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When thine own hand, which needs must con- All clad in liveliest colours, fresh and fair queror prove,

As the bright Howers that crown'd their brighter In thisjoint cause of honour and of love,

hair; An hundred of the faithless foe shall slay, All in that new-blown age which does inspire And for a dower their hundred foreskins pay, Warmth in themselves, in their beholders fire. Be Michal thy reward: did we not know

But all this, and all else the Sun did e'er, 'Thy mighty fate, and worth that makes it so, Or Fancy see, in her less-bounded sphere, We should not cheaply that dear blood expose, The bride herself outshone; and one would say Which we to mingle with our own had chose : They made but the faint dawn to ber full day. Bur thou ’rt secure; and, since this match of Behind a numerous train of ladies went, We to the public benefit design, [thine Who on their dress much fruitless care had spent; A public good shall its beginning grace,

Vain gems, and unregarded cost, they bore, And give triumphantomens of thy race.'

For all men's eyes were ty'd to those before. * Thus spoke the king: the happy youth bow'd | The bridegroom's flourishing troop tilld next the low:

place, Modest and graceful his great joy did show; With thirty comely youths of noblest race, The noble task well pleas'd his generous mivel, That march'd before; and Heaven around his And nought t except against it could he find,

head But that his mistress' price too cheap appear'd; | The graceful beams of joy and beauty spread. No danger, but her scorn of it, he fear'd.

So the glad star, which men and angels love, She with much different sense the news receiv'd, Prince of the glorions host that shines above At her high rate she trembled, blush'd, and (No light of Heaven so chearful or so gay) griev'd;

Lifts up his sacred lamp, and opens day. 'Twas a less work the conquest of his foes, The king himself, at the tent's crowned gate, Than to obtain her leave his life t’expose. In all his robes of ceremony and state, Their kind debate on this soft point would prove Sate to receive the train ; on either hand Tedious, and needless, to repeat: if love Did the high-priest and the great prophet stand : (As sure it bas) e'er touch'd your princely Adriel, behind, Jonathan, Abner, Jesse, breast,

And all the chiefs in their due order press. 'Twill to your gentle thoughts at full suggest First Saul declar'd his choice, and the just cause All that was done, or said; the grief, hope, Avow'd by a general murmur of applause; fears;

Then sign’d her dower; and in few words he His troubled joys, and her obliging tears.

pray'd, In all the pomp of passion's reign they part; And blest, and gave the joyful, trembling maid And bright prophetic forms enlarge his heart : T'her lover's hands; who, with a cheerful look Victory and fame, and that more quick delight And humble gesture, the vast present took. Of the rich prize for which he was to fight. The nuptial-hymn straight sounds, and musics “Tow'rds Gath he went, and in one month (so

play, A fatal and a willing work is done!) (soon And feasts and balls shorten the thoughtless day A double dower, two hundred foreskins, brought To all but to the wedded ; till at last Of choice Philistian knights with whom he fought, The long-wish'd night did her kind shadow cast; Men that in birth and valour did excel,

At last th' inestimable hour was come Fit for the cause and hand by which they fell. To lead his conquering prey in triumph home. Now was Saul caught; nor longer could delay T'a palace near, drest for the nuptial-beil, The two resistless lovers' happy day. [slow, (Part of her dower) he his fair princess led; 'Though this day's coming long had seem'd and Saul, the high-priest, and Samuel, here they Yet seem'd its stay as long and tedious now;

leave, For, now the violent weight of eager love

Who, as they part, their weighty blessings give. Did with more haste so near its centre move, Her vail is now put on; and at the gate He curs'd the stops of form and state which lay The thirty youths and thirty virgins wait In this last stage, like scandals, in his way. With golden lamps, bright as the flames they bore,

"On a large gentle hill crown'd with tall wood, To light the nuptial-pomp and march before ; Near where the régal Gabaah proudly stood, The rest bring home in state the happy pair, A tent was pitch'd, of green wrought damask To that last scene of bliss, and leave them there made,

All those free joys insatiably to prove, And seem'd but the fresh forest's natural shade; With which rich Beauty feasts the glutton Love. Various and vast within, on pillars borne

