Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
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Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
 
Kynge David, Hys Lamente Over the Bodyes of Kynge Saul of Israel and His Sonne Jonathan
By Sir Philip Sidney
 
 The beautye of the lande ys slayne,
How lowlye are the myghte layne!


I
NOW lette us shede the brinie teare,
And lette us heave the pityinge moane!—
  But whyle we strowe the willowe biere
For Ysrael’s pryde to lye upon;
  Oh! lette not Gath the tidynges heare        5
Oh, tell yt not yn Askalon,
Lest every wayling sounde of ours
Rayse triumpe-shoutes in heathen bowers!
 
II
May raine or dew droppe neuer lyghte
  Upon thy mountaynes, Gilboa!        10
May offerynge flame ne’er crowne thyne heighte
  In deepe of nyght or noon of daye!
Where worsted yn unholie fyghte
  The myghtie flung hys shielde away;
Cast meanlie on the fouled greene,        15
As he had ne’er anoynted beene!
 
III
From battel fyelde they turned them ne’er
  With bowe unstrunge, or blade untryede—
Pleasant They Were Yn Life, and Fayre
Nor Yette Did Deathe Theyre Loues Divide—        20
Theyre nervous armes mighte scathelesse dare
  To bearde the lyon yn hys pryde;
Yette theyre lyghte limbs made fleeter speede
Than eagles stoopynge o’er the meade.
 
IV
Ye daughteres of the lande, deplore,
        25
  For Saule the bounteous and the bolde,
Whose kynglie hande hath founde you store
  Of crimson geare and clothe of golde.
Alack! that hande can giue noe more,
  That worthie harte ys stille and colde;        30
Unknown amongst the deade and dyinge,
The mightie with the mean are lying!—
 
V
Ah! Jonathan! my brother! lorne
  And friendless I must looke to be!—
That harte whose woe thou ofte hast borne        35
  Is sore and strickene nowe for thee.
Young brydegroome’s loue on brydal morne,
Oh! yt was lyghte to thyne for me.
Thy tymelesse lotte I now must playne,
Even on thyne owne high places slayne!        40
How lowlie now the mightie are!
How still the weapons of the war.
 
 
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