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“ And thou, by one of those still lakes
That in a shining cluster lie,
The image of the sky,
56 And thou dost wait and watch to meet
My spirit sent to join the blessed, And, wondering what detains
ODE FOR AN AGRICULTURAL CELEBRATION.
FAR back in the ages,
The plough with wreaths was crowned;
Entwined the chaplet round;
By which the world was nourished,
Where green their laurels flourished:
The guilt that stains her story ;
That formed her earliest glory.
The proud throne shall crumble,
The diadem shall wane,
The pride of those who reign ;
The fame that heroes cherish,
The glory earned in deadly fray
Shall fade, decay, and perish. Honour waits, o'er all the Earth,
Through endless generations, The art that calls her harvests forth,
And feeds the expectant nations.
And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord; and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of the harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley-harvest.
And Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until the water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest upon them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.
2 SAMUEL, xxi. 10.
HEAR what the desolate Rizpah said,
The low, heart-broken, and wailing strain
“I have made the crags my home, and spread On their desert backs my sackcloth bed; I have eaten the bitter herb of the rocks, And drunk the midnight dew in my locks ; I have wept till I could not weep, and the pain Of my burning eyeballs went to my brain. Seven blackened corpses before me lie, In the blaze of the sun and the winds of the sky. I have watched them through the burning day, And driven the vulture and raven away; And the cormorant wheeled in circles round, Yet feared to alight on the guarded ground. And when the shadows of twilight came, I have seen the hyena's eyes of flame, And heard at my side his stealthy tread, But aye at my shout the savage fled: And I threw the lighted brand to fright The jackal and wolf that yelled in the night.
“ Ye were foully murdered, my hapless sons, By the hands of wicked and cruel ones; Ye fell, in your fresh and blooming prime, All innocent, for your father's crime.