The First and Second Chapters of the First Book of Samuel Versified.
1 O! that some Heavenly Seraph wou'd inspire,
2 And warm my Soul with an Immortal Fire;
3 The Muse shou'd in Celestial numbers Sing,
4 The praise of Sion's rock, and Israel's King,
5 Who did of old display his Glorious Grace,
6 To Abraham's seed, and Jacob's chosen race.
7 His Mighty Power, and outstretched hand,
8 Gave them possession of a goodly land.
9 No crowned King did over them bear Sway,
10 Judges, and Governors, they did obey;
11 His Providence, and his peculiar care,
12 Renowned Captains did for them prepare.
13 But So ungrateful Israel's Sons did prove,
14 They oft abus'd his Grace, forgot his love.
15 Until provok'd by their iniquities,
16 Philistines arms the Rebels did chastize,[Page 43]
17 Yet of his tender mercy did provide,
18 A faithful Prophet and courageous Guide;
19 That might the People's hearts, and minds prepare.
20 To Worship him with reverential fear;
21 And by his own Example daily Shew
22 Them, how to put in practice what they knew.
23 A certain Levite, in those days we find,
24 At Ramah liv'd, which to Mount Ephraim join'd;
25 Who had himself, and Household set apart,
26 To serve his Maker with a willing heart.
27 Two Wives he had, the one a virtuous Dame,
28 Descreet, and Wise, and Hannah was her Name;
29 Whose fair, and lovely body did enshrine,
30 A Pious Soul with qualities Divine,
31 Her virtue did her Husbands love insure,
32 And from all People due respect procure,
33 Only her Rival cou'd not her endure.
34 And what increas'd Peninnah's haughty Pride,
35 The Lord had children unto her deny'd,
36 The Feasts that were to Israelites enjoind,
37 This Levite Still observ'd with zealous mind:
38 And did to Shilo, ev'ry Year repair,
39 For God had fix'd his Tabernacle there;
40 To offer sacrifice was his design,
41 And Worship at the fixed place and time:[Page 44]
42 And when he this August Assembly join'd,
43 His Loving Consorts never Stay'd behind.
44 Hophni and Phinehas, both as Priests appear,
45 The wicked Offspring of a Stock Sincere;
46 Whose vile Example had pernicious been,
47 In Tempting Abraham's chosen race to Sin.
48 Elkanah Still, in these degenerate times,
49 Observes the Law, laments the Reigning crimes;
50 Frequents the Feasts, and with an honest mind,
51 Due portions to his Family assign'd:
52 But unto Hannah gave the chiefest part,
53 Because her Virtuous carriage gain'd his heart.
54 This did Peninnah's spite, and rage inflame,
55 With Galling words, she urg'd the Pious Dame;
56 As if neglected by the God of Heav'n,
57 Because he yet to her no Child had given.
58 Year after Year she did her thus upbraid,
59 And what She cou'd to grieve, and vex her said,
60 Whose noble Soul was soaring far above,
61 And following ways of Peace and perfect love;
62 To Israel's God alone, she did complain,
63 Of her illnatur'd Rival's proud disdain,
64 And to the Heav'nly Throne herself addrest,
65 With sighs and Tears that cannot be exprest. [Page 45]
66 Intreating him that reigns on high, that She,
67 The happy Mother of a Son might be,
68 And if she could that happiness obtain,
69 She wou'd resign him to the Lord again;
70 That all his life he shou'd at Shilo Spend
71 And on the Publick worship still attend.
72 While thus She did disclose her pain and Grief
73 To him, who able was to grant relief,
74 No Friend on Earth was privy to her moan,
75 Unto pure Omniscience She pray'd alone.
76 Her voice not heard, only her lips did move,
77 Which made old Ely sharply her reprove,
78 As if the Virtuous Dame, at that Divine
79 And Holy Feast, had been oe'rcome with Wine:
80 But when with flowing Tears she let him know,
81 She was oppress'd, and overwhelm'd with woe,
82 The Priest to comfort her himself addrest,
83 Pray'd Israel's God to grant her, her request.
84 The days of Solemn Feasting being Spent,
85 Elkanah with his Wives to Ramah went,
86 And e'er the Sun his Annual Race had run,
87 The joyful Mother did embrace a Son;
88 And as the Gift of God this worthy Dame
89 Did him receive, And Samuel call'd his Name;[Page 46]
90 Asked of God, by which She did declare
91 To all Mankind, how great his Mercies are.
92 And with a grateful Heart, in Person She
