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Thou seest, O King, how night envelopes us;
Amidst its perils, whom must we pursue ?
The son of Jesse is a man of war,
Old in the field, hardened to danger, skilled
In every wile and stratagem; the night
More welcome than the day. Each mountain path
He treads instinctive as the ibex; sleeps,
Moistened with cold dank drippings of the rock,
As underneath the canopy. Some den
Will be his bed to-night.

No hunter knows
Like him, the caverns, cliffs, and treacherous passes ;
Familiar to his feet, in former days,
As 'twixt the Court and Tabernacle! What !
Know ye not how his great heart swells in danger
Like the old lion's from his lair by Jordan
Rising against the strong? Beware of him by night,
While anger chafes him. Never hope
Surprisal. While we talk, they lurk in ambush,

. Expectant of their prey ; the Cherethites, And those blood-thirsty Gittites crouch around him, Like evening wolves ; fierce Joab darts his eyes, Keen as the leopard's, out into the night, And curses our delay; Abishai raves; Benaiah, Ittai, and the Tachmonite, And they, the mighty three, who broke the host Of the Philistines, and from Bethlehem well Drew water, when the King but thirsted, now, Raven like beasts bereaved of their young.We

e go not after boys, but the Gibborim, Whose bloody weapons never struck but triumphed.

Malchi. It were a doubtful quest.
Hush. Hear


O King. Go not to-night, but summon, with the dawn, Israel's ten thousands; mount thy conquering car, Surrounded by innumerable hosts, And go, their strength, their glory, and their King, Almighty to the battle ; for what might Can then resist thee? Light upon this handful, Like dew upon the earth; or if they bar Some city's gates against thee, let the people Level its puny ramparts, stone by stone, And cast them into Jordan. Thus, my lord May bind his crown with wreaths of victory, And owe his kingdom to no second arm.

Ahith. O blindness! Lunacy!

Hush. I would retire ; Ye have my counsel.

Ahith. Would thou hadst not come,
To linger out with thy pernicious talk
The hours of action.

Hush. Wise Ahithophel,
No longer I'll offend thee. Please the King

[ABSALOM waves him to resume his seat.]
Ahith. By all your hopes, my lord, of life and glory,
I do adjure thee shut thine ears to him !
His counsel's fatal, if not treacherous.
I see its issue, clearly as I see
The badge of royalty,—not long to sit
Where now it sparkles, if his words entice thee.-
Never was prudence in my tongue, or now.-
Blanch'd as I am, weak, withered, winter-stricken,
Grant but twelve thousand men, and I'll go forth.
Weary, weak-handed, what can they, if taken,
Now, in their first alarm ?

Ab. Were this resolved,
We would not task thy age. What think ye, sirs ?

Manass. My lord, the risk is great: a night assault
Deprives us of advantage from our numbers,
Which in the open field ensure success;
And news of a disaster blown about,
And magnified, just now, when all are trembling,
Might lose a Tribe, might wound us fatally.
Hushai's advice appears most prudent.

Ahith. Fate!
Malchi. I think so too, my lord.
Others. And I. And I.
Ahith. Undone !

Ab. The Council are agreed, this once,
Against you, and with them the King accords.

Ahith. (Stretching his hands toward ABSALOM.) Against thyself, thy throne, thy life, thy all! Darkness has entered thee, confusion waits thee, Death brandishes his dart at thee, and grins At thy brief diadem !-Farewell ! Farewell !Remember me !I'll not be checked and rated, Branded with treason-see my hoary hairs Hooted and scoffed at, if they're spared, indeed, For such indignity. Thou'lt follow soon. [Exit.]

Ab. Or win or lose, we walk not by thy light.

Malchi. The old man's strangely moved.

Manass. His fury seemed

Ab. The Council is dissolved,
Here to assemble in the morning early,
To order for our absence. Leave us now
To private business.

Counsellors. Save our lord the King.' While these things are going on, Tamar, shocked at her father's crime, escapes from her apartments, is rescued in the streets from violence by two ancient Jews, and is conducted by them to the temple, which she had been seeking as a place of safety. She is torn from the sanctuary, however, by Hadad, and brought back, as we are left to suppose, to her father. Just before the battle, Absalom places her under the care of Hadad, with an injunction that he should keep aloof from the turmoil, and if the fortune of the day declared for David, that he should bear her away to the palace of his old friend Talmai, king of Geshur. After this we see no more of the contending parties, but have an account of the fight from some who witness it. It is waged in the forest of Ephraim; in one part of which we are introduced to the peaceful tents of a company of Ishmaelites. Women are seen under the trees, and one is singing before the door of her tent. Presently a man comes in, with the intelligence that two mighty hosts are joining battle ; and soon after Tamar, pale and fatigued, and conducted by Hadad, craves and receives the shelter and hospitality of the tent. Then we have an exceedingly animated description of the battle, given by several of the Ishmaelites, as they enter, one after another, from the field, laden with the spoil of the slain. Abimelech, the master of the tent, returns last of all, and relates the deseat of the rebels, and the death of Absalom.

