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My soul inclines to serve thee.

David, Then, O Abner,

Conduct me to the king ! There is a cause
Will I'ustlQr this boldness!

Ellah, Braggard,hold!

Ahner, I take thee at thy word; and wiQ,
with speed,
Conduct thee to my royal master's presence.
In yonder tent the anxious monarch waits
Th* event of this day's challenge.

David, Noble Abner,

Accept my thanks. Now to thy private ear.
If so thy grace permit I will unfold
Mv secret soul, and ease my lab'ring breast.
Which pants with high designs, and beats fiir
gtery.



PART in.

fileens.— tSsuTs lenl.

SauL Why was I made a king 7 what I havt
gain'd
In envy'd greatness and uneaajr pow'r,
I've lost in peace of mind, in virtue bst !
Why did deceitfbl transports fire mv soul
When Samuel fJac'd upon n^y youthful brow
The crown of Israel 7 I had known content,
Nay happiness, if happiness unmix'd
To mortal man were known, had I still fiv'd
Among the humUe tents of Benjamin.
A shepherd's occupation was my joy, ^
And every guiltless day was crown'd with peacd
But now, a sullen cloud forever hangs
O'er the faint sunshine of my brightest hourii
Dark'ning the golden promise of the mom.
I ne'er shall taste the^dear domestic joys



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Mj BWDOrt sabjeets know. True, I have tons,
Whose Tiitiiee would hftve ohan&*d a prifate

man,
\nd drawn down blessinffi on their homble eire.
I love their virtues too ; bat 'tis a love
Which jealousy has poison*d. Jonathan
Is all a father*8 ftndness eonld conceive
Of amiable and good — Of that no more !
He b too popolar ; the people deal
Upon th* ingenaous graces of his youth.
CursM poptuarity ! which makes a father
Detest the merit of a son he loves,
How did their fond idolatry, perforce.
Rescue his seoleno*d life, when doomM by lot
To perish at Beth^ven,* for the breach
Of strict iojonction, that of all my bands.
Not one that day should taste of food and live !
My subjects clamour at thb tedious war.
Yet of my oam*rous arm'd chiefs not one
Has courage to engage this man of Gath.
O for a champion bold enough to face
This giant-boaster, whose repeated threats
Strike through my inmost soul ! There was a

time —
Of that no more ! I am not what I was.
Should valiant Jonathan accept the challenge,
^Twould but increase his influence, raise his

fame.
And make the crown sit lightly on my brow.
HI could my wounded spirit brook the voice
Of harsh comparison Hwizt sire and son.

SAUL, ABHCE.

iibnsr. What meditatioB holds thee thvs
engag'd,
O king ! and keeps thine active spirit bound ;
When bos^ war for other cares demands
rhan rumroating thought and pale despair 7

SauL Abner draw near. My weary soul sinks



Beneath the heavy pressure of misfortune.
O fiir that spirit which inflam*d my breast
With sudden fervour, wheD« among the seers
And holy sages my prophetic voice
Was heard attentive, and th* astonishM throng,
Wood*rin^, exclaim*d,-— * Is Saul among the

prophets 7*
Where's that bold arm which qoelTd the Amale.

kite.
And nobly spar*d fierce Agag and his flocks 7
*Tis past ! the light of Israel now is quenchM :
Shorn of his beams, my sun of gkny sets !
Rise Moab, Edom, angry Amnum nse !
Come Gaaa, Ashdod come I let Ekron boast.
And AskeloQ rejoice, for Saul is— nothing.

Akmer, I bring thee news, O king !

StmL My valnnt uncle !

What can avail thy news 7 A soul oppressed
Refuses still to hear ihe charmer's voioe,
Howe*er enticingly he charm. What news
Can soothe my sickly aoul, while Oath's fell

Re peat s each morning to my fKghten'd hosts
His daring challenge, none accepting it 7

Akmermli is accepted.

Ami. Ha! By whomi how7 wben7

What prince, what gen'ral, what illustrious
hero^

* 1 8anuMl« siv



What vet'ran chief, what warrior of renown.
Will dare to meet the haughty foes defiance?
Speak, my brave ^en*ral ! noble Abner speak !
Abner. No prince, no warrior, no illustrious
chief,
No vet'ran hero dares accept the challenge ;
But what will move thy wonder, mighty king.
One train'd to peaceful deeds, and new to arms,
A simple shepherd swain !

