Judith: A sacred drama. As it is performed at the Theatre Royal in Drury-Lane. The music composed by Dr. Arne.
Bickerstaff, Isaac, 1735-1812.
OZIAS, CHARMIS, JUDITH, ABRA.
Great are thy Works, O God! and wonderful
The Mercy which thou shewest the Sons of Men.
Daughter proceed, how scap'st thou undefiled?
When we were left together in the Tent,
There Holofernes lay, stupid with Wine:
Then came the Spirit of the Lord upon me,
And drawing from his Sheath his shining Faulchion
I smote him twice, and strook away his Head.
Which when my faithful Abra had received,
We pass'd unquestioned 'till we reach'd Bithulia.
Blessed art thou, O Judith, among Women.
What thou hast wrought to-day for Israel
Shall be remembered to thy Praise for ever.
'Mongst Heroes and Sages recorded,
Thou fairest and foremost shall shine;
For Fame is the Meed that's awarded,
To recompence Virtue like thine.
Page 18Whilst Men in a just Admiration
Of Wisdom and Valour agree.
So long every Age every Nation
Shall hallow a Laurel to thee.
JUDITH, OZIAS, CHARMIS, ABRA, Chorus.
Behold, my Brethren, how the Lord hath smitten
By a weak Woman's Hand, thine Enemy.
Here, take his Head, and hang it on the Walls,
Gird every Man his Sword upon his Thigh,
And feign yourselves preparing all for Battle.
The Assyrians will perceive ye are in motion,
And straitway call their General, Holofernes;
But no Cries wake the Dead; then shall they fear
And fly before you, while you thunder down,
And overthrow them with a mighty Slaughter.
O Lord, our God! tremendous rise,
In Battle dreadful mount the Storm;
Before thy Face while Vengeance flies,
Thy wrathful Mandates to perform,
And blast thy Enemies
In thine Anger hot and fierce,
Melt their Hearts, their Hopes disperse;
Sweep their Bands like Chaff away,
And cast them to the Dogs a Prey.
Chorus of Israelites.
Who can Jehovah's Wrath abide,
Who from his searching Fury hide,
He lifts his Arm in Ire;
Hell shrinks from the impending Stroke,
The Hills recede, the Mountains smoke,
Earth trembles, Heaven's on fire.
Israelitish Priests, Men, Women, Elders.
Daughters of Sion, hear ye what is done?
How Judith with the Damsel her Companion
Has brought Destruction and Reproach on Assur.
Take Branches in your Hands, and crown'd with Garlands,
In Triumph let us bear them through the City.
Well hast thou said. Prepare a solemn Feast
And high Rejoicing, for no less is due
To God, and his elected Members.
No more the Heathen shall blaspheme,
O Lord of Hosts! thy holy Name,
In their polluted Place;
No more elate with impious Pride,
Thy sacred Sabbath shall deride.
Or vex thy chosen Race.
Breath the Pipe, the Timbrel sound,
Strew the Olive, strew the Bays;
In grateful Songs rejoice,
Let every Hand and every Voice,
Join in matchless Judith's Praise.
Breath the Pipe, the Timbrels sound, &c.
The Victor on his lofty Seat,
By shouting Crouds proclaim'd the Great,
Exulting Pleasure feels;
While Spoils of Kings in Battle slain,
And captive Troops, a numerous Train
Surround his Chariot Wheels.
But weak the Joys th' ambitious Prize,
To those which round the Patriot rise,
And in his Soul prevail;
While thus a grateful People sav'd,
By Toils endur'd and Dangers brav'd,
Their Friend and Champion hail.
JUDITH, ABRA, Israelites.
Israel, for Shame!—What, are ye like the Heathen,
To give the Glory of God's Works to Man?
Proceed no farther with this Prophanation—adore Jehovah.
Not unto us, but to his Name,
The Praise, the Thanks bestow;
Who form'd above the starry Frame,
And sunk the Deeps below.
Who gave the Seasons Day and Night
By Turns to rise and fall;
Who out of Shade created Light,
And out of nothing all.
OZIAS, ABRA, Israelites.
Israel rejoice! thy Horn is now exalted.
From hence we may descry th' Assyrian Host
In wild Disorder, this and that Way flying.—
They cast away their Arms, and leave their Camps
A Spoil to our victorious Countrymen.
O bless'd Event! the Tempest is dispers'd
Which threatened to o'erwhelm the House of David,
And now the Sun of Peace shall rise upon us.
On thy Borders, O Jordan, again shall be seen,
Rich Industry leading gay Plenty along;
The Pipe of the Shepherds shall wake on each Green,
Every Grove shall resound with the Nightingales Song.
SCENE the Last.
OZIAS, CHARMIS, JUDITH, ABRA, Israelites.
Here, O ye Sons of Jacob, let us rest!
Yet since God heard you, when in sore Affliction
Ye sung a Hymn in Honour to his Name,
Joyful repeat it now; for to his Ear
Such Songs of Praise and Piety are sweet.
In grateful Clouds to Heaven they ascend
And fall again in Blessings on Mankind.
Chorus of Israelites.
Hear, Angels hear! celestial Choirs,
In Raptures catch your golden Lyres,
With us your Voices raise;
To him the first and last be given,
In lowest Earth, in highest Heav'n,
All Glory, Pray'r and Praise.