Abim. He fled upon a mule, and disappeared,
And had escaped I thought, though hotly followed,
Taking the wood when met upon the plain.
But as I crossed the forest far within,
A trumpet roused me. Hearing earnest voices,
I made that way, through a close brake, to spy
The danger. Near the thicket's verge, I saw
A concourse round an oak. Intent they seemed

On some great spectacle. Opening anon,
I saw him, bleeding, and transpierced with darts,
Borne past me on their shields.

Had. What was his vesture ?
Abim. Fragments of purple hung about his shoulders.
Had. His arms? his helm ?

Abim. Unbelm’d his head, and bare ;
His breastplate sparkled, studded, and engrailed
With flowers of gold, pure burnish of Damascus.

Had. His stature

Abim. Palm-like tall, of noblest aspect ;
With ample locks that trailed upon the ground.

Had. 'Let Hades rise to meet him reverently,
For not a Kingly Shadow there sustained
A prouder spirit.

Abim. I have watched
His dauntless bearing through this desperate day
Too keenly to mistake. Though he miscarried,
He well deserves a valiant memory,
And fought it like a son of David.'

Hadad conceals from the guard who accompany him, the fate of their master Absalom, and sends them forth in pursuit of him. He then leaves the Ishmaelite's tent with Tamar, under pretence of pursuing their journey to a place of safety, but in reality for the purpose of obtaining undisturbed possession of her. In a dark and solitary wood, he addresses her by every possible argument, wbich be thinks may prevail on her to yield herself up to his power and protection. On her persisting in her resolution to return to her grandfather David, he begins to reveal his real nature, and promises her the gift of immortality, if she will but authorise the act by one consenting word. Instead of being dazzled, the princess becomes terrified, and Hadad, dismissing all caution, unfolds to her his character, and the whole course of his love. He tells her, that the first time he saw her, himself invisible, was when she returned with her father Absalom from Geshur, that he was satisfied with gazing on her and being near her, till the young Syrian, the real Hadad, won her affections; that he then first knew "Hell's agonies, and writhed in fire, and felt the scorpion's sting ;' but yet he did not harm his rival, who was killed by some outlaws while hunting among the mountains; that he then assumed his

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body, and since that time had worn it, braving all the consequences of the deed for her love. Several striking circumstances are introduced, but we will not mar this highly wrought and terrible scene by transcribing them. To conclude our abstract of the story, Tamar, resisting the advances of her infernal suitor, and calling on God for aid, is dragged into a cave.

A party of David's soldiers, who happen to be near, hasten to the spot; but aid of another kind had arrived before them. One of them, who had entered the cave, rushes out in an agony of terror, and gives the following answer to his companions, who ask him what he saw.

One like the Cherubim,
Dreadfully glistering, wing'd, and dazzling bright
As lightning, whose fierce-bickering eyeballs shot
Sparkles like arrows, filling all the cave
With red effulgence,--smiting with grasp'd beams
A howling, withering, ghast, demoniac shape,
Crouched like a venomous reptile,-rage and fear
Gleaning in his fell eyes,—who curs'd and gnash'd
And yelled, till death's last livid agony.'

Tamar, of course, is rescued, and the withered body of Hadad, dispossessed of the foul spirit, is left upon the ground.

An observable characteristic of this poem is the equal tenor of its composition. There is nothing in it which is mean, or inconsistent with the dignity of the subject; with the exception of one incident, which we shall notice presently. In one of his other performances, 'The Judgment,' Mr Hillhouse was equally remarkable for the almost presumptuous nature of his theme, and for the reputable manner in which he bore himself through it. If we compare the two productions, we sball find quite as much genius and poetic talent displayed in the Judgment as in Hadad ; but in the latter there is more maturity, greater ease, and an increased capacity expressed for a long sustained flight.

Mr Hillhouse is a careful writer. He observes all the proprieties of place, time, and character. In perusing Hadad, we were struck with his constant adherence to historical and geographical truth, and his continual allusions to the customs, manners, events, and superstitions of the people among whom he had laid his scene. His dramatis personæ are not mere

VOL. XXII.-NO. 50.


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