George Wither

11 June 1588 – 2 May 1667 / Bentworth, Hampshire

The Lamentation Of David Over Saul And Jonathan His Son

Thy beauty, Israel, is gone :
Slaine in the places high is he.
The mighty now are ouerthrowne !
Oh ! thus how commeth it to be ?
Let not this newes their streets throughout
In Gath or Askalon be told;
For fear Philistia's daughters flout,
Lest vaunt the vncircumcized should.

On you hereafter let no dewe,
You mountaines of Gilboa, fall:
Let there be neither showers on you,
Nor fields that breed an offering shall;
For there with shame away was throwne
The target of the strong, alas!
The shield of Saul, euen as of one
That neu'r with oile anoynted was.

Nor from their blood that slaughter'd lay,
Nor from the fatt of strong men slaine,
Came Jonathan his bow away,
Nor drew forth Saul his sword in vaine ;
In life time they were louely faire,
In death they undiuided ayre;
More swift than eagles of the air,
And stronger they than lions were.

Weepe, Israel's daughters ! vveepe for Saul,
Who you with skarlet hath aray'd,
Who clothed you with pleasures all,
And on your garments gold hath layd.
How comes it he that mighty was
The foyle in battell doth sustaine ?
Thou Jonathan ! oh, thou, alas!
Upon thy places high wert slaine.

And much distressed is my heart,
My brother Jonathan, for thee;
My very deare delight thou wert,
And wondrous was thy loue to me:
So wondrous it surpassed farre
The love of women eu'ry way.
Oh ! how the mighty fallen are!
How warlike instruments decay.
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