Davids Lamentation for Saul, and Jonathan, 2 Sam. 1.19
By Anne Bradstreet

Transcription, correction, editorial commentary, and markup by Staff and Research Assistants at The University of Virginia, John O'Brien, Sara Brunstetter


American Colonies : original publisher, 1678 Our texts are taken from the Text Creation Partnership's digital edition of "Several poems compiled with great variety of wit and learning, full of delight, wherein especially is contained a compleat discourse, and description of the four elements constitutions, ages of man, seasons of the year. : Together with an exact epitome of the three first monarchyes viz. the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian. And beginning of the Romane Common-Wealth to the end of their last king: with diverse other pleasant & serious poems, by a gentlewoman in New-England," published in Boston in 1678.

Editorial Statements

Research informing these annotations draws on publicly-accessible resources, with links provided where possible. Annotations have also included common knowledge, defined as information that can be found in multiple reliable sources. If you notice an error in these annotations, please contact lic.open.anthology@gmail.com.

Original spelling and capitalization is retained, though the long s has been silently modernized and ligatured forms are not encoded.

Hyphenation has not been retained, except where necessary for the sense of the word.

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Materials have been transcribed from and checked against first editions, where possible. See the Sources section.

Literature in context University of Virginia Department of English P. O. Box 400121 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4121 jobrien@virginia.edu


Bradstreet, Anne. Davids Lamentation for Saul, and Jonathan, 2 Sam. 1.19, original publisher, 1678 . Literature in Context: An Open Anthology. http://anthology.lib.virginia.edu/work/Bradstreet/bradstreet-davids. Accessed: 2024-05-26T15:09:21.088Z
Davids Lamentation for Saul, and Jonathan, 2 Sam. 1.19n001n001 In this passage from the Bible, David mourns the loss of King Saul of Israel and his son, Jonathan, who died during the battle of Mount Gilboa against the Philistines. Source: King James Bible Anne Bradstreet 1Alas, slaine is the head of Israel, 2Illustrious Saul, whose beauty did excell 3Upon thy places, mountan'ous and high, 4How did the mighty fall and falling dye? 5In Gathn002n002Gath and Ashkelon were two of the five major cities of the Philistines. Source: Encyclopedia Britannica, let not this thing be spoken on, 6Nor published in the streets of Askelon, 7Lest Daughters of the Philistinsn003n003The Philistines were a non-Semitic people that resided in Canaan and posed a significant threat to the Israelites. Source: Encyclopedia Brittanica rejoyce, 8Lest the uncircumcis'd lift up their voycen004n004 David does not want word of the Israelites' defeat at Mount Gilboa to reach the Philistines, who will revel in the death of Judah's king.: 9O! Gilbo Mountsn005n005Mount Gilboa is a range of mountains located in the Jezreel Valley in modern-day northern Israel. Source: Encyclopedia Britannica, let never pearled dew, 10Nor fruitfull showres your barren tops bestrew, 11Nor fields of offerings e're on you grow, 12Nor any pleasant thing e're may you show; 13For the mighty ones did soone decay, 14The Shield of Saul was vilely cast away; 15There had his dignity so sore a foylen006n006A repulse, defeat in an onset or enterprise; a baffling check. Source: Oxford English Dictionary , 16As if his head ne're felt the sacred Oylen007n007"Then Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on his [Saul's] head, kissed him and said, 'Has not the LORED anointed you ruler over his inheritance?'" Source: 1 Sam. 10:1: 17Sometimes from crimson, blood of gastly slaine, 18The bow of Jonathonn008n008Jonathan was the son of Saul and a close friend of David, who made a loyalty pact with him in 1 Sam. 1:42 Source: King James Bible ne're turned in vaine, 19Nor from the fat, and spoyles, of mighty men, 20Did Saul with bloodlesse Sword turne back agenn009n009Both Saul and Jonathan were mighty warriors; while they used different weapons, they both wielded them successfully in battle. . 21Pleasant and lovely were they both in life, 22And in their deaths was found no parting strifen010n010Despite Jonathan's loyalty to David and Saul's jealousy, Saul and Jonathan were united at the battle and united in death.; 23Swifter than swiftest Eagles, so were they, 24Stronger than Lions, ramping for their prey. 25O Israels Dames, o're-flow your beauteous eyes, 26For valiant Saul, who on Mount Gilbo lyes; 27Who cloathed you in cloath of richest dye, 28And choyce delights, full of variety. 29On your array put ornaments of goldn011n011David reflects on only the positive qualities of Saul, including the prosperity of Judah under his reign., 30Which made you yet more beauteous to behold. 31O! how in battell did the mighty fall, 32In mid'st of strength not succouredn012n012 To help, assist, or aid. Source: Oxford English Dictionary at all: 33O! lovely Jonathan, how wert thou slaine, 34In places high, full low thou dost remaine; 35Distrest I am, for thee, dear Jonathan, 36Thy love was wonderfull, passing a man; 37Exceeding all the Love that's Femininen013n013David compares the closeness of his friendship with Johnathan to the intimacy and loyalty experienced within marriage. Johnathan accepted David's destiny to become king, and remained loyal to him even after the reproach of his father., 38So pleasant hast thou been, dear brother mine: 39How are the mighty falne into decay, 40And war-like weapons perished away.