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Best Famous Martial Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Martial poems. This is a select list of the best famous Martial poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Martial poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of martial poems.

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Written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Create an image from this poem

The Day is Done

THE DAY is done and the darkness 
Falls from the wings of Night  
As a feather is wafted downward 
From an eagle in his flight.
I see the lights of the village 5 Gleam through the rain and the mist And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me That my soul cannot resist: A feeling of sadness and longing That is not akin to pain 10 And resembles sorrow only As the mist resembles the rain.
Come read to me some poem Some simple and heartfelt lay That shall soothe this restless feeling 15 And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters Not from the bards sublime Whose distant footsteps echo Through the corridors of Time.
20 For like strains of martial music Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavor; And to-night I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet 25 Whose songs gushed from his heart As showers from the clouds of summer Or tears from the eyelids start; Who through long days of labor And nights devoid of ease 30 Still heard in his soul the music Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet The restless pulse of care And come like the benediction 35 That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume The poem of thy choice And lend to the rhyme of the poet The beauty of thy voice.
40 And the night shall be filled with music And the cares that infest the day Shall fold their tents like the Arabs And as silently steal away.

Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

Proud Music of The Storm

PROUD music of the storm! 
Blast that careers so free, whistling across the prairies! 
Strong hum of forest tree-tops! Wind of the mountains! 
Personified dim shapes! you hidden orchestras! 
You serenades of phantoms, with instruments alert,
Blending, with Nature’s rhythmus, all the tongues of nations; 
You chords left us by vast composers! you choruses! 
You formless, free, religious dances! you from the Orient! 
You undertone of rivers, roar of pouring cataracts; 
You sounds from distant guns, with galloping cavalry!
Echoes of camps, with all the different bugle-calls! 
Trooping tumultuous, filling the midnight late, bending me powerless, 
Entering my lonesome slumber-chamber—Why have you seiz’d me? 

