Mather Byles

GOLIAH'S Defeat. In the Manner of Lucan.

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When the proud Philistines for War declar'd,
And Israel's Sons for Battle had prepar'd,
Before the Heathen Camp a Monster stalk'd,
And awful frowning, in the Valley walk'd.
With hideous Strides he travers'd all the Ground,
And o'er the Hills the Country view'd around
His brawny Flesh, and his prodigious Bones,
Bespoke him one of Anak's mighty Sons.
Death and Defiance sat upon his Brow,
Revenge and Hell his glaring Eye-balls show.
Then his dire Hand uplifted to the Skies,
Thunder his Voice, and Lightning in his Eyes,
He cry'd aloud with such a dreadful Sound,
As shook the Heav'ns, and rent the trembling Ground
"Attend, ye Armies; Israel, hear; 'tis I
"Despise your Pow'r, and all your Hosts defy
"What! not a Man among you dares attempt
"The glorious Fight, or urge the known Event?
"His despicable Flesh shall make a Feast,
"For rav'nous Fowl, and each voracious Beast.
Behold, Concern and dire Amaze appear
Thro' all the Host, when they his Accents hear,
Shudd'ring Anxiety, and black Despair.
Pale are their Faces, in their Hearts is dread,
And panick Terror o'er the Field is spread.
Ghastly Confusion reigns, and not a Knight
Dares undertake to think upon the Fight.
Now a young Shepherd, David was his Name,
To see his Brethren in the Army, came:
But when Goliah's threatning Words he heard,
A gen'rous Anger in his Looks appear'd.
To Saul the King, his hasty Footsteps go,
And loud he claims for Combat with the Foe.
Th' astonish'd Chiefs, the daring Challenge hear,
And give Consent with Wonder and with Fear.
Instant the blooming Youth descends a Brook,
And in his Shepherd's Bag five Pebbles took;
He waits impatient, till his longing Eyes,
The gloomy Giant issuing forth descries,
With his tall Plume high-nodding in the Skies.
He roar'd loud Curses as he onward went,
Tortur'd the Air, and shook the Firmament.
David undaunted heard the Voice with Smiles,
And ran triumphant to the mighty Spoils.
Downward Goliah cast a careless Glance,
And saw the Stripling on the Ground advance.
As from some lofty Tow'r, tall Men below
Across the Streets like little Puppets go:
So look'd young David to Goliah's size,
And, deep beneath, scarce reach'd his lofty Eyes.
Sublime, the Monster saw him with disdain,
Like a small Insect run along the Plain.
At first, collected in himself he stood,
'Himself, an Army! and his Spear, a Wood!'
His Helmet like a fiery Meteor shone,
Blaz'd high amidst the Heav'ns; another Sun.
His flaming Buckler with his Arm did rise,
Streak'd Rainbows on the Clouds, and flash'd about the Skies.
Then, with uplifted Roar, aloud he howls,
And shakes all Nature to the distant Poles.
"What daring Mortal this who treads the Field,
"And thinks himself so small to be conceal'd?
"Hence, fly my Rage, young Stripling quickly fly,
"Or, by the Gods! by Dagon! Thou shalt die.
"This Hand, rash Youth, thy mangled Carcase tares,
"And hurls thy scatter'd Limbs above the Stars.
"For Birds and Beasts, thy Entrails spread the Plains,
"And on the Pavement smoke thy batter'd Brains!
"Not all the Pow'rs above my Wrath shall brave;
"Thy God may pity, but he cannot save.
Fearless, the Hero heard the thundring Peals
Drive thro' the Rocks, and rattling round the Hills.
Disdain flash'd dreadful from his martial Eyes,
And thus aloud his dauntless Tongue replies.
"Cease, empty Vaunter, cease thy impious Breath,
"This Stone shall fly commission'd with thy Death:
"Your's is the Sword and Spear you vainly boast,
"The Vict'ry's mine, for mine's the Lord of Host!
He said; then whirl'd his Sling, the Pebble flung,
It flew impetuous, and triumphant sung;
On his broad Front it strook the Wariour full,
And Death drove furious thro' his crashing Scull.
Down fell the mighty Bulk; Hills, Fields and all,
Shook when he fell, and echo'd to the Fall.
In Dust and Blood awhile his Members roll,
Then Night eternal rush'd upon his Soul.
A Length enormous in the plain he show'd.
'Like a vast Island in a Sea of Blood.

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