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Poem by Charles Lamb


David in the Cave of Adullam


David and his three captains bold
Kept ambush once within a hold.
It was in Adullam's cave,
Nigh which no water they could have.
Nor spring nor running brook was near
To quench the thirst that parched them there.
Then David king of Israel
Straight bethought him of a well
Which stood beside the city gate
At Bethlem: where, before his state
Of kingly dignity, he had
Oft drunk his fill, a shepherd lad.
But now his fierce Philistian foe
Encamped before it he does know.
Yet ne'er the less with heat opprest,
Those three bold captains he addrest,
And wished that one to him would bring
Some water from his native spring.
His valiant captains instantly
To execute his will did fly.
Those three brave men the ranks broke through
Of armëd foes, and water drew
For David, their belovëd king,
At his own sweet native spring.
Back through their enemies they haste,
With the hard-earned treasure graced.
What with such danger they had sought,
With joy unto their king they brought.
But when the good king David found
What they had done, he on the ground
The water poured, "Because," said he,
"That it was at the jeopardy
Of your three lives this thing ye did,
That I should drink it God forbid."



Charles Lamb


Charles Lamb's other poems:
  1. Incorrect Speaking
  2. Love, Death, and Reputation
  3. The Two Boys
  4. Beauty and the Beast
  5. Blindness


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