Come forward, O my Soul, and let the rest retire; 
Listen—lose not—it is toward thee they tend;
Parting the midnight, entering my slumber-chamber, 
For thee they sing and dance, O Soul.
A festival song! The duet of the bridegroom and the bride—a marriage-march, With lips of love, and hearts of lovers, fill’d to the brim with love; The red-flush’d cheeks, and perfumes—the cortege swarming, full of friendly faces, young and old, To flutes’ clear notes, and sounding harps’ cantabile.
3 Now loud approaching drums! Victoria! see’st thou in powder-smoke the banners torn but flying? the rout of the baffled? Hearest those shouts of a conquering army? (Ah, Soul, the sobs of women—the wounded groaning in agony, The hiss and crackle of flames—the blacken’d ruins—the embers of cities, The dirge and desolation of mankind.
) 4 Now airs antique and medieval fill me! I see and hear old harpers with their harps, at Welsh festivals: I hear the minnesingers, singing their lays of love, I hear the minstrels, gleemen, troubadours, of the feudal ages.
5 Now the great organ sounds, Tremulous—while underneath, (as the hid footholds of the earth, On which arising, rest, and leaping forth, depend, All shapes of beauty, grace and strength—all hues we know, Green blades of grass, and warbling birds—children that gambol and play—the clouds of heaven above,) The strong base stands, and its pulsations intermits not, Bathing, supporting, merging all the rest—maternity of all the rest; And with it every instrument in multitudes, The players playing—all the world’s musicians, The solemn hymns and masses, rousing adoration, All passionate heart-chants, sorrowful appeals, The measureless sweet vocalists of ages, And for their solvent setting, Earth’s own diapason, Of winds and woods and mighty ocean waves; A new composite orchestra—binder of years and climes—ten-fold renewer, As of the far-back days the poets tell—the Paradiso, The straying thence, the separation long, but now the wandering done, The journey done, the Journeyman come home, And Man and Art, with Nature fused again.
6 Tutti! for Earth and Heaven! The Almighty Leader now for me, for once has signal’d with his wand.
The manly strophe of the husbands of the world, And all the wives responding.
The tongues of violins! (I think, O tongues, ye tell this heart, that cannot tell itself; This brooding, yearning heart, that cannot tell itself.
) 7 Ah, from a little child, Thou knowest, Soul, how to me all sounds became music; My mother’s voice, in lullaby or hymn; (The voice—O tender voices—memory’s loving voices! Last miracle of all—O dearest mother’s, sister’s, voices;) The rain, the growing corn, the breeze among the long-leav’d corn, The measur’d sea-surf, beating on the sand, The twittering bird, the hawk’s sharp scream, The wild-fowl’s notes at night, as flying low, migrating north or south, The psalm in the country church, or mid the clustering trees, the open air camp-meeting, The fiddler in the tavern—the glee, the long-strung sailor-song, The lowing cattle, bleating sheep—the crowing cock at dawn.
8 All songs of current lands come sounding ’round me, The German airs of friendship, wine and love, Irish ballads, merry jigs and dances—English warbles, Chansons of France, Scotch tunes—and o’er the rest, Italia’s peerless compositions.
Across the stage, with pallor on her face, yet lurid passion, Stalks Norma, brandishing the dagger in her hand.
I see poor crazed Lucia’s eyes’ unnatural gleam; Her hair down her back falls loose and dishevell’d.
I see where Ernani, walking the bridal garden, Amid the scent of night-roses, radiant, holding his bride by the hand, Hears the infernal call, the death-pledge of the horn.
To crossing swords, and grey hairs bared to heaven, The clear, electric base and baritone of the world, The trombone duo—Libertad forever! From Spanish chestnut trees’ dense shade, By old and heavy convent walls, a wailing song, Song of lost love—the torch of youth and life quench’d in despair, Song of the dying swan—Fernando’s heart is breaking.
Awaking from her woes at last, retriev’d Amina sings; Copious as stars, and glad as morning light, the torrents of her joy.
(The teeming lady comes! The lustrious orb—Venus contralto—the blooming mother, Sister of loftiest gods—Alboni’s self I hear.
) 9 I hear those odes, symphonies, operas; I hear in the William Tell, the music of an arous’d and angry people; I hear Meyerbeer’s Huguenots, the Prophet, or Robert; Gounod’s Faust, or Mozart’s Don Juan.
10 I hear the dance-music of all nations, The waltz, (some delicious measure, lapsing, bathing me in bliss;) The bolero, to tinkling guitars and clattering castanets.
I see religious dances old and new, I hear the sound of the Hebrew lyre, I see the Crusaders marching, bearing the cross on high, to the martial clang of cymbals; I hear dervishes monotonously chanting, interspers’d with frantic shouts, as they spin around, turning always towards Mecca; I see the rapt religious dances of the Persians and the Arabs; Again, at Eleusis, home of Ceres, I see the modern Greeks dancing, I hear them clapping their hands, as they bend their bodies, I hear the metrical shuffling of their feet.
I see again the wild old Corybantian dance, the performers wounding each other; I see the Roman youth, to the shrill sound of flageolets, throwing and catching their weapons, As they fall on their knees, and rise again.
I hear from the Mussulman mosque the muezzin calling; I see the worshippers within, (nor form, nor sermon, argument, nor word, But silent, strange, devout—rais’d, glowing heads—extatic faces.
) 11 I hear the Egyptian harp of many strings, The primitive chants of the Nile boatmen; The sacred imperial hymns of China, To the delicate sounds of the king, (the stricken wood and stone;) Or to Hindu flutes, and the fretting twang of the vina, A band of bayaderes.
12 Now Asia, Africa leave me—Europe, seizing, inflates me; To organs huge, and bands, I hear as from vast concourses of voices, Luther’s strong hymn, Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott; Rossini’s Stabat Mater dolorosa; Or, floating in some high cathedral dim, with gorgeous color’d windows, The passionate Agnus Dei, or Gloria in Excelsis.
13 Composers! mighty maestros! And you, sweet singers of old lands—Soprani! Tenori! Bassi! To you a new bard, carolling free in the west, Obeisant, sends his love.
(Such led to thee, O Soul! All senses, shows and objects, lead to thee, But now, it seems to me, sound leads o’er all the rest.
) 14 I hear the annual singing of the children in St.
Paul’s Cathedral; Or, under the high roof of some colossal hall, the symphonies, oratorios of Beethoven, Handel, or Haydn; The Creation, in billows of godhood laves me.
Give me to hold all sounds, (I, madly struggling, cry,) Fill me with all the voices of the universe, Endow me with their throbbings—Nature’s also, The tempests, waters, winds—operas and chants—marches and dances, Utter—pour in—for I would take them all.
15 Then I woke softly, And pausing, questioning awhile the music of my dream, And questioning all those reminiscences—the tempest in its fury, And all the songs of sopranos and tenors, And those rapt oriental dances, of religious fervor, And the sweet varied instruments, and the diapason of organs, And all the artless plaints of love, and grief and death, I said to my silent, curious Soul, out of the bed of the slumber-chamber, Come, for I have found the clue I sought so long, Let us go forth refresh’d amid the day, Cheerfully tallying life, walking the world, the real, Nourish’d henceforth by our celestial dream.
And I said, moreover, Haply, what thou hast heard, O Soul, was not the sound of winds, Nor dream of raging storm, nor sea-hawk’s flapping wings, nor harsh scream, Nor vocalism of sun-bright Italy, Nor German organ majestic—nor vast concourse of voices—nor layers of harmonies; Nor strophes of husbands and wives—nor sound of marching soldiers, Nor flutes, nor harps, nor the bugle-calls of camps; But, to a new rhythmus fitted for thee, Poems, bridging the way from Life to Death, vaguely wafted in night air, uncaught, unwritten, Which, let us go forth in the bold day, and write.
Written by Gregory Corso | Create an image from this poem



