61. David and Jonathan

"Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the
 love of women."

  O HEART of fire! misjudged by wilful man,

     Thou flower of Jesse's race!
What woe was thine, when thou and Jonathan
     Last greeted face to face!
He doom'd to die, thou on us to impress
The portent of a blood-stain'd holiness.

Yet it was well:—for so, 'mid cares of rule
     And crime's encircling tide,
A spell was o'er thee, zealous one, to cool
     Earth-joy and kingly pride;
With battle-scene and pageant, prompt to blend
The pale calm spectre of a blameless friend.
Ah! had he lived, before thy throne to stand,
     Thy spirit keen and high
Sure it had snapp'd in twain love's slender band,
     So dear in memory;
Paul, of his comrade reft, the warning gives,—
He lives to us who dies, he is but lost who lives.

Lazaret, Malta
January 16, 1833.

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