Deborah, Barak, Israelites, Officers and Chorus of Israelite Priests
Immortal Lord of Earth and Skies,
Whose wonders all around us rise,
Whose Anger, when it awful glows,
To swift perdition dooms thy foes;
O grant a Leader to our Host,
Whose name with Honour we may boast,
Whose conduct may our Cause maintain,
And break our proud oppressor’s chain.
O Barak! favour’d of the skies,
O son of Abinoam, rise!
Heav’n by thy arm his people saves,
And dooms our Tyrants for our slaves.
O Deborah, with wise Prediction blest,
To whom futurity stands forth confest,
Will Heav’n on me a Gift so great bestow,
And grace the meanest of his servants so?
Where do thy ardours raise me?
How shall I soar to Fame?
Shall then my conduct praise me,
And thus adorn my name?
Trust in the God that fires thee,
To vindicate his Laws;
Act now as he inspires thee,
Thou shalt revive our Cause.
Forbear thy doubts! to arms! away!
Thy God commands; do thou obey.
Since Heav’n has thus his will express’d,
Submission now becomes me best;
But ere we stand in Arms array’d,
O Prophetess, implore his Aid;
And let uniting Judah join,
To supplicate the Pow’r divine.
Soloists and Chorus
For ever to the voice of Pray’r
Jehovah lends a gracious Ear.
By that adorable decree,
That Chaos cloth’d with Symmetry;
By that resistless Pow’r that made
Refulgent brightness start from Shade;
That still’d contending Atoms’ strife,
And spake Creation into Life;
O thou supreme, transcendent Lord!
Thy Succours to our Cries accord!
O hear thy Lowly Servants’ Pray’r,
And grant them thy propitious Care.
Ye sons of Israel, cease your Fears,
Jehovah your Petition hears
The impious Chief of Canaan’s Host,
Who made our Fall his daring Boast,
Shall perish on the Crimson Sand,
Ignobly by a Woman’s Hand.
O blast, with thy tremendous brow,
The Tyrants that insult us now.
To whomsoe’er his Fate the Tyrant owes,
My breast no Pangs of pining Envy knows.
Thy Lovely Sex, O Deborah, may claim
Equal Prerogative with man in Fame;
And none, but savage Breasts alone,
Their charming merit can disown.
How Lovely is the blooming fair,
Whose Beauty virtue’s Laws refine!
She well may Claim our softest care,
For sure she almost seems divine.
Deborah and Jael
O Deborah! Where’er I turn my Eyes,
Grim scenes of war, in all their Horrors rise.
O grant me in my green Retreat,
Where Solitude has fix’d her Seat,
To live in Peace, sequester’d far,
From dire alarms and sanguine War.
Hear me then, Jael! let no fear
Of proud Hostility thy Peace impair;
For Heav’n has made thee its peculiar Care.
Thy virtue, ere the Close of Day,
Shall shine with such a bright display,
That thou shalt be, by all, confess’d
Thy Sexes Pride, divinely bless’d.
Choirs of Angels, all around thee,
Lest oppression should confound thee,
Watchful wait in radiant Throngs;
Judah’s God, array’d in splendour,
Deigns to be thy great Defender
From all meditated wrongs.
My transports are too great to tell;
On the Dear Theme I could for ever dwell.
God does not only condescend
My life from danger to defend,
But keeps for me such joys in Store,
Ambition could not ask for more.
To joy he brightens my Despair,
No rising Pangs my Peace control;
He guards me with a father’s care,
And pours his mercy on my Soul.
Abinoam, Barak and Chorus
Barak, my Son, the joyful sound
Of acclamations all around,
Gives me to know the glorious Weight of Cares
God for thy fortitude prepares.
Swift may thy virtue Judah’s hope outrun,
And make thy Father boast of such a Son.
Awake the ardour of thy Breast,
For victory, or Death, prepare;
Let all thy virtue shine confess’d,
And leave the rest to Heaven’s Care.
Should conquest crown thee in the field,
Be humble, or if Death’s thy doom,
Thy Life with resignation yield,
And crowds may envy thee thy Tomb.
I go, where Heav’n and Duty call,
Prepar’d to conquer, or to fall.
All Danger disdaining,
For Battle I glow;
thy Glory maintaining,
I’ll rush on the foe.
Though Death all around me
Stalks dreadfully pale,
No fear shall confound me,
My Cause will prevail.
Let thy deeds be glorious,
And thy hand victorious.
Deborah. Barak, Herald of the Canaanite army
My Charge is to declare
From Sisera, a Name renown’d in War,
That he with indignation knows
How you presume to be his Foes:
Yet such Compassion in his Bosom reigns,
That ere he galls ye with redoubled Chains,
He condescends to offer these your Chiefs
An Interview, that he may learn your Griefs;
And the sad waste of human Blood to save,
Will grant you all that Slaves may dare to crave.
Proud Infidel! – Go, let the boaster hear, (Infidels)
He breathes no wrath we condescend to fear.
Tell him, besides, that Judah now prepares
For Interview, or Battle, as he dares!
Hateful Man thy raptur’d Mind
Vainly swells with proud disdain,
Know that soon thy Land shall find
Vain her trust, her Triumphs vain.
My Vengeance awakes me,
Compassion forsakes me,
All Softness and Mercy away!
My Foes with Confusion
Shall find their Illusion
And tremble before me today!
Deborah, Barak, Abinoam, and Chorus of Israelite Priests
Let him approach pacific or in Rage,
We in the Cause of Liberty engage.
Whilst that bright motive in our Bosom glows,
We dread no menace, and we shun no Foes.
Cease, O Judah, cease thy Mourning,
See the Days of Bliss returning,
Yield your Hearts to cheerful Praise.
Cease, O Judah, cease thy Mourning,
Nature all her Charms assuming,
Yield your Hearts to cheerful praise,
Tell in Songs the joyful Story,
Give to God alone the Glory,
When you boast your happy Days.
Despair, all around them
Shall swiftly confound them,
Whilst Transports of joy
Our Praise shall employ.