Paris, from throats of iron, silver, brass, 
Joy-thundering cannon, blent with chiming bells, 
And martial strains, the full-voiced pæan swells.
The air is starred with flags, the chanted mass Throngs all the churches, yet the broad streets swarm With glad-eyed groups who chatter, laugh, and pass, In holiday confusion, class with class.
And over all the spring, the sun-floods warm! In the Imperial palace that March morn, The beautiful young mother lay and smiled; For by her side just breathed the Prince, her child, Heir to an empire, to the purple born, Crowned with the Titan's name that stirs the heart Like a blown clarion--one more Bonaparte.
1879 Born to the purple, lying stark and dead, Transfixed with poisoned spears, beneath the sun Of brazen Africa! Thy grave is one, Fore-fated youth (on whom were visited Follies and sins not thine), whereat the world, Heartless howe'er it be, will pause to sing A dirge, to breathe a sigh, a wreath to fling Of rosemary and rue with bay-leaves curled.
Enmeshed in toils ambitious, not thine own, Immortal, loved boy-Prince, thou tak'st thy stand With early doomed Don Carlos, hand in hand With mild-browed Arthur, Geoffrey's murdered son.
Louis the Dauphin lifts his thorn-ringed head, And welcomes thee, his brother, 'mongst the dead.
Written by Emily Dickinson | Create an image from this poem

A little Dog that wags his tail

 A little Dog that wags his tail
And knows no other joy
Of such a little Dog am I
Reminded by a Boy

Who gambols all the living Day
Without an earthly cause
Because he is a little Boy
I honestly suppose --

The Cat that in the Corner dwells
Her martial Day forgot
The Mouse but a Tradition now
Of her desireless Lot

Another class remind me
Who neither please nor play
But not to make a "bit of noise"
Beseech each little Boy --
Written by Algernon Charles Swinburne | Create an image from this poem

