, by heaven inspir’d,
The god-like David spoke ; with awful fear
His train their Maker in their master hear.
Thus long have I, by native mercy (way'd,
My wrongs dissembled, my revenge delay'd :
So willing to forgive th' offending age;
So much the father did the king assuage.
But now so far my clemency they light,
Th' offenders question my forgiving right,
That one was made for many, they contend;
But 'tis to rule ; for that's a monarch's end.
They call my tenderness of blood, my fear;
Though manly tempers can the longest bear.
Yet, since they will divert my native course,
'Tis time to fhew I am not good by force.
Those heap'd affronts that haughty subjects bring,
Are burdens for a camel, not a king.
Kings are the public pillars of the state,
Born to sustain and prop the nation's weight :
If my young Samson will pretend a call
To shake the column, let him Thare the fall :
But oh, that yet he would repent and live !
How easy 'tis for parents to forgive !
With how few tears a pardon might be won
From nature, pleading for a darling son!
Poor, pitied youth, by my paternal care,
Rais'd up to all the height his frame could bear!
Had God ordain'd his fate for empire born,
He would have given his soul another turn :
Gull’d with a patriot's name, whose modern sense
Is one that would by law supplant his prince ;
The people's brave, the politician's tool;
Never was patriot yet, but was a fool.
Whence comes it, that religion and the laws
Should more be Abfalom's than David's cause ?
His old instructor ere he lost his place,
Was never thought indued with so much grace.
Good heavens, how faction can a patriot paint!
My rebel ever proves my people's saint.
Would they impose an heir upon the throne,
Let sanhedrimis be taught to give their own.
A king 's at least a part of government :
And mine as requisite as their consent:
Without my leave a future king to chuse,
Infers a right the present to depose.
True, they petition me t' approve their choice :
But Esau's hands suit ill with Jacob's voice.
My pious subjects for my safety pray;
Which to secure, they take my power away.
From plots and treasons heaven preserve my years,
But save me most from my petitioners.
Unsatiate as the barren womb or grave;
God cannot grant fo much as they can crave.
What then is left, but with a jealous eye
To guard the small remains of royalty ?
The law shall still direct my peaceful sway,
And the same law teach rebels to obey :
Votes shall no more establish'd power controul,
Such votes as make a part exceed the whole.
No groundless clamours shall my friends remove,
Nor crowds have power to punish ere they prove 5
For Gods and god-like kings their care express,
Still to defend their servants in distress.
Oh, that my power to saving were confin'd!
Why am I forc’d, like heaven, against my mind,
To make examples of another kind ?
Must I at length the sword of justice draw?
Oh curft effects of necessary law !
How ill my fear they by my mercy scan !
Beware the fury of a patient man.
Law they require, let law then shew her face ;
They could not be content to look on grace,
Her hinder parts, but with a daring eye
To tempt the terror of her front and die.
By their own arts 'tis righteoully decreed,
Those dire artificers of death shall bleed.
Against themselves their witnesses will swear,
Till, viper-like, their mother plot they tear;
And suck for nutriinent that bloody gore,
Which was their principle of life before.
Their Belial with their Beelzebub will fight :
Thus on my foes, my foes shall do me right.
Nor doubt th’ event: for factious crowds engage,
In their first onset, all their brutal rage.
Then let them take an unrefifted course :
Retire, and traverse, and delude their force :
But when they stand all breathless, urge the fight,
And rise upon them with redoubled might :
For lawful power is still superior found ;
When long driven back, at length it stands the ground,
He said : Th' Almighty nodding gave consent ;
And peals of thunder shook the firmament.
Henceforth a series of new time began,
The inighty years in long procession ran :
Once more the god-like David was restor'd,
And willing nations knew their lawful lord.