Vasti membris animisque Gethei
corpore non animo parvus de sanguine mixto
Iesseius torta lapidem in cava tempora funda
misit; qui lapsus tremefacto pectore lata
ilice glandifera texit productior arva.
cum caderet, tellus tremuit magnamque ruinam
corporis inmensi moles dedit, ut diuturno
dilabens aevo, quae caelum vertice pulsat,
impete praecipitis Circi petit infima turris.
accurrit victor strictoque viriliter ense
amputat obnixe lentissima colla precantis.
nec mirum dextra tantum cecidisse gigantem
Iesseii; qui cum puer esset, tristibus ursis
intulit atque lupis mortem domuitque leones.
Jesse’s son, small in body but not in spirit, of mixed ancestry, whirled a sling and shot a stone against the hollow temples of the Gittite, Goliath, who was awesome in both limbs and courage. After Goliath’s heart was made to tremble with fear and he fell, he stretched out, longer than an acorn-producing holm oak, and covered broad fields. When he fell, the earth trembled and the mass of his huge body caused great ruin, just as a tower, which strikes the heavens with its peak but which is collapsing from extreme age, topples down to the lowest point from the onset of a rushing northwest wind. The victor ran up and, with sword manfully drawn, resolutely severs Goliath’s very tough neck as he pleads for mercy. No wonder that so great a giant fell by the right hand of Jesse’s son; when David was a boy, he inflicted death upon grim bears and wolves, and he subdued lions. (tr. Jan M. Ziolkowski)