“But scarce, alas! the first seven days were Of Shittim-wood, that usefully adorn,

past, Hither to grace the nuptial-feast, docs Saul In which the public nuptial triumphs last, Of the twelve tribes th: elders and captains call; When Saul this new alliance did repent And all around the idle, busy crowd

(Such subtle cares his jealous thoughts torment!) With shouts and blessings tell their joy aloud. He envy'd the good work himself had done ; Lo! the press breaks, and from their several Pear'd David less his servant than his son. homes

No longer his wild wrath could he command; In decent pride the bride and bridegroom comes. He seeks to stain his own imperial hand Before the bride, in a long double row

In his son's hlood; and, that twice cheated too, With solemn pace thirty choice virgins go, With troops and armies does one life pursue. And make a moving galaxy on Earth;

Said I but one! his thirsty rage extends All heavenly beauties, all of highest birtb ; To th' lives of all bis kindred and his friends!

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THE ARGUMENT.

says he,

Ev'n Jonathan had dy'd for being so,

Since last night's story, and with greedier ear Had not just God put-by th’ unnatural blow. The man, of whom so much he heard, did hear. “ You see, sir, the true cause which brings us The well-born youth of all his flourishing court here:

March gay behind, and joyful, to the sport; No sullen discontent, or groundless fear;

Some arm’d with bows, some with straight jave. No guilty act or end calls us from home;

lins, ride ; Only to breathe in peace awhile we come; Rich swords and gilded quivers grace their side. Ready to serve, and in mean space to pray 'Midst the fair troop David's tall brethren rode, For you, who us receive, and him who, drives And Joab, comely as a fancied god; away."

They entertaim'd th' attentive Moab lords
With loose and various talk that chance affords,
Whilst they pac'd slowly on; but the wise king

Did David's tongue to weightier subjects bring.
THE DAVIDEIS.

“Much," said the king, “ much I to Joab owe,

For the fair picture drawn by him of you;
BOOK IV.

'Twas drawn in little, but did acts express
So great, that largest histories are less.
I see, methinks, the Gathian monster still;
His shape last night my mindful dreams did fill.

Strange tyrant, Saul, with envy to pursue
Moab carries his guest to hunt at Nebo; in the The praise of deeds whence his own safety grew!

way falls into discourse with David, and de- I've heard (but who can think it ?) that his son sires to know of him the reasons of the change Has his life's hazard for your friendship run; of government in Israel; how Saul came to the His matchless son, whose worth (if fame be true) crown, and the story of himn and Jonathan. Lifts him 'bove all his countrymen but you, David's speech, containing the state of the With whom it makes himn one.” Low David commonwealth under the Judges; the mo

bows, tives for which the people desired a king; But no reply Moab's swift tongue allows, their deputies' speech to Samuel upon that And pray, kind guest! whilst we ride thus," subject, and his reply. The assembling of the people at the tabernacle, to inquire God's (To gameful Nebo still three leagues there be) pleasure. God's speech. The character of the story of your royal friend relate, Saul; his anointing by Samuel, and election And his ungovern'd sire's imperious fate ; by lot; the defection of his people. The war Why your great state that nameless family of Nahash king of Ammon against Jabesh

chose, Gilead ; Saul and Jonathan's relieving of the And by what steps to Israel's throne they town. Jonathan's character; his single fight with Nahash, whom he slays, and defeats his army. He said : and David thus:“ From Egypt's land The confirma‘ion of Saul's kingdom at Gilgal, | You've heard, sir, by what strong unarmed hand and the manner of Samuel's quitting his of Our fathers came, Moses their sacred guide; fice of judge. The war with the Philistines But he in sight of the given country dy'd : at Macmas: their strength, and the weakness His fatal promis'd Canaan was on high, of Saul's forces; his exercising of the priestly { And Joshua's sword must the active rod supply: function, and the judgment denounced by Sa- It did so, and did wonders. muel against him. Jonathan's discourse with his From sacred Jordan to the Western main, esquire; their falling alone upon the enemy's From well-clad Libanus to the Southern plain out-guards at Senes, and after upon the whole of naked sands his winged conquest went : army; the wonderful defeat of it. Saul's rash And thirty kings to Hell uncrown'd he sent. row, by which Jonathan is to be put to death, Almost four hundred years, from him to Saul, but is saved by the peuple.

In too much freedom past, or foreign thrail.

