The life and works of William Cullen Bryant
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76 THE BOY POET AND POLITICIAN.
the story of Job we have seen in the note on a previous page.*
A version of that noble ejaculation, the Hundred and Fourth
Psalm, is also spoken of there, but it has not been recovered.
In place of it, however, I find a version of David s lament over
Saul and Jonathan,f written about the same time, or shortly
afterward, which, as it is the first specimen of the poet s blank
verse a measure that he subsequently carried to such per
fection I shall be pardoned, I hope, for reproducing it in a
note.
* Page 22.
f II Samuel, i, 19.
\ & quot; The beautiful of Israel s land lie slain
On the high places. How the mighty ones
Are fallen ! Tell it not in Gath, nor sound
The tidings in the streets of Ascalon,
Lest there the daughters of the Philistines
Rejoice, lest there the heathen maidens sing
The song of triumph. Oh ye mountain slopes
Ye Heights of Gilboa, let there be no rain
Nor dew upon you ; let no offerings smoke
Upon your fields, for there the strong man s shield,
The shield of Saul, was vilely cast away,
As though he ne er had been anointed king.
From bloody fray, from conflict to the death,
With men of might the bow of Jonathan
Turned never back, nor did the sword of Saul
Return without the spoils of victory.
Joined in their loves and pleasant in their lives
Were Saul and Jonathan ; nor in their deaths
Divided ; swifter were they in pursuit
Than eagles, and of more than lion strength.
Weep, Israel s daughters ! over Saul, who robed
Your limbs in scarlet, adding ornaments
That ye delight in, ornaments of gold.
How are the mighty fallen in the heat
Of battle ! Oh, my brother Jonathan,
Slain on the heights ! My heart is wrung for thee ;
My brother, very pleasant hast thou been
To me ; thy love for me was wonderful,
Passing the love of women. How are fallen
The mighty, and their weapons lie in dust ! & quot;
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