A Years Carols

HAIL, January, that bearest here
On snowbright breasts the babe-faced year
That weeps and trembles to be born.
Hail, maid and mother, strong and bright, Hooded and cloaked and shod with white, Whose eyes are stars that match the morn.
Thy forehead braves the storm's bent bow, Thy feet enkindle stars of snow.
FEBRUARY Wan February with weeping cheer, Whose cold hand guides the youngling year Down misty roads of mire and rime, Before thy pale and fitful face The shrill wind shifts the clouds apace Through skies the morning scarce may climb.
Thine eyes are thick with heavy tears, But lit with hopes that light the year's.
MARCH Hail, happy March, whose foot on earth Rings as the blast of martial mirth When trumpets fire men's hearts for fray.
No race of wild things winged or finned May match the might that wings thy wind Through air and sea, through scud and spray.
Strong joy and thou were powers twin-born Of tempest and the towering morn.
APRIL Crowned April, king whose kiss bade earth Bring forth to time her lordliest birth When Shakespeare from thy lips drew breath And laughed to hold in one soft hand A spell that bade the world's wheel stand, And power on life, and power on death, With quiring suns and sunbright showers Praise him, the flower of all thy flowers.
MAY Hail, May, whose bark puts forth full-sailed For summer; May, whom Chaucer hailed With all his happy might of heart, And gave thy rosebright daisy-tips Strange frarance from his amorous lips That still thine own breath seems to part And sweeten till each word they say Is even a flower of flowering May.
JUNE Strong June, superb, serene, elate With conscience of thy sovereign state Untouched of thunder, though the storm Scathe here and there thy shuddering skies And bid its lightning cross thine eyes With fire, thy golden hours inform Earth and the souls of men with life That brings forth peace from shining strife.
JULY Hail, proud July, whose fervent mouth Bids even be morn and north be south By grace and gospel of thy word, Whence all the splendour of the sea Lies breathless with delight in thee And marvel at the music heard From the ardent silent lips of noon And midnight's rapturous plenilune.
AUGUST Great August, lord of golden lands, Whose lordly joy through seas and strands And all the red-ripe heart of earth Strikes passion deep as life, and stills The folded vales and folding hills With gladness too divine for mirth, The gracious glories of thine eyes Make night a noon where darkness dies.
SEPTEMBER Hail, kind September, friend whose grace Renews the bland year's bounteous face With largess given of corn and wine Through many a land that laughs with love Of thee and all the heaven above, More fruitful found than all save thine Whose skies fulfil with strenuous cheer The fervent fields that knew thee near.
OCTOBER October of the tawny crown, Whose heavy-laden hands drop down Blessing, the bounties of thy breath And mildness of thy mellowing might Fill earth and heaven with love and light Too sweet for fear to dream of death Or memory, while thy joy lives yet, To know what joy would fain forget.
NOVEMBER Hail, soft November, though thy pale Sad smile rebuke the words that hail Thy sorrow with no sorrowing words Or gratulate thy grief with song Less bitter than the winds that wrong Thy withering woodlands, where the birds Keep hardly heart to sing or see How fair thy faint wan face may be.
DECEMBER December, thou whose hallowing hands On shuddering seas and hardening lands Set as a sacramental sign The seal of Christmas felt on earth As witness toward a new year's birth Whose promise makes thy death divine, The crowning joy that comes of thee Makes glad all grief on land or sea.