Oft strangers' iron sceptres bruis'd the land, 'Thoucu state and kind discourse thus robb’d (Such still are those borne by a conquering hand) the night

Oft pitying God did well-form'd spirits raise, Of half her natural and more just delight, Pit for the toilsome business of their days, Moab (whom temperance did still vigorous keep, To free the groaning nation, and to give And regal cares had us'd to moderate sleep) Peace first, and then the rules in peace to live, Up with the Sun arose; and, having thrice But they whose stamp of power did chiefly lie With lifted hands dow'd towards his shining rise, In characters too fine for most men's eye, And thrice tow'rds Phegor, his Baal's holiest hill, Graces and gifts divine-not painted bright (With good and pious prayers, directed ill) With state to awe dull minds, and force t' af Call'd to the chase his friends, who for him fright stay'd;

Were ill obey'd whilst living, and at death The glad dogs bark'd, the cheerful horses neigh’d. Their rules and pattern vanish'd with their Moab his chariot mounts, drawn by four steeds,

breath. The best and noblest that fresh Zerith breeds, The hungry rich all near them did devour; All white as snow, and spriteful as the light, Their judge was Appetite, and their law wia With scarlet trapt,and foaming gold they bite.

power. He into it young David with him took,

Not want itself could luxury restrain ; Did with respect and wonder on bim look For what that emptied, Rapioe tillid again.

rose."

th' gown.

Robbery the field, Oppression sack'd the town ; | The threats concurr'd of a rough neighbouring What the sword's reaping spar'd, was glean’d by war;

A mighty storm long gathering from afar; At courts and seats of justice to complain, For Ammon, heighten'd with mix'd nations' aid, Was to be robb’d more vexingly again.

Like torrents swoln with rain, prepar'd the land Nor was their last less active or less bold,

t'invade. Amidst this rougher search of blood and gold; Samuel was old, and, by his sons' ill choice, Weak beauties they corrupt, and force the Turn'd dotard in th’ unskilful vulgar's voice; strong;

His sons so scorn'd and hated, that the land The pride of old men that, and this of young. Nor hop'd, nor wish'd, a victory from their hand. You ’ave heard perhaps, sir, of lew'd Gibeah's These were the just and faultless causes why shame,

The general voice did for a monarch cry; Which Hebrew tongues still tremble when they But God ill grains did in this incense smell; Alarmed all by one fair stranger's eyes, [name : Wrapp'd in fair leaves he saw the canker dwell: As to a sudden war, the town does rise,

A mutinous itch of change; a dull despair Shaking and pale, half-dead ere they begin Of helps divine, oft provid; a faithless care The strange and wanton tragedy of their

sin : Of common means; the pride of heart and scorn All their wild lusts they force her to sustain, Of th' humble yoke under low judges borne. Till by shame, sorrow, weariness, and pain, They saw the state and glittering pomp which She mids't their loath'd and cruel kindness dies; In vulgar sense the sceptres of the East ; [blest Of monstrous Lust the innocent sacrifice. They saw not power's true source, and scorn'd to This did, 'tis true, a civil war create

obey (The frequent curse of our loose govern'd state); Persons that look'd no dreadfuller than they ; All Gibeah's, and all Jabesh' blood it cost; They miss'd courts, guards, a gay and numerous Near a whole tribe, and future kings, we lost.

trainFirm in this general earthquake of the land, Our judges, like their laws,were rude andplain:-How could religion, its main pillar, stand? On an old bench of wood, her seat of state Proud and fond man his Father's worship hates, Beneath the well-known palm, wise Deborah sate; Himself, God's creature, his own god creates ! Her maids with comely diligence round her Hence in each household several deities grew,

spun, And when no old one pleas'd they fram'd a new : And she too, when the pleadings there were done: The only land which servd but one before, With the same goad Shamgar his oxen drives Did th' only then all nations' gods adore. Which took, the sun before, six hundred lives They serv'd their gods at first, and soon their From bis sham'd foes : he midst his work dealt kings,

laws; (Their choice of that this latter slavery brings) And oft was his plough stopp'd to hear a cause : Till special men, arm'd with God's warrant, Nor did great Gideon his old flail disdain, broke

