"All's Love, Yet All's Law"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: David, the shepherd boy, has cured King Saul of his melancholic despair of pleasure in all things. It is now the next morning, and David recounts, step by step, the events of the previous evening in Saul's camp: his meeting with Abner, his entry into Saul's darkened tent, and his first glimpse of the king "erect as that tent prop, both arms stretched out wide / On the great cross-support in the center, that goes to each side." There is then a catalogue of all the good things of the earth for which Saul should thank heaven. On his harp, David tells of the God-given signs of order in all creatures and of men working together as a society. A moan breaks from Saul's lips, a sign that the melancholy is somewhat broken. David sings of the joys of living and of the king's great worth. Slowly, Saul regains his kingly habits and bearing. It is through David's deep love and desire to help that the boy suddenly attains a mystical glimpse of Truth. He breaks off singing to speak aloud:

I have gone the whole round of creation; I saw and I spoke;
I, a work of God's hand for that purpose, received in my brain
And pronounced on the rest of his handwork–returned him again
His creation's approval or censure; I spoke as I saw;
Reported as man may of God's work–all's love, yet all's law.
. . .
I but open my eyes–and perfection, no more and no less,
In the kind I imagined, full-fronts me, and God is seen God
In the star, in the stone, in the flesh, in the soul and the clod.