Written by Thomas Campbell | Create an image from this poem

Ode to the Memory of Burns

 Soul of the Poet ! wheresoe'er,
Reclaimed from earth, thy genius plume
Her wings of immortality ;
Suspend thy harp in happier sphere,
And with thine influence illume
The gladness of our jubilee.
And fly like fiends from secret spell, Discord and Strife, at Burn's name, Exorcised by his memory ; For he was chief of bards that swell The heart with songs of social flame, And high delicious revelry.
And Love's own strain to him was given, To warble all its ecstacies With Pythian words unsought, unwilled,— Love, the surviving gift of Heaven The choicest sweet of Paradise, In life's else bitter cup distilled.
Who that has melted o'er his lay To Mary's soul, in Heaven above , But pictured sees, in fancy strong, The landscape and the livelong day That smiled upon their mutual love ? Who that has felt forgets the song ? Nor skilled one flame alone to fan: His country's high-souled peasantry What patriot-pride he taught !—how much To weigh the inborn worth of man ! And rustic life and poverty Grow beautiful beneath his touch.
Him, in his clay-built cot, the Muse Entranced, and showed him all the forms, Of fairy-light and wizard gloom, (That only gifted Poet views,) The Genii of the floods and storms, And martial shades from Glory's tomb.
On Bannock-field what thoughts arouse The swain whom Burns's song inspires ! Beat not his Caledonian veins, As o'er the heroic turf he ploughs, With all the spirit of his sires, And all their scorn of death and chains ? And see the Scottish exile, tanned By many a far and foreign clime, Bend o'er his home-born verse, and weep In memory of his native land, With love that scorns the lapse of time, And ties that stretch beyond the deep.
Encamped by Indian rivers wild, The soldier resting on his arms, In Burns's carol sweet recalls The scenes that blessed him when a child, And glows and gladdens at the charms Of Scotia's woods and waterfalls.
O deem not, 'midst this worldly strife, An idle art the Poet brings: Let high Philosophy control, And sages calm the stream of life, 'T is he refines its fountain-springs, The nobler passions of the soul.
It is the muse that consecrates The native banner of the brave, Unfurling, at the trumpet's breath, Rose, thistle, harp ; 't is she elates To sweep the field or ride the wave, A sunburst in the storm of death.
And thou, young hero , when thy pall Is crossed with mournful sword and plume, When public grief begins to fade, And only tears of kindred fall, Who but the bard shall dress thy tomb, And greet with fame thy gallant shade ? Such was the soldier—Burns, forgive That sorrows of mine own intrude In strains to thy great memory due.
In verse like thine, oh ! Could he live, The friend I mourned—the brave—the good Edward that died at Waterloo !* Farewell, high chief of Scottish song ! That couldst alternately impart Wisdom and rapture in thy page, And brand each vice with satire strong, Whose lines are mottoes of the heart? Whose truths electrify the sage.
Farewell ! and ne'er may Envy dare To wring one baleful poison drop From the crushed laurels of thy bust ; But while the lark sings sweet in air, Still may the grateful pilgrim stop, To bless the spot that holds thy dust.
Written by Rupert Brooke | Create an image from this poem

The Funeral of Youth: Threnody

 The Day that Youth had died,
There came to his grave-side, 
In decent mourning, from the country’s ends, 
Those scatter’d friends 
Who had lived the boon companions of his prime,
And laughed with him and sung with him and wasted, 
In feast and wine and many-crown’d carouse, 
The days and nights and dawnings of the time 
When Youth kept open house, 
Nor left untasted
Aught of his high emprise and ventures dear, 
No quest of his unshar’d— 
All these, with loitering feet and sad head bar’d, 
Followed their old friend’s bier.
Folly went first, With muffled bells and coxcomb still revers’d; And after trod the bearers, hat in hand— Laughter, most hoarse, and Captain Pride with tanned And martial face all grim, and fussy Joy Who had to catch a train, and Lust, poor, snivelling boy; These bore the dear departed.
Behind them, broken-hearted, Came Grief, so noisy a widow, that all said, “Had he but wed Her elder sister Sorrow, in her stead!” And by her, trying to soothe her all the time, The fatherless children, Colour, Tune, and Rhyme (The sweet lad Rhyme), ran all-uncomprehending.
Then, at the way’s sad ending, Round the raw grave they stay’d.
Old Wisdom read, In mumbling tone, the Service for the Dead.
There stood Romance, The furrowing tears had mark’d her roug?d cheek; Poor old Conceit, his wonder unassuaged; Dead Innocency’s daughter, Ignorance; And shabby, ill-dress’d Generosity; And Argument, too full of woe to speak; Passion, grown portly, something middle-aged; And Friendship—not a minute older, she; Impatience, ever taking out his watch; Faith, who was deaf, and had to lean, to catch Old Wisdom’s endless drone.
Beauty was there, Pale in her black; dry-eyed; she stood alone.
Poor maz’d Imagination; Fancy wild; Ardour, the sunlight on his greying hair; Contentment, who had known Youth as a child And never seen him since.
And Spring came too, Dancing over the tombs, and brought him flowers— She did not stay for long.
And Truth, and Grace, and all the merry crew, The laughing Winds and Rivers, and lithe Hours; And Hope, the dewy-eyed; and sorrowing Song;— Yes, with much woe and mourning general, At dead Youth’s funeral, Even these were met once more together, all, Who erst the fair and living Youth did know; All, except only Love.
Love had died long ago.
Written by Joyce Kilmer | Create an image from this poem

