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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Syria: Gilboa

Lamentation of David over Saul and Jonathan

By George Sandys (1577–1644)

THY beauty, Israel, is fled,

Sunk to the dead;

How are the valiant fallen! the slain

Thy mountains stain.

O, let it not in Gath be known,

Nor in the streets of Ashkelon.

Lest that sad story should excite

Their dire delight!

Lest in the torrent of our woe

Their pleasure flow;

Lest their triumphant daughters ring

Their cymbals, and their pæans sing.

Yon hills of Gilboa, never may

You offerings pay;

No morning dew, nor fruitful showers,

Clothe you with flowers:

Saul and his arms there made a spoil,

As if untouched with sacred oil.

The bow of noble Jonathan

Great battles won;

His arrows on the mighty fed,

With slaughter red.

Saul never raised his arm in vain,

His sword still glutted with the slain.

How lovely! O, how pleasant! when

They lived with men!

Than eagles swifter, stronger far

Than lions are;

Whom love in life so strongly tied,

The stroke of death could not divide.

Sad Israel’s daughters, weep for Saul;

Lament his fall,

Who fed you with the earth’s increase,

And crowned with peace;

With robes of Tyrian purple decked,

And gems which sparkling light reflect.

How are thy worthies by the sword

Of war devoured!

O Jonathan! the better part

Of my torn heart!

The savage rocks have drunk thy blood:

My brother! O, how kind! how good!

Thy love was great; O, never more

To man man bore!

No woman when most passionate

Loved at that rate!

How are the mighty fallen in fight!

They and their glory, set in night!