93 Attended on him, in his Infancy;
94 With kind affection, and a Parents Joy,
95 Her Pliant Arms enfolds the lovely Boy.
96 Some Years expir'd, And the Child being grown,
97 The Pious Matron with her little Son
98 Led by Elkanah, unto Shilo went,
99 And there to Ely doth her Son present:
100 To him, And to the Congregated Tribes
101 Declar'd his goodness who oe'r Earth presides.
102 There to his chosen People did proclaim,
103 The Praises due to his Eternal Name,
104 Who heard her cries, and granted her request.
105 Her grateful tongue those joyful words Exprest,
106 My heart and soul doth in the Lord rejoice,
107 Who heard the sighing of his Hand-maids voice;
108 My glory, and my Strength he doth appear,
109 What cause have I the Race of man to fear?
110 I am exalted by the God of Love,
111 My Mouth enlarg'd by him, who reigns above,
112 He makes me o'er mine Enemies rejoice,
113 In his Salvation I exert my voice. [Page 47]
114 Most pure and holy is his Mighty Name,
115 There's none beside him can perfection claim:
116 And when in deep distress there is not one
117 Can be our refuge, but our God alone.
118 O! lay your haughty Arrogance aside,
119 The God of Israel will correct your Pride,
120 He knows our Hearts, the Proud he doth despise,
121 But humble Souls are precious in his eyes;
122 While those who glory in their Strength and might,
123 By his all conqu'ring Arm are put to Flight.
124 Yet they, that in his Truth and Mercy trust,
125 Shall find a God both tender, kind, and just;
126 She that was barren, his praises shall prolong
127 Whose love fires my breast and joy swells my Song.
128 He is the Lord Supream of life and Death,
129 When brought to Dust he can restore our breath,
130 From abject State can raise unto a Throne,
131 The Earth with all its Kingdoms are his own,
132 'Tis he protects his Saints and will display,
133 His Sov'reign Grace to keep them in the way;
134 But from his hands the Slaves of vice shall share
135 Woes, scenes of Death, horror, and despair,
136 Destruction Shall his Enemies attend,
137 Amazing Thunder he from Heav'n will send;
138 His Judgments shall upon the Earth appear
139 That Men may learn, Almighty Jove to fear;[Page 48]
140 The just shall live, uplifted by his Arm
141 Untouch'd by danger, and dreadless of harm.
142 The Worthy Matron having pay'd her vows
143 With raptur'd Heart returns unto her House.
144 And Israel's God that reigns enthron'd on high,
145 Did bless her with a num'rous Progeny.
146 Samuel proves, even in his Infant days
147 A Miracle of God's Stupendous Grace!
148 While Hophni and Phinehas both in Sin grow bold,
149 Scorning to be by God, or Man control'd;
150 Their Country's curse, their Father's grief and Shame
151 Against their House, the word to Samuel came,
152 The Judge and Priest before him must appear,
153 And from a blooming Youth compell'd to hear
154 Sentence pronounc'd, most grievous and Severe;
155 No Sacrifice can Purge their guilt away
156 Their lives and Honours for their Crimes must pay.
157 Now Israel's Chiefs and Elders plainly See,
158 Samuel a Prophet by the Lords decree;
159 And Jacob's Sons approach with Rev'rend Awe
160 While he pronounces God's Eternal Law:
161 His Missions plain, his Visions full and clear
162 His words like Oracles remembred are[Page 49]
163 When for their Sins their foes did them invade,
164 He to Repentance did the Tribes persuade:
165 And by his Prayers, and Devotion true,
166 Brought Thunder down, Philistines to Subdue:
167 And honour'd was by God's express command,
168 To chuse a King to rule his chosen Land;
169 Yet in Pathetick Speeches let them know
170 The Arbitrary ways that Saul wou'd go.
171 And when that King the Lord's command had broke,
172 In Sparing Agag from his Vengeful Stroke,
173 Samuel was Sent and to the Monarch's Face,
174 Boldly declar'd the Lord wou'd him displace.
175 Yet for his King most earnestly did pray
176 That God wou'd turn his Burning Wrath away,
177 Untill forbid. Then God did him appoint,
178 His own peculiar David to Anoint,
179 From whom by God's Decree in time shou'd spring,
180 The Prince of Peace, the Everlasting King,
181 That Jew and Gentile to one fold Shou'd bring.