Memorial Day

 "Dulce et decorum est"

The bugle echoes shrill and sweet,
But not of war it sings to-day.
The road is rhythmic with the feet Of men-at-arms who come to pray.
The roses blossom white and red On tombs where weary soldiers lie; Flags wave above the honored dead And martial music cleaves the sky.
Above their wreath-strewn graves we kneel, They kept the faith and fought the fight.
Through flying lead and crimson steel They plunged for Freedom and the Right.
May we, their grateful children, learn Their strength, who lie beneath this sod, Who went through fire and death to earn At last the accolade of God.
In shining rank on rank arrayed They march, the legions of the Lord; He is their Captain unafraid, The Prince of Peace .
Who brought a sword.
Written by Du Fu | Create an image from this poem

Autumn Meditations (7)

Kunming lake water Han time achievement
Martial emperor banners flags at eye in
Weaver girl loom thread empty moon night
Stone whale scale armour move autumn wind
Wave toss wild rice seed sink cloud black
Dew cold lotus pod fall powder red
Pass fortified limit sky but bird road
River lake fill earth one fisher old man

The waters of the Kunming Lake were made in the time of Han,
Banners and flags of the martial emperor are still in my mind's eye.
The weaver girl's loom and thread are idle beneath the night's moon,
The stone whale's scales and armour move in the autumn wind.
Waves toss the wild rice seeds, black clouds sink,
Dew chills the lotus pod, red powder falls.
Between the passes at the end of the sky only birds can travel,
Rivers and lakes fill this land; there's one old fisherman.
Written by Phillis Wheatley | Create an image from this poem