8auL O mockery !

No more of this li^ht tale, it suits but ill
Thy bearded gravity : or rather tell it
To credulous age, or weak believing women ;
They love whate'er is marvellous, and doat
On deeds prodigious and incredible.
Which sober sense rejects. I lauffh to think
Of thy extravagance. A shepherd's boy
Encounter him whom nations dread to meet !
Abner, Is valour then peculiar to high birth '**
I If Heav'n had so decreed, know, scornful king,
I That Saul the Beniamite had never reign'd.
No ! — Glory darts her soul-pervading ray
On thrones and cotta^, regardless still
Of all the artificial, nice distinctions
Vain human customs make.
Saul Where is ibis youth 7

Abner, Without thy tent he waits. Sucb
humble sweetness,
Fir'd with the secret conscience of desert ;
Such manly bearing, temper'd with such soft

ness.
And so adom'd with ev'ry outward charm
Ofgraceful form and feature, saw I never.
SauL Bring me the youth.
Abner. He waits thy royal pleasure.

lExU Abnv
Saul What most I think 7 Abner himself if
brave,
And skiird in human kind : nor does he judge
So lightly, to be -cauffht by specious words
And Fraud's smooth artifice, were there not

marks
Of worth intrinsic But behold he comes !
The youth too with him ! Justly did he praise
The candour which adorns his open brow.

Reenter Akmer and David,

David, Hail miffhty king !
Abner, Behold tny proflfer'd champion !
Saul, Art thou the youth whose high heroic
zeal
Aspires to meet the ^riant son of Anak 7
David, If so the kmg permit
Saul, Impossible!

Why, what experience has thv youth of arras 7
Where, stripling, didst thou learn the trade of

war7

Beneath what hoary veCran hwsi theu servM 7
What ^ts hast thorn achiev'd, what daring

deeds 7
What well.rang*d phalanx, say, what charging

hosts,
What hard campaigns, wluit sieges hast thoi

seen 7
Hast thou e'er scal'd the city's rampir'd wall
Or hurl'd the missile dart, or learn'd to poise
The warrior's deathful spear 7 The use of targe.
Of helm, and buckler, is to thee unknown.
David, Arms I have seldom seen. I little
know



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Of war's proud discipline. The trumpet's clang.
The shock of charging hosts, the ram pir'd wall,
Th' embattled phalanx, and the warrior's spear,
"nie oso of targe and helm to me is new.
My zeal for Gwl, my patriot love of Israel,
My reverence for my king, behold my claims!
SauL But gentle youth ! thou hast no fiime in

arms.
Renown, with her shrill clarion, never bore
Thy honoured name to many a land remote ;
From the fair regions where Euphrates laves
Assvria's borders to the distant Nile.

liavid. True, mighty king ! I am indeed alike
Unbless'd by Fortune and to Fame unknown ;
A lowly shepherd^wain of Jndah's tribe: •

But greatness ever springs from low beginnings.
That very Nile thou mention'st, whose broad

stream
Bears fruitfuln^ss and health through many a

clime.
From an unknown, penurious, scanty source
Took its first rise. The forest oak, which shades
The sultry troops in many a toilsome march
Once an unheeded acorn lay. O king !
Who ne'er begins can never aught achieve
Of glorious. Thou thyself wast once unknown,
Till fair occasion brought thy worth to light
Far higher views inspire my youthful heart
Than human praise : I seek to vindicate
Th' insulted honour of the God I serve.
Abner. 'Tis noblv said.
Saul, I love thy spirit, youth!

But dare not trust thy inexpericnc'd arm
Against a giant's might The sight of blood,
Though brave thou feel'ft when peril is not nigh.
Will pale thy ardent cheek.

David. Not so, O king !

