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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/427

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393
SONG OF SAUL BEFORE HIS LAST BATTLE.

Such are mine; and such shall be
Thine to-morrow, when with me:
Ere the coming day is done,
Such shalt thou be—such thy Son.
Fare thee well, but for a day,
Then we mix our mouldering clay.
Thou—thy race, lie pale and low,
Pierced by shafts of many a bow;
And the falchion by thy side
To thy heart thy hand shall guide:
Crownless—breathless—headless fall,
Son and Sire—the house of Saul!"[1]

Seaham, Feb., 1815.


SONG OF SAUL BEFORE HIS LAST BATTLE.

I.

Warriors and chiefs! should the shaft or the sword
Pierce me in leading the host of the Lord,
Heed not the corse, though a King's, in your path:[2]
Bury your steel in the bosoms of Gath!


II.

Thou who art bearing my buckler and bow,[3]
Should the soldiers of Saul look away from the foe,

  1. ["Since we have spoken of witches," said Lord Byron at Cephalonia, in 1823, "what think you of the witch of Endor? I have always thought this the finest and most finished witch-scene that ever was written or conceived; and you will be of my opinion, if you consider all the circumstances and the actors in the case, together with the gravity, simplicity, and dignity of the language."—Conversations on Religion with Lord Byron, by James Kennedy, M.D., London, 1830, p. 154.]
  2. Heed not the carcase that lies in your path.—[MS. Copy (1).]
  3. —— my shield and my bow,
    Should the ranks of your king look away from the foe.—[MS.]