Goliath Of Gath

 SAMUEL, Chap.
YE martial pow'rs, and all ye tuneful nine, Inspire my song, and aid my high design.
The dreadful scenes and toils of war I write, The ardent warriors, and the fields of fight: You best remember, and you best can sing The acts of heroes to the vocal string: Resume the lays with which your sacred lyre, Did then the poet and the sage inspire.
Now front to front the armies were display'd, Here Israel rang'd, and there the foes array'd; The hosts on two opposing mountains stood, Thick as the foliage of the waving wood; Between them an extensive valley lay, O'er which the gleaming armour pour'd the day, When from the camp of the Philistine foes, Dreadful to view, a mighty warrior rose; In the dire deeds of bleeding battle skill'd, The monster stalks the terror of the field.
From Gath he sprung, Goliath was his name, Of fierce deportment, and gigantic frame: A brazen helmet on his head was plac'd, A coat of mail his form terrific grac'd, The greaves his legs, the targe his shoulders prest: Dreadful in arms high-tow'ring o'er the rest A spear he proudly wav'd, whose iron head, Strange to relate, six hundred shekels weigh'd; He strode along, and shook the ample field, While Phoebus blaz'd refulgent on his shield: Through Jacob's race a chilling horror ran, When thus the huge, enormous chief began: "Say, what the cause that in this proud array "You set your battle in the face of day? "One hero find in all your vaunting train, "Then see who loses, and who wins the plain; "For he who wins, in triumph may demand "Perpetual service from the vanquish'd land: "Your armies I defy, your force despise, "By far inferior in Philistia's eyes: "Produce a man, and let us try the fight, "Decide the contest, and the victor's right.
" Thus challeng'd he: all Israel stood amaz'd, And ev'ry chief in consternation gaz'd; But Jesse's son in youthful bloom appears, And warlike courage far beyond his years: He left the folds, he left the flow'ry meads, And soft recesses of the sylvan shades.
Now Israel's monarch, and his troops arise, With peals of shouts ascending to the skies; In Elah's vale the scene of combat lies.
When the fair morning blush'd with orient red, What David's fire enjoin'd the son obey'd, And swift of foot towards the trench he came, Where glow'd each bosom with the martial flame.
He leaves his carriage to another's care, And runs to greet his brethren of the war.
While yet they spake the giant-chief arose, Repeats the challenge, and insults his foes: Struck with the sound, and trembling at the view, Affrighted Israel from its post withdrew.
"Observe ye this tremendous foe, they cry'd, "Who in proud vaunts our armies hath defy'd: "Whoever lays him prostrate on the plain, "Freedom in Israel for his house shall gain; "And on him wealth unknown the king will pour, "And give his royal daughter for his dow'r.
" Then Jesse's youngest hope: "My brethren say, "What shall be done for him who takes away "Reproach from Jacob, who destroys the chief.
"And puts a period to his country's grief.
"He vaunts the honours of his arms abroad, "And scorns the armies of the living God.
" Thus spoke the youth, th' attentive people ey'd The wond'rous hero, and again reply'd: "Such the rewards our monarch will bestow, "On him who conquers, and destroys his foe.
" Eliab heard, and kindled into ire To hear his shepherd brother thus inquire, And thus begun: "What errand brought thee? say "Who keeps thy flock? or does it go astray? "I know the base ambition of thine heart, "But back in safety from the field depart.
" Eliab thus to Jesse's youngest heir, Express'd his wrath in accents most severe.
When to his brother mildly he reply'd.
"What have I done? or what the cause to chide? The words were told before the king, who sent For the young hero to his royal tent: Before the monarch dauntless he began, "For this Philistine fail no heart of man: "I'll take the vale, and with the giant fight: "I dread not all his boasts, nor all his might.
" When thus the king: "Dar'st thou a stripling go, "And venture combat with so great a foe? "Who all his days has been inur'd to fight, "And made its deeds his study and delight: "Battles and bloodshed brought the monster forth, "And clouds and whirlwinds usher'd in his birth.
" When David thus: "I kept the fleecy care, "And out there rush'd a lion and a bear; "A tender lamb the hungry lion took, "And with no other weapon than my crook "Bold I pursu'd, and chas d him o'er the field, "The prey deliver'd, and the felon kill'd: "As thus the lion and the bear I slew, "So shall Goliath fall, and all his crew: "The God, who sav'd me from these beasts of prey, "By me this monster in the dust shall lay.
" So David spoke.
The wond'ring king reply'd; "Go thou with heav'n and victory on thy side: "This coat of mail, this sword gird on," he said, And plac'd a mighty helmet on his head: The coat, the sword, the helm he laid aside, Nor chose to venture with those arms untry'd, Then took his staff, and to the neighb'ring brook Instant he ran, and thence five pebbles took.