This youthful arm has been imbru'd in blood
Tliough yet no blood of man has ever stain'd it
Thy servant's occupation is a shepherd.
With jealous care I watch'd my father's flock :
A brindled lion and a furious bear
Forth from the thicket rush'd upon the fold,
^iz'd a young lamb, and tore their bleating

spoil.
Urg'd by compassion for my helpless charge,
I felt a new-born vigour nerve my arm ;
And, eager, on the Amming monsters rush'd.
The famish'd lion by his grisly beard,
Enrag'd, I caught, and smote him to the ground.
The panting monster struggling in my gripe.
Shook terribly his bristling mane, and lash'd
His own gaunt, gory sides ; fiercely he ground
His gnashing teeth, and rolled his starting eyes.
Bloodshot with agony ; then with a groan,
Thtii wak|d the echoes of the mountain, died.
Nor did his grim associate 'scape my arm ;
Thy servant slew the lion and the bear ;
I kili'd them both, and bore their shaggy spoils
In triumph home : and shall I fear to meet
Th' uncircumcis'd Philistine ? No : that God
Who sav'd me from the bear's destructive (kng
And hungry lion's jaw, will not he save me
From this idolater 1

Saul, He will, he will !

Go, noble youth ! be valiant and be bless'd !
The God thou scrv'st will shield thee in the

fight, •
And nerve thy arm with more than mortal

strength.



Abner, So the bold Nazarite* a lion slew s
An earnest of his victories o'er Philistia !
SauL Go^ Abner; see the youth be well
equipp'd
With shield and spear. Be it thy care to grace

him
With all the fit acoootrements of war.
The choicest mail from my rich armory take.
And gird upon his thigh my own try'd sword
Of noblest tamper'd steel.

Abner. I shall obey.

David. Pardon, O king ! the coat of plaited
mail
These limbe have never known ; it would not

shield,
'Twould but encumber one who never felt
Tlie weight of armour.

SauL Take thy wish, my son 1

Thy sword then, and the God of Jacob goar^
thee!



PART IV.

Scene — Another part of the camp.

DAvm (kneeUng.)

EmiNAL Justice ! in whoee awful scale
Th' event of battle hangs ! Eternal Truth !
Whose beams illumines all ! Eternal Mercy !
If. by thy attributes I may, unblam'd.
Address thee ; Lord of glory ! hear me now :

teach these hands to war, these arms to fight
Thou ever present help in time of need 1

Let thy broad mercy, as a shield, defend.
And kt thine everlaBtin^ arms support me !
Strong in thy strength, m thy protection safe
Then, though the heathen rage, I shall not fear
Jehovah, be my buckler ! Mighty Lord !
Thou who hast deign'd by humble instruments
To manifest the wonders of thy might.
Be present with me now ! ^Tjb thine own cause !
Thy wisdom sees events, thy goodness plans
Schemes baffling our conception— and, 'tis still
Omnipotence which executes the deed
Of high design, though bv a feeble arm !

1 feel a secret impulse drive me on ;

And my soul springs impatient for the fight t
'Tis not the heated spirits, or warm blood
Of sanguine youth with which my bosom hnnm *
And, though I thirst to meet th' insulting fbe^
And pant for glory, Hb not, witness Heav'n !
'TIS not the smful lust of fkdinff fame.
The perishable praise of mortal man ;
His praise I oovist, whose applause is Life.

DAVID, ELIAB, I8RAEUTX8.

JSiak What do I bear? thou truant! thfto
hast dar'd
E'en to the awful presence of the king
Bear thy presumption !

David. He who fears the Lord

Shall boldly stand before the face of kings.
And shall not be asham'd.

Eliab. But what wild dream

Has urg'd thee to this deed of desp'rate nA

ness?
Thou mean'st,so I have Icam'd, to meet Goliath,
His single arm to thine.

* Sanson. Bee Judges, chap. xiv.



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IMvid, Tis what I purpose,

Ev*n on this spot Each moment I expect
His wishM approach.

Eliab. Go home ; retnm, for shame !
Nor madlv draw destroction on thy head.
Thy doating fother, when thy shepherd*s coat,
DrenchM in thy Mood, is brought him, will la*

ment,
And rend his fnrrowM cheek and silver hair,
As if some mighty loss had touchM bis asfe ;
And mourn, ev'n as the partial patriarch

mourn'd
When Joseph's bloody garment be receivM
From his less dear, nor less deserving, sons :
Bat whence that glittVing ornament which

hangs
Useless upon thy thigh 7

David, *Tis the king's gift.

But thou art right ; it suits not me, my brother !
Nor sword I mean to ose^ nor spear to poise,
Lest men should say I put my trust in arms,
Not in the Lord of Hosts.

Eliab, Then thoa indeed

Art bent to seek thy death ?

