English poetry

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Where Is David, the Next King of Israel?

Where Is David, the Next King of Israel?

Where is David? . . . O God’s people,
Saul has passed, the good and great.
Mourn for Saul the first-anointed –
Head and shoulders o’er the state.

He was found among the Prophets:
Judge and monarch, merged in one.
But the wars of Saul are ended
And the works of Saul are done.

Where is David, ruddy shepherd,
God’s boy-king for Israel?
Mystic, ardent, dowered with beauty,
Singing where still waters dwell?

Prophet, find that destined minstrel
Wandering on the range to-day,
Driving sheep and crooning softly
Psalms that cannot pass away.

“David waits,” the prophet answers,
“In a black notorious den,
In a cave upon the border
With four hundred outlaw men.

“He is fair, and loved of women,
Mighty-hearted, born to sing:
Thieving, weeping, erring, praying,
Radiant royal rebel-king.

“He will come with harp and psaltry,
Quell his troop of convict swine,
Quell his mad-dog roaring rascals,
Witching them with words divine –

“They will ram the walls of Zion!
They will win us Salem hill,
All for David, Shepherd David –
Singing like a mountain rill!”



Poem Where Is David, the Next King of Israel? - Vachel Lindsay