Mean time descended to Philistia's son A radiant cherub, and he thus begun: "Goliath, well thou know'st thou hast defy'd "Yon Hebrew armies, and their God deny'd: "Rebellious wretch! audacious worm! forbear, "Nor tempt the vengeance of their God too far: "Them, who with his Omnipotence contend, "No eye shall pity, and no arm defend: "Proud as thou art, in short liv'd glory great, "I come to tell thee thine approaching fate.
"Regard my words.
The Judge of all the gods, "Beneath whose steps the tow'ring mountain nods, "Will give thine armies to the savage brood, "That cut the liquid air, or range the wood.
"Thee too a well-aim'd pebble shall destroy, "And thou shalt perish by a beardless boy: "Such is the mandate from the realms above, "And should I try the vengeance to remove, "Myself a rebel to my king would prove.
"Goliath say, shall grace to him be shown, "Who dares heav'ns Monarch, and insults his throne?" "Your words are lost on me," the giant cries, While fear and wrath contended in his eyes, When thus the messenger from heav'n replies: "Provoke no more Jehovah's awful hand "To hurl its vengeance on thy guilty land: "He grasps the thunder, and, he wings the storm, "Servants their sov'reign's orders to perform.
" The angel spoke, and turn'd his eyes away, Adding new radiance to the rising day.
Now David comes: the fatal stones demand His left, the staff engag'd his better hand: The giant mov'd, and from his tow'ring height Survey'd the stripling, and disdain'd the fight, And thus began: "Am I a dog with thee? "Bring'st thou no armour, but a staff to me? "The gods on thee their vollied curses pour, "And beasts and birds of prey thy flesh devour.
" David undaunted thus, "Thy spear and shield "Shall no protection to thy body yield: "Jehovah's name------no other arms I bear, "I ask no other in this glorious war.
"To-day the Lord of Hosts to me will give "Vict'ry, to-day thy doom thou shalt receive; "The fate you threaten shall your own become, "And beasts shall be your animated tomb, "That all the earth's inhabitants may know "That there's a God, who governs all below: "This great assembly too shall witness stand, "That needs nor sword, nor spear, th' Almighty's hand: "The battle his, the conquest he bestows, "And to our pow'r consigns our hated foes.
" Thus David spoke; Goliath heard and came To meet the hero in the field of fame.
Ah! fatal meeting to thy troops and thee, But thou wast deaf to the divine decree; Young David meets thee, meets thee not in vain; 'Tis thine to perish on th' ensanguin'd plain.
And now the youth the forceful pebble slung Philistia trembled as it whizz'd along: In his dread forehead, where the helmet ends, Just o'er the brows the well-aim'd stone descends, It pierc'd the skull, and shatter'd all the brain, Prone on his face he tumbled to the plain: Goliath's fall no smaller terror yields Than riving thunders in aerial fields: The soul still ling'red in its lov'd abode, Till conq'ring David o'er the giant strode: Goliath's sword then laid its master dead, And from the body hew'd the ghastly head; The blood in gushing torrents drench'd the plains, The soul found passage through the spouting veins.
And now aloud th' illustrious victor said, "Where are your boastings now your champion's "dead?" Scarce had he spoke, when the Philistines fled: But fled in vain; the conqu'ror swift pursu'd: What scenes of slaughter! and what seas of blood! There Saul thy thousands grasp'd th' impurpled sand In pangs of death the conquest of thine hand; And David there were thy ten thousands laid: Thus Israel's damsels musically play'd.
Near Gath and Edron many an hero lay, Breath'd out their souls, and curs'd the light of day: Their fury, quench'd by death, no longer burns, And David with Goliath's head returns, To Salem brought, but in his tent he plac'd The load of armour which the giant grac'd.
His monarch saw him coming from the war, And thus demanded of the son of Ner.
"Say, who is this amazing youth?" he cry'd, When thus the leader of the host reply'd; "As lives thy soul I know not whence he sprung, "So great in prowess though in years so young:" "Inquire whose son is he," the sov'reign said, "Before whose conq'ring arm Philistia fled.
" Before the king behold the stripling stand, Goliath's head depending from his hand: To him the king: "Say of what martial line "Art thou, young hero, and what sire was thine?" He humbly thus; "The son of Jesse I: "I came the glories of the field to try.
"Small is my tribe, but valiant in the fight; "Small is my city, but thy royal right.
" "Then take the promis'd gifts," the monarch cry'd, Conferring riches and the royal bride: "Knit to my soul for ever thou remain "With me, nor quit my regal roof again.