After won fields, sack'd towns, and princes slain By justest force th' unjustly-forced yoke; His sceptre that, and Ophra's threshing-door All matchless persons, and thrice worthy they The seat and emblem of his justice bore. Of power more great, or lands more apt t' obey. What should I Jair, the happiest father, name? At last the priesthood join'd, in Ithamar's son, Or mournful Jephtha, known no less to Fame More weight and lustre to the sceptre won;

For the most wretched ? Both at once did keep But, whilst mild Eli and good Samuel were The mighty flocks of Israel and their sheep. Busjed with age, and th'altar's sacred care, Oft from the field in haste they summon’d wcre To their wild sons they their high charge cominit, Some weighty foreign embassy to hear; Who expose to scorn and hate both them and They call'd their slaves, their sons, and friends, it.

around, Eli's curs'd house th' exemplar vengeance bears Who all at several cares were scatter'd found; Of all their blood, and all sad Israel's tears; They wash'd their feet, their only gown put on, His sons abroad, himself at home, lies slain; And this chief work of ceremony was done. Israel's captiv'd, God's ark and law are ta'en. These reasons, and all else that could be said, Thus twice are nations by ill princes vex'd, In a ripe hour by factious Eloquence spread They suffer by them first, and for them next. Through all the tribes, make all desire a king ; Samuel succeeds;—since Moses, none before And to their judge selected deputies bring So much of God in his bright bosom bore. This harsh demand ; which Nacol for the rest In vain our arms Philistian tyrants seiz'd; (A bold and artful mouth) thus with much grace Heaven's magazines he open'd when he pleas'd : express'd :He rains and winds for auxiliaries brought;

"We're come, most sacred Judge ! to pay the Hemuster'd fames and thunders when he fought. Thus thirty years with strong and steady hand Of much-ow'd thanks, for the bright thirty years He beld th’ unshaken balance of the land ; Of yourjust reign ; and at your feet to lay At last his sons th' indulgent father chose All that our grateful hearts can weakly pay To share that state which they were born to In unproportion'd words; for you alone lose :

The not unfit reward, who seek for none.
Their hateful acts that change's birth did haste, But, when our forepast ills we call to mind,
Which had long growth i' th’ womb of ages past. And sadly think how little 's left behind
To this (for still were some great periods set, Of your important life, whose sudden data
There's a strong kpot of several causes met) Would disipherit th’unprovided state i

arrears

When we consider how unjust 'tis, you,

But why this yoke on your own necks to draw? Who ne'er of power more than the burthen knew, Why manyour God, and passion made your law?" > At once the weight of that and age should hare, “Methinks” (thus Moab interrupts him here) (Your stooping days press'd doubly towards the “ The good old seer 'gainst kings was too severe. grare);

'Tis jest to tell a people that they're free: When we b hold by Ammon's youthful rage, Who, or how many, shall their masters be Proud in th' advantage of your peaceful age, Is the sole doubt; laws guide, but cannot reign ; And all th’united East, our fall conspir'd; And, though they bind not kings, yet they ree And that your sons, whom chiefly we desir'd

strain. As stamps of you, in your lov'd room to place, I dare affirm (so much I trust their love) By unlike acts that noble stamp deface; That no one Moabite would his speech approve. Midst these new fears and ills we're forc'd to fly But, pray go on.”—“'Tis true, sir,” he replies, T a new, and yet unpractis'd, remedy :

" Yet men whom age and action render wise A new one, but long promis'd, and foretold So much great changes fear, that they believe By Moses, and to Abraham shown of old ; All evils will, which may, from them arrive. A prophecy long forming in the womb

On men resolvd these threats were spent in vain; Of teeming tears, and now to ripeness come, All that his power or eloquence could obtain This reinedy 's a king; for this we all

Was, to inquire God's will ere they proceed With an inspir’d and zealous union call:

T a work that would so much his blessing need. Anr, in one sound when all men's voices join, A solemn day for this great work is set, The music's tun’d, no doubt, by hand divine : And at th' anointed tent all Israel met 'Tis God alone speaks a wl ole nation's voice; Expect th' event ; below, fair bullocks fry That is his public language ; but the choice In hallow'd flames; above, there mount on high Of what peculiar head that crown must bear, The precious clouds of incense; and, at last, From you, who his peculiar organ are,

The sprinkling, prayers, and all due honours, We espect to hear : the people shall to you

past, Their king, the king his crown and people, owe. Lo! we the sacred bells o'th' sudden hear, To your great name what lustre will it bring And in mild pomp grave Samuel does appear. T” have been our judge, and to have made our His ephod, mitre, well-cut diadem, on; king!!

