Colin F. Jones

DAVID AND GOLIATH

On the mountainside in fine array,
Massed the Philistine troops for war,
They had gathered at Shochoh that day,
Camped at Ephis-dammim; a great hoard.

In the Valley of Elah camped Saul,
With the Israelites ready to fight,
They had responded to the warriors’ call,
Now they milled together in might.

Goliath of Gath was a Champion,
Who stood nearly ten feet high.
He wore a helmet of brass,
With chain mail down to his thigh.

He wore plates of brass on his legs,
Between his shoulders the brass of his shield,
Like a weavers beam was the staff of his spear,
Steel headed for war in the field.

Beside him his shield bearer walked,
Hampered by its terrible weight,
As on mountains each side of the valley,
The two armies formed up to partake,

“Why have you come,” shouted Goliath,
“To set your armies in battle array?
Are you not the servants of Saul?
Who challenge the Philistines this day? “

“Send thee thy bravest to meet me,
In battle to determine the quest,
If they slay me the Philistines will serve,
Saul as the greater and best.”

“Ay, though if you in this battle do lose,
Succumbed to the mightier sword,
It leaves you one option to choose,
To serve the Philistine hoard!! “

Fear draped its robe over Saul,
And entered the hearts of his men,
What foul fate on them would befall,
Of forty days there were left but ten.

David had left the court of King Saul,
To go home to his father’s sheep,
To feed them and tend to them all
At Bethlehem with water and wheat.

His three elder brothers were soldiers,
Israelites serving their King,
Each with a burden to shoulder,
Each serving and doing their thing

To his son David, Jesse then said,
“Take a measure of this parched grain;
Ten loaves take thee of bread,
To ease their hunger and pain.”

“To their captain take ten of our cheeses,
And ask how your brothers do fare,
That there service to the commander pleases,
That at risk of their lives they dare.

David left, (a keeper tending the sheep),
To do the bidding of Jesse his sire,
Leaving early with the morning suns peep,
Its eye filled with a glowing red fire.

He arrived as the forces were moving
Through the valley to wage their war,
All in their hearts disapproving,
As they heard Goliath’s great roar.

The Israelites fled in terrible fear,
None would dare face this giant man,
Who challenged all who could hear,
“Come vanquish me if you can”

“Who is this Heathen from Palestine,
Who Challenges the living God,
Challenges all that’s divine,
Born of the sacred sod?”

Said David who heard what was said,
By the Israel warriors nearby,
Seeing how there horrified hearts bled,
How some of them stooped down to cry.

But Eliab, David’s eldest brother,
Kindled in him a rage,
“Why have you come here to bother,
Just to watch as we the war wage?”

But King Saul sent for the boy,
Who boldly said he would fight,
Goliath the Philistine heathen,
Regardless of his strength and his might

“Your servant kept his father’s sheep,
And a lion came; and a bear,
Taking a lamb from the flock,
Back to its foul lair.”

“But I followed the Lion,” said David,
“And struck it down to the ground,
Rescued the lamb from its jaws,
For God in my heart I found.”

“I followed also the bear
For the Lord gave me the will;
Determined its cowardly lair
Where it lies slain and still.”

Saul offered his Armour to David,
Who politely cast it aside,
“Your sword is too heavy to slay with,
And your armour but shortens my stride.”

“I carry with me my staff”
(And bending he picked up five stones)
“That shone on the bed of a brook.”
(Fragments of a great mountains bones).

He placed them inside his bag,
And held in his hand his sling,
Not long would the Shepherd's bag sag,
And soon Saul and his army would sing.

He walked slowly towards his foe,
And stopped when Goliath approached,
His bearer in front of his toe,
In the manner in which he was coached.

Said Goliath, “Am I a dog?
That you would fight against me with sticks?
You come to me as a feast for the hogs;
For the fowls to nourish their chicks”

“You come to me carrying a sword,
With a spear and a…… shield,
But I come with the word of the Lord,
For it is God’s power I wield.”

Said David, “It is God whom you challenge,
It is God, who will strike you down,
From your body your head he will pillage,
Your armaments will be scattered around.”

With a roar Goliath strode forward,
Slashing violently with his sword,
But David retreated un-slaughtered,
As a great sigh from the hoards was heard.

David reached in his bag for a stone,
Into the sling it fitted so neat,
As he swung it, it emitted a drone;
With this stone the Giant he’d beat.

Like a bolt from Heaven it flew,
Through the dust of the air it sped,
His aim was perfectly true,
Striking Goliath between the two eyes of his head.

The giant crashed to the ground and was dead,
And David took the sword from his hand,
Cut off Goliaths great head,
His fame spreading all over the land.

For now, enough…