David, And what is death 7

Is it so terrible to die, my brother ?
Or grant it terrible, is it for that
The less inevitable 7 If, indeed
We could by stratagem elude the blow,
When somo high duty calls us forth to die,
And thus for ever shun it, and escape
The universal lot, — then fond self-love.
Then cauiious Prudence, boldly might produce
Their fine-spun arguments, their learn*d ha-
rangues.
Their cobweb arts, their phrase sophistical.
Their subtle doubts, and all the specious trick
Of selfish cunning lab'ring for its end.
But since, however protracted, death will come,
Why fondly study, with ingenious pains,
To put it off I To breathe a little longer
Is to defer our fate, but not to shun it.
Small gain ! which Wisdom with indifTrent eye
Behold. Why wish to drink the bitter dregs
Of life's exhausted chalice, whose last runnings,
Ev'n at thr best, are vapid ! Why not die
(If Hcav'n so will) in manhood's op'ning bloom.
When all the flush of life is gay about us !
When sprightly youth with man^a new-born

SoUcits every sense ! So may we tlien
Present a sacri^ce, unmeet indeed,
(Ah, how unmeet !) but less unworthy far.
Than the world's leavings ; than a worn out

heart.
By vice enfeebled, and by tain desires
Sank and exhausted !

Eliab, Hark ! I hear a sound

Of mohitodes approaching!

David. Tis the giant!

I aee him not, but hear his measur'd pace.

Eliab, Look, where his pond'rdus shield is
borne before him !

David, Like a broad moon its ample disk
portends.
But 9o(i !-~what unknown prodigy appears 7
A moving mountain cas'd in pohsh'd brass !

Eliab {getting behind David) How's this 7
Thoa dost not tremble. Thy firm joints
Betray no (ear ; thy accents are not broken ;



Thy cheek retains its red ; thine eye its lustre.
He comes more near ! Dost thou not fear him
now 7
David, No,

The vast colossal statue nor inspires
Respect nor fear. Mere magnitude of form,
Without proportion'd intellect and valour,
Strikes not my soul with rev'rence or with awe.
Eliab, Near, and more near be comes ! I hold
it rash
To stay so near him, and expose a life
Which may, hereafter serve the state. \

Farewell. [Exit

[GoUATH advances^ clad in complete armour.
One bearing his shield precedes him. The
opposing armies are seen at a distance^ drawn
up on each side of the valley. Gouath begins
to speak before he comes on. David stands in
the same place^ toith an air of indifference.]

Goliath, Where is this mighty man of war,

who dares
Accept the challenge of Philistia's chief 7
What victor king, what gcn'ral drench'd in

blood.
Claims this high privilege 7 What are his

rights 7
What proud credentials does the boaster bring
To prove his claim 7 What cities laid in ashes 7
What ruin'd provinces 7 What slaughter'd .

realms 7 '
What heads of heroes, and what hearts of kings,
In battle kill'd, or at his altars slain.
Has he to boast 7 Is bib bright armory
Thick set with spears, and swords, and coals

of mail
Of vanquish'd nations, by his single arm
Sulxfu'd 7 Where is the mortal man so bold,
So much a wretch, so out of love with life.
To dare the weight of this uplilled spear,
Which never fell innoxious 7 Yet I swear,
I grudse the glory to this parting soul
To fail by this right hand. 'Twill sweeten

death.
To know he had the honour to contend
With the dread son of Anak. Latest time
From blank oblivion shall retrieve his name
Who dar'd to perish in une^al fight
With Gath's triumphant champion. Come, ad.

vance.
Philistia's gods to Israel's. Sound, my herald —
Sound for the battle straight

[Herald sounds the trumpet*
David, Behold thy foe!

Goliath, I see him not
David, Behold him here !

Goliath, Say, where !

Direct my sight I do not war with boys.
David. 1 stand prepar'd : thy single arm to

mine.
Goliath, Why this is mockery, minion . it

may chance
To cost thee dear. Sport not witli things above

thee!
But tell me who of all this num'rous host
Expects his death from me 7 Which is the man
Whom Israel sends to meet my bold defiance 7
David, Th' election of my sov'reign falbon

me. ^ I

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OoUaih. On thee ! on thee! By Digon, *ti8

too much !
Thou carled minion ! thoa a nation*s champion!
*TwoaId more mj mirth at any other time ;
But trifling 's oat of tone, begone, light boy !
And tempt me not too far.

