The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 3/Hebrew Melodies/Jeptha's Daughter
Since our Country, our God—Oh, my Sire!
Demand that thy Daughter expire;
Since thy triumph was bought by thy vow—
Strike the bosom that's bared for thee now!
And the voice of my mourning is o'er,
And the mountains behold me no more:
If the hand that I love lay me low,
There cannot be pain in the blow!
And of this, oh, my Father! be sure—
That the blood of thy child is as pure
As the blessing I beg ere it flow,
And the last thought that soothes me below.
Though the virgins of Salem lament,
Be the judge and the hero unbent!
I have won the great battle for thee,
And my Father and Country are free!
When this blood of thy giving hath gushed,
When the voice that thou lovest is hushed,
Let my memory still be thy pride,
And forget not I smiled as I died!
- [Nathan (Fugitive Pieces, 1829, pp. ll, 12) seems to have tried to draw Byron into a discussion on the actual fate of Jephtha's daughter—death at her father's hand, or "perpetual seclusion"—and that Byron had no opinion to offer. "Whatever may be the absolute state of the case, I am innocent of her blood; she has been killed to my hands;" and again, "Well, my hands are not imbrued in her blood!"]