Th' oraculous stones on his rich breast-plate “He bow'd, and ended here; and Samuel straight,

shone. Pansing audule at this great question's weight, Tow'rds the blue curtains of God's holiest place With a grave sigh, and with a thoughtful eye, (The temple's bright third Heaven) he turned his That more of care than passion did desery.

face; Calmly replies~" You 're sure the first,' said he, Thrice bow'd he, thrice the solemn music play'd, • Of freeborn men that begg'd for slavery, And at third rest thus the great prophet pray'd:I fear, my friends, with heavenly manna fed, * Almighty God, to whom all men that bel (Our old forefathers' crime) we lust for bread. Owe all they have, yet none so much as we; Long since by God from bondage drawn, I fear, Who, though thou fill'st the spacious world alone, We build anew th' Egyptian brick-kiln here. Thy too-small court, hast made this place thy Cheat not yourselves with words; for, though a throne; king

With humble knees,and humbler hearts, lo! here, Be the mild name, a tyrant is the thing.

Blest Abraham's seed implores thy gracious ear; Let his power loose, and you shall quickly see Hear them, great God! and thy just will inspire; How mild a thing unbounded man will be. From thee, their long-known King, they a king He'll lead you forth your hearts cheap blood to desire. spill,

Some gracious signs of thy good pleasure send ; Where'er his guideless passion leads his will: Which lo! with souls resigu’d, we humbly here Ambition, lust, or spleen, his wars will raise;

attend." 'Your lives' best price his thirst of wealth or praise: “ He spoke,and thrice he bow'd, and all about Your ablest sons for his proud guards he'll take, Silence and reverend horrour seiz'd the rout; And by, such hands your yoke more grievous The whole tent shakes, the flames on th' altar by make:

In thick dull rolls mount slow and heavily ; Your daughters and dear wives he'll force away; | The seven lamps wink; and, what does most disHis luxury some, and some his lust, t' obey,

may, His idle friends your hungry toils shall eat, Th'oraculous gums shut a their natural day; Drink your rich wines, mix'd with your blood The ruby's cheek grew pale; the emerald by and sweat,

Faded ; a cloud o'ercast the sapphir's sky; Then you 'll all sigh, but sighs will treasons be; The diamond's eye look'd sleepy; and swift night, And not your griefs themselves, or looks, be free: Of all those little suns eclips'd the light : Robb'd ev'n of hopes, when you these ills suis- Sad signs of God's dread anger for our sin:tain,

But straight a wondrous brightness from within Your watery eyes you 'll then turn back in vain Strook through the curtains; for no earthly On your old judges, and perhaps on me,

[shroud; Nay, ev'n my sons, howe'er they unhappy be Could those strong beams of heavenly glory In your displeasure now; not that I'd clear The altar's fire burn'd pure, and every stone Their guilt, or mine own innocence endear : Their radiant parent, the gay, Sun out-shone; Witness th’unutterable Name, there's nought Beauty th’ illustrious vision did impart Of private ends into this question brought. To every face, and joy to every heart;

cloud

was

In glad effects God's presence thus appear'd, Brought simply with himn to that man to give, And thus in wondrous sounds his voice From whom high Heaven's chief gifts he must heard :

receive :

[things *This stubbornland sins still, nor is it thee, but Strange play of Fate! when mightiest human us

Hang on such small, imperceptible strings ! (Who’ave been so long their king) they seck to 'Twas Samuel's birth-day; a glad annual feast cast off thus;

(strove All Rama kept ; Samuel his wondering guest Five hundred rolling years hath this stiff nation with such respect leads to it, and does grace T' exhaust the boundless stores of our unfathom'd With the choice meats of th' feast, and highest love.

place; Be't so then; yet once more are we resolv'd to try which done, him forth alone the prophet brings, Toutweary them through all their sins’ variety: And feasts his ravish'd ears with nobler things: Assemble, ten days hence, the numerous people He tells the mighty fate to him assign'd, here,

And with great rules fill'd bis capacious mind; To draw the royal lot which our hid mark shall | Then takes the sacred vial, and does shed bear.