David, I do defV thee,

Thoa fiml idolator ! Hast tnoa not loomM
The armiet of the living God I eerre 7
By me he will avenge upon thy head
Thy nation's sins and thine. Arm*d with his

name,
Unshrinking, I dare meet the stoutest (be
That ever iMthM his hostile spear in blood.
Ooliath, {innieaUy) Inde^! *tis wond'roos

well.
Now, by my ff ods.
The stripling plays the orator ! Vain boy !
Keep close to that same bloodless war of words,
And thoa shalt still be safe. Tongae-valiant

warrior !
Where is thy sylvan crook, with garlands hung.
Of idle field flowers? where thy wanton harp.
Thou dainty fingerM hero 7 better strike
Its notes lascivious, or the lulling lute
Touch sofUy, than provoke the trumpet's rage.
I will not stain the honour of my spear
With thy injgrlorious blood. Sliall that fair cheek
Be scar*d with wounds unseemly 7 Rather ^o
And hold fond dalliance with the Syrian maids ;
To wanton measures dance, and let them braid
The bright luxuriance of thy golden hair ;
They, for their lost Adonis, may mistake
Thy dainty form.
bavid* Peace, thou unhallowM railer !

tell it not in Gath, nor let the sound
Reach Askelon, how once your slaughterM lords
By mighty Samson* found one common ffrave :
When his broad shoulder the firm-pillars hsav'd.
And to its base the tott'ring fabric shook.

Onliaih, Insulting boy ! perhaps thou hast not

heard
The infamy of that glorioas day.
When your weak host at Eben-ezerf pitoh'd
Their quick-abandon'd tent 7 Then when yoor

ark,
Vour talisman, your charm, your boasted pledge
O^ safety and success, was tamely lost !
And yet not tamely, since by me 'twas won.
When with this goM right arm I thinn'd yoor

ranks.
And bravely crush'd, beneath a single blow
The chosen ruardians of this yaunted shrine, >
Hophnit and Phineas. . The fam'd ark itself

1 bore to Ashdod.

David. I remember too,

Since thou provok'st th' unwelcome truth, how

all
Vour blushing priests beheld their idol's shame ;
When prostrate Dagon fell before the ark.
And your frail ttod was shiver'd. Then Philistia,
Idolatrous Phiustia, flew for succour
To Israel's help, and all her nnittsn nobles
Confess'd the Lord was God ; and the bless'dark.
Gladly, with reverential awe restor'd.

Goliath, By Ashod's fane thou ly'st

* Jndgea, c. xvi. f Samuel e. v.

I Commentators say, that Clialile<> paraphrase makei
Goliath boast that ho had killed Hophni and Phineas,
tB4 taken the ark prisoner.



Now win I meet thee.
Thou insect warrior, since thou dai si me thus
Already I behold thy mangled limbs,
Dissever'd each from each, ere long to feed
The fierce blood-snufling vulture. Mark me

wclL
Around my spear FU twist thy shining locks.
And toss in air thy head all gash'd with woundi^
Thy lip yet quiv'ring with Uie dire convulsion
Of recent death !— Art thou not terrify'd 7

David, No :

True courage is not mov'd by breath of words;
While rash bravery of boiling blood.
Impetuous, knows no settled principle.
A lev'rish tide, it has its ebbs and flows,
As spirits raise or fall, as wine inflames.
Or circumstances change : but inborn Courage,
The gen'rous child of Fortitude and Faith,
Holds its firm empire in the constant soul ;
And like the steadfast pole-star, never once
From the same fix'd and faithful point declines.
Goliath, The curses of Philistia's gods be on

thee!
This fine-drawn speech b meant to lengthen out
That little life thy words pretend to scorn.
David, Ha ! say'st thou so ? Come on then.

