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But failing thus t'ensnare him, nor fecure
How long his foil'd ambition may endure,
Plots next to lay him by as past his date,
And try some new pretender's luckier fate ;
Whofe hopes with equal toil he would pursue,
Nor cares what claimer 's crown’d, except the true.
Wake, Abfalom, approaching ruin fhun,
And see, O fee, for whom thou art undone !
How are thy honours and thy faine betray'd,
property of desperate villains made?
and conscious fears their crimes create, And guilt in them was little less than fate ; But why shouldst thou, from every grievance free, Forsake thy vineyards for their stormy sea ? For thee did Canaan's milk and honey flow, Love dress’d thy bowers, and laurels sought thy brow, Preferment, wealth, and power, thy vassals were, And of a monarch all things but the care. Oh should our crimes again that curse draw down, And rebel-arms once more attempt the crown, Sure ruin waits unhappy Absalom, Alike by conquest or defeat undone ; Who could relentless see such youth and charms, Expire with wretched fate in impious arms ? A prince fo form’d with earth's and heaven's applause, To triunph o'er crown'd heads in David's cause : Or grant him victor, still his hopes must fail, Who conquering would not for himself prevail; The faction whom he trusts for future sway, Him and the public would alike betray ;
Amongst themselves divide the captive state,
And found their hydra-empire in his fate!
Thus having beat the clouds with painful fight,
The pity'd youth, with scepters in his fight,
So have their cruel politics decreed,
Must, by that crew that made him guilty, bleed!
For could their pride brook any prince's sway,
Whom but mild David would they chuse t'obey ?
Who once at such a gentle reign repine,
The fall of monarchy itself design;
From hate to that their reformations spring,
And David not their grievance, but the king.
Seiz'd now with panic fear the faction lies,
Lest this clear truth strike Absalom's charm’d eyes,
Lest he perceive, from long enchantment free,
What all beside the flatter'd youth must see.
But whate'er doubts his troubled bosom swell,
Fair carriage still became Achitophel.
Who now an envious festival enstals,
And to survey their strength the faction calls,
Which fraud, religious worship too must gild;
But oh how weakly does sedition build ?
For lo ! the royal mandate issues forth,
Dashing at once their treason, zeal, and mirth!
So have I seen disastrous chance invade,
Where careful emmets had their forage laid,
Whether fierce Vulcan’s rage the furzy plain
Had seiz’d, engender'd by some careless swain ;
Or swelling Neptune lawless inroads made,
And to their cell of store his flood convey'd ;
The commonwealth broke up, distracted go,
And in wild haste treir loaded mates o'erthrow;
Ev'n to our scatter'd guests confus’diy meet,
With boil'd, bak’d, roast, all justling in the street;
Dejecting all, and rùefully dismay'd,
For Thekel without treat or treason paid.
Sedition's dark eclipse now fainter shows,
More bright each hour the royal planet grows,
Of force the clouds of envy to disperse,
In kind conjunction of affifting stars.
Here, labouring Muse, those glorious chiefs relate,
That turn' the doubtful scale of David's fate ;
The rest of that illustrious band rehearse,
Imincrtaliz'd in laurei'd Afaph's verse :
Hard talk ! yet will not I thy flight recal,
View heaven, and then enjoy thy glorious fall.
First write Bezaliel, whose illustrious name
Forestalls our praise, and gives his poet fame.
The Kenites rocky province his command,
A barren limb of fertile Canaan's land;
Which for its generous natives yet could be
Held worthy such a president as he !
Bezaliel with each grace and virtue fraught,
Serene his looks ; serene his life and thought;
On whom so largely nature heap'd her store,
There scarce remain’d for arts to give him more!
To aid the crown and state his greatest zeal,
His second care that service to conceal ;
Of dues obfervant, firm to every trust,
And to the needy always more than just.
Who truth from specious falfhood can divide,
Has all the gownsmens skill without their pride;
Thus crown'd with worth from heights of honour won,
Sees all his glories copy'd in his son,
Whose forward fame should every Muse engage :
Whose youth boasts skill deny'd to others' age.
Men, manners, language, books of noblest kind,
Already are the conquest of his mind.
Whose loyalty before its date was prime;
Nor waited the dull course of rolling time :
The monster faction early he dismay'd,
And David's cause long since confess’d his aid.
Brave Abdael o'er the prophet's school was plac'd ;
Abdael with all his father's virtue grac'd ;
A hero, who, while stars look'd wondering down,
Without one Hebrew's blood restor'd the crown.
That praise was his; what therefore did remain
For following chiefs, but boldly to maintain
That crown restor’d; and in this rank of fame,
Brave Abdael with the first a place mult claim.
Proceed, illustrious, happy chief ! proceed,
Foreseize the garlands for thy brow decreed,
While th’inspir'd tribe attend with noblest strain
To register the glories thou shalt gain :
For sure the dew shall Gilboah's hills forsake,
And Jordan mix his stream with Sodom's lake ;
Or seas retir'd their secret stores disclose,
And to the sun their scaly brood expose,
Or swell'd above the clifts their billows raise,
Before the Muses leave their patron's praise.
Eliab our next labour does invite,
And hard the task to do Eliab right:
Long with the royal wanderer he roy'd,
And firm in all the turns of fortune prov'd !
Such ancient service and desert so large,
Well claim’d the royal houshold for his charge.
age with only one mild heiress blest,
In all the bloom of smiling nature drest,
And blest again to see his flower ally'd
To David's stock, and made young Othniel's bride!
The bright restorer of his father's youth,
Devoted to a son's and subject's truth :
Resolv'd to bear that prize of duty home,
So bravely sought, while fought by Absalom.
Ah prince! th' illuftrious planet of thy birth,
And thy more powerful virtue guard thy worth ;
That no Achitophel thy ruin boast;
Israel too much in one such wreck has lost.
mult consent to Helon's worth,
Whose soul, though Egypt glories in his birth,
Could for our captive-ark its zeal retain,
And Pharaoh's altars in their
To fight his gods was fmall; with nobler pride,
He all th' allurements of his court defy'd.
Whom profit nor example could betray,
But Ifrael's friend, and true to David's sway.
What acts of favour in his province fall,
On merit he confers, and freely all.
Our list of nobles next let Amri grace,
Whose merits claim'd the Abethdin's high place ;