David departs, unarmed, save
A staff in hand he chanc’d to have.
Nothing to the fight he took,
Save five smooth stones from out a brook;
These in his shepherd’s scrip he plac’d,
That was fasten’d round his waist.
With staff and sling alone he meets
The armed giant, who him greets
With nought but scorn. Looking askance
On the fair ruddy countenance
Of his young enemy—“Am I
A dog, that thou com’st here to try
Thy strength upon me with a staff—?”
Goliath said with scornful laugh.
“Thou com’st with sword, with spear, with shield,
Yet thou to me this day must yield.
The Lord of Hosts is on my side,
Whose armies boastful thou’st defied.
All nations of the earth shall hear
He saveth not with shield and spear.”
Thus David spake, and nigher
Then chusing from his scrip, he sent
Out of his slender sling a stone.—
The giant utter’d fearful moan.
The stone though small had pierced deep
Into his forehead, endless sleep
Giving Goliath—and thus died
Of Philistines the strength and pride.
DAVID IN THE CAVE OF ADULLAM
(Text of 1818)
David and his three captains bold
Kept ambush once within a hold.
It was in Adullam’s cave,
Nigh which no water they could have,
Nor spring, nor running brook was near
To quench the thirst that parch’d them there.
Then David, king of Israel,
Strait bethought him of a well,
Which stood beside the city gate,
At Bethlem; where, before his state
Of kingly dignity, he had
Oft drunk his fill, a shepherd lad;
But now his fierce Philistine foe
Encamp’d before it he does know.
Yet ne’er the less, with heat opprest,
Those three bold captains he addrest,
And wish’d that one to him would bring
Some water from his native spring.
His valiant captains instantly
To execute his will did fly.
The mighty Three the ranks broke through
Of armed foes, and water drew
For David, their beloved king,
At his own sweet native spring.
Back through their armed foes they haste,
With the hard earn’d treasure graced.
But when the good king David found
What they had done, he on the ground
The water pour’d. “Because,” said he,
“That it was at the jeopardy
Of your three lives this thing ye did,
That I should drink it, God forbid.”
THREE POEMS NOT IN POETRY FOR CHILDREN
The Swallow is a summer bird;
He in our chimneys, when the weather
Is fine and warm, may then be heard
Chirping his notes for weeks together.
Come there but one cold wintry day,
Away will fly our guest the Swallow:
And much like him we find the way
Which many a gay young friend will follow.