Mark us well.
Thou com'st to me with sword, and spear, and

shield ;
In the dread name of Israel's God I come ;
The livingr Lord of Hosts, whom thou defy'st!
Yet thougli no shield I bring, no arms except
These five smooth stones I gather'd from the

brook.
With such a simple sling as shepherd's use -
Yet all ezpos'd defenceless as I am.
The God I serve shall give thee op a prey
To my victorious arm. This day I mean
To make the uncircumcis'd trib^ confess
There is a God in Israel. I will give thee.
Spite of thy vatmted strength and giant btilk,
To glut the carrion kites. Nor thee alone ;
The mangled carcases of your thick hosts
Shall spread the plains of Elah, till Philistia,
Through all her trembling tents and flying

hmds.
Shall own that Judah's God is God indeed !
— I dare thee to the trial.

Goliath, Follow me^

In this goo<Wppear I trust

David. I trust in Heav'n !

The God of battle stimulates my arm.
And fires my soul with ardour not its own.



PARTY

Scene-^The tent of SauL

Savl (ri$ingfrom hi$ eoueh,) Oh ! that I knew
the black and midniffht arts
Of wizard sorcery ! that I could caH
The slumb'ring spirit from the shades of heU !
Or, like the Chaldean sages, could foreknow
Th* event of things unacted ! I might then
Anticipate my fbrtime. How I 'm fall'n !
llie sport of vain chimeras, the weak slave
Of f^r and fancy ; coveting to know
The arts obscene, which foal diviners use.
Thick blood and moping Melancholy lead



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To bdefbl SapentUion— that fell fiend.
Whose with^fnig ch&rms blast the &ir bloom of

Virtue.
Why did my wounded pride with Bcom reject
The wholesome truths which holy Samuel told

mel
Why drive him from my presence 7 he might

now
Raise my sunk soul, and my benighted mind
Enliffhten'd with religion^s cheering ray.
He£x*d to menace me with loss of empire ;
And I, fi>r that bold honesty, dismissed him.

* Another shall possess thy throne,* he cry*d :

* A stranger !* This unwelcome prophecy

Has lined my crown and strew*d my couch with

thorns.
Each ray of op*ning merit I discern
In friend or foe, distracts my troubled soul.
Lest he should prove my rival. But this mom,
Ev*n my young champion lovely as he look*d
In blooming valour, struck me to the soul
With Jeak)usy*s barb*d dart O Jealousy !
Thou ugliest fiend of hell ! thv deadly venom
Preys on ray vitals, turns the healtbfbl hue
Of my fresh cheek to haggard saUowness,
And drinks my spirit up.

[Afi&uri9h oftrumpeUt tAonltii^, Ac.
What sounds are thcne f
The combat is decided. Hark ! again
Those shouts proclaim it ! Now, O God of Jacob,
If yet thou hast not quite withdrawn from Saul
Thy light and favour, prosper me this once !
But Abner comes ! 1 dread to hear his tale !
Fair hope, with smiling face but Kng'ring foot,
Has long deceiv'd me.

Abner. King of Israel, hail !

Now thou art king indeed. The youth has oon-

quer*d :
Goliath's dead.

SauL Oh speak thy tale agaioi

Lest my ibnd ears deceive me !

Abner. Thy young champion

Has slain the giant

SttuL Then God is gracious still,

In spite of my offences ! But good Abner !
How was it 7 Tell me all. Where is my cham.

pion7
Quick kt me press him to my gratefbl heart.
And pay him a king*s thanks. And yet, who

knows.
This forward friend -may prove an active foe !
No more of that Tell roe the whole, brave

Abner!
^nd paint the glorious acts^of nay young hero I

Aimer. FttH in the centre of the camp he
stood>!
ft' opposing armies rang'd on either side
h proud array. The haughty giant stalk'd
Stately across the valley. Next the youth
With modest confidence advanc*d. Nor pomp,
Nor gay parade, nor martial ornament,
His graceful form adom'd. Goliath strait,
With solemn state began the busy work
Of dreadful preparation. In one place
His ekisely jointed mail an op*ni|ig led
For air, and only one : the watchful youth
Mark'd that the beaver of hb helm was up.
Meanwhile the giant such a blow devisM
As would have crush'd him. This the youth
perceiv'd.



And from his well-directed slin^ quick hurPd,
With dex'trous aim a stone, which sunk, deep

lodg'd,
In the capacious forehead of the foe.
Then with a cry, as loud and terrible
As Lybian lions roaring for their young.
Quite stunn'd, the furious giant stagger'd, reel'd
And foil : the mighty mass of man fell prone.
With its own weight his shattered bulk was

bruis'd.
His clattering arms rung dreadfully through the



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