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One Night

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And David the anointed loved Jonathan, son of the king, more than he loved his own brothers, and swore to be true to him forever, and Jonathan swore the same in return;

So they traveled together through the land, and were made glad by each others’ company, and cared not who could shoot an arrow farther or best the other with a sword, for they were beautiful in each others’ eyes, and loved each other.

And it came to pass that they lay together one night upon a mountain, looking at the stars, and David was taken with a great longing for his friend, and turning to him said, My dearer-than-brother, do you love me?

And Jonathan replied, With all that I am, dearest of friends; can you doubt me?

Then David sighed, and said, Dearer-than-brother, it is not you I doubt, but your father; for if he came to claim my life, ruthless and pitiless as the north wind, it would be hard for you to stand against him.

And Jonathan replied, Dearest of friends, rather I should die myself upon my father’s sword than turn upon you. And he kissed David son of Jesse upon the cheek, as one does a friend. But he was sad as he lay down again.

So David said, Dearer-than-brother, why look you so downcast?

And Jonathan replied, I would prove myself to you, and bind myself to you fully; but surely you will reject me.

And David cried out, Never will I reject you, dearer-than-brother, though you ask for my very heart. Speak your desire.

Then Jonathan turned again to him, and pressed his lips to David’s, and said, Dearest of all, I would give myself to you as a woman to a man, and with that give all myself.

And David replied, I am not worthy of such an honor, but I will deny you nothing; lie you down for me, and I will lie down with you.

Then did they remove their cloaks, and lie down together under the stars, and David lay with Jonathan as with a woman, and loved him, and kissed him passionately; and Jonathan was made glad with the touch of David’s hand, and spilled his seed there on the ground; but David spilled his seed within Jonathan.

And twice more in that night they lay together as a man with a woman, and Jonathan was most beautiful in the eyes of David, and David in the eyes of Jonathan; and they had great pleasure in each other, and were made glad.

And there passed between them words of great love, and such oaths as lovers use; and David swore that when he sat upon the high throne, Jonathan should sit beside him, and lie beside him at night in the king’s bed, and be made glad by the touch of the king’s hand. And Jonathan swore to follow and obey David forevermore.

All this David remembered as he stood on the battlefield looking at the body of the son of Saul the king, and on that day he cursed even the LORD God, for his beloved was dead.