A crown of mystic drops around his head; Dismiss them now in peace; but their next crime Drops of that royal moisture which does know shall bring

No mixture, and disdains the place below. Ruin without redress on them, and on their king.' Soon comes the kingly day, and with it brings “Th’ Almighty spoke; th' astonish'al people A new account of time upon his wings. part

The people met, the rites and prayers all past, With various stamps impress'd on every heart : Behold! the heaven-instructed lot is cast; Some their demand repented, others prais'd ; 'Tis taught by Heaven its way, and cannot miss ; Some had no thoughts at all, but star’dand gaz'd. Forth Benjamin, forth leaps the house of Cis:

“There dwelt a man,nam'd Cis,in Giheah town, As glimmering stars, just at th' approach of day Forwisdom much, and much for courage, known; Cashier'd by troops, at last drop all away ; More for his son; his mighty son was Saul, By such degrees all men's bright hopes are gone, Whom nature, ere the lots, ta throne did call. And, like the Sun, Saul's lot shines all alone. He was much prince, and when, or wheresoe'er, Ev'n here perhaps the people's shout was heard, His birth had been, then bad he reign'd, and The loud long sinout, when God's fair choice apthere.

peard: Such beauty, as great strength thinks no dis- | Above the whole vast throng he appeared so tall, grace,

As if by Nature made for th' head of all ; Smild in the manly features of his face;

So full of grace and state, that one might know His large, black eyes, fill'd with a spriteful light, 'Twas some wise eye the blind lot guided so : Shot forth such lively and illustrious night, But blind unguided lots have more of choice As the Sun-beams, on jet reflecting, show; And covstancy than the slight vulgar's voice. His hair, as black, in long curld waves did Row; Ere yet the crown of sacred oil is dry, His tall straight body amidst thousands stood, Whilst echoes yet preserve the joyful cry, Like some fair pine o'erlooking all th' ignobler Some grow enrag'd their own vain hopes to miss, wood.

Some envy Saul, some scorn the house of Cis: Of all our rural sports he was the pride ; Some their first mutinous wish, ‘a king !' reSo swift, so strong, so dextrous, none beside.

pent, Rest was his toil, labours his lust and game; As if, since that, quite spoild by God's consent: No natural wants could his fierce diligence tame, Few to this prince their first just duties pay : Not thirst nor hunger; he would journeys go All leave the old, but few the new obey. Through raging heals, and take repose in snow, Thus changes man, but God is constant still His soul was ne'er unbent from weighty care; To those eternal grounds that mov'd his will; But active as some mind that turns a sphere. And, though he yielded first to them, 'tis fit His way once chose, he forward thrust outright, That stubborn men at last to him submit. Nor step'd aside for dangers or delight.

As midst the main a low small island lies, Yet was he wise all dangers to foresee;

Assaulted round with stormy seas and skics, But born t'affright, and not to fear was he. Whilst the poor heartless natives, every hour, His wit was strong, not fine; and on his tongue Darkness and noise seem ready to devour ; An artless grace, above all eloquence, hung. Such Israel's state appeard, whilst o'er the west These virtues too the rich unusual dress Philistian clouds hung threatening, and from th' Of modesty adorn'd, and humbleness;

east Like a rich varnish o'er fair pictures laid,

All nations' wrath into one tempest joins, More fresh and lasting they the colours made. Through which proud Nahash like fierce light. Till power and violent fortune, which did find

ning shines; No stop or bound, o'erwhelm’d no less his mind, Tygris and Nile to his assistance send, Did, deluge-like, the natural forms deface, And waters to swoln Jaboc's torrent lend; And brought forth unknown monsters in their Seir, Edom, Soba, Amalek, add their force ; place.

Up with them march the three Arabias' horse ; Forbid it, God! my master's spots should be, And, 'mongst all these, none more their hope or Were they not seen by all, disclos'd by me!

pride, But such he was; and now to Ramah went Than those few troops your warlike land supa (So God dispos'd) with a strange, low intent.

ply'd. Great God! he went lost asses to inquire, Around weak Japesh this vast host does lie, And a small present, his small question's hire, Disdains a dry and bloodless victory.

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