Poetry: Lord Byron - Hebrew Melodies - Part 4 - Thy days are done - Song of Saul before his last battle - Saul - Links to more Byron

Posted by ricardo marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 7:11


Thy days are done, thy fame begun;
 Thy country's strains record
The triumphs of her chosen Son,
 The slaughters of his sword;
The deeds he did, the fields he won,
 The freedom he restored!

Though thou art fall'n, while we are free
 Thou shalt not taste of death!
The generous blood that flow'd from thee
 Disdain'd to sink beneath:
Within our veins its currents be,
 Thy spirit on our breath!

Thy name, our charging hosts along,
 Shall be the battle-word!
Thy fall, the theme of choral song
 From virgin voices pour'd!
To weep would do thy glory wrong;
 Thou shalt not be deplored.


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:
Bury your steel in the bosoms of Gath!

Thou who art bearing my buckler and bow,
Should the soldiers of Saul look away from the foe,
Stretch me that moment in blood at thy feet!
Mine be the doom which they dared not to meet.

Farewell to others, but never we part.
Heir to royalty, son of my heart!
Bright is the diadem, boundless the sway,
Or kingly the death, which awaits us to-day.


   Thou whose spell can raise the dead,
     Bid the prophet's form appear.
   "Samuel, raise thy buried head!
     King, behold the phantom seer!"

Earth yawn'd; he stood the centre of a cloud:
Light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud.
Death stood all glassy in his fixed eye;
His hand was wither'd, and his veins were dry;
His foot, in bony whiteness, glitter'd there,
Shrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare;
From lips that moved not, and unbreathing frame,
Like cavern'd winds, the hollow accents came.
Saul saw, and fell to earth, as falls the oak,
At once, and blasted by the thunder-stroke.

     "Why is my sleep disquieted?
     Who is he that calls the dead?
     Is it thou, O King?  Behold,
     Bloodless are these limbs, and cold:
     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."

Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Hebrew Melodies



Poetry: Lord Byron - Hebrew Melodies - Part 4 - Thy days are done - Song of Saul before his last battle - Saul - Links to more Byron

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