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Fled from his lion ramp; old warriours turn'd To a deceitful woman? tell me, friends,
This with the other should, at least, have pair'de Then by main force pull’d up, and on his These two, proportion'd ill, drove me transverse. shoulders bore
Chor. Tax not divine disposal ; wisest men The gates of Azza, post, and massy bar, Have err'd, and by bad women been deceivd; Up to the hill by Hebron, seat of giants old, And shall again, pretend they ne'er so wise. No journey of a sabbath-day, and loaded so; Deject not then so overmuch thyself, Like whom the Gentiles feign to bear up Heaven. Who hast of sorrow thy full load besides : Which shall I first bewail,
Yet truth to say, I oft have heard men wonder Thy bondage or lost sight,
Why thou shouldst wed Philistian women rather Prison within prison
Than of thine own tribe fairer, or as fair, Inseparably dark?
At least of thy own nation, and as noble. Thou art become (0 worst imprisonment !) Sams. The first I saw at Timna, and she The dungeon of thyself; thy soul, [complain) pleas'a (Which men enjoying sight oft without cause Me,' not my parents, that I sought to wed Imprison'd now indeed,
The daughter of an infidel : they knew not In real darkness of the body dwells,
That what I motion'd was of God; I knew Shut up from outward light
From intimate impulse, and therefore urg'd To incorporate with gloomy night;
The marriage on; that by occasion hence For inward light, alas!
I might begin Israel's deliverance, Puts forth no visual beam.
The work to which I was divinely callid. O mirror of our fickle state,
She proving false, the next I took to wife Since man on Earth unparallel'd!
(o that I never had ! fond wish too late,) The rarer thy example stands,
Was in the vale of Sorec, Dalila, By how much from the top of wonderous glory, That specious monster, my accomplish'd snare Strongest of mortal men,
I thought it lawful from my former act, To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fallen. And the same end; still watching to oppress For him I reckon not in high estate
Israel's oppressors: of what now I suffer Whom long descent of birth,
She was not the prime cause, but I myself, Or the sphere of fortune, raises ; [mate, Who, vanquish'd with a peal of words, (0 But thee whose strength, while virtue was her
weakness!) Might have subdued the Earth,
Gave up my fort of silence to a woman. Universally crown'd with highest praises.
Chor. In seeking just occasion to provoke Sams. I hear the sound of words; their sense The Philistine, thy country's enemy, the air
Thou never wast amiss, I bear thee witness: Dissolves unjointed ere it reach my ear. Yet Israël still serves with all his sons. Chor. He speaks, let us draw nigh. Match Samps. That fault I take not on me, but transfer less in might,
On Israel's governors and heads of tribes, The glory late of Israel, now the grief;
Who, seeing those great acts which God had We come, thy friends and neighbours not un
Singly hy me against their conquerors From Eshtaol and Zora's fruitful vale, Acknowledg'd not, or not at all consider'd, To visit or bewail thee; or, if better,
Deliverance offer'd : J on the other side Counsel or consolation we may bring,
Us'd no ambition to commend my deeds ; Salve to thy sores ; apt words have power to swage The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke lond The tumours of a troubled mind,
the doer: And are as balm to fester'd wounds.
But they persisted deaf, and would not seem Sams. Your coming, friends, revives me ; for To count them things worth notice, till at leugth I learn
Their lords the Philistines with gather'd powers Now of my own experience, not by talk, Enter'd Judea seeking me, who then How counterfeit a coin they are who friends Safe to the rock of Etham was retird; Bear in their superscription, (of the most Not flying, but fore-casting in what place I would be understood ;) in prosperous days To set upon them, what advantag'd best: They swarm, but in advérse withdraw their head, Mean while the men of Judah, to prevent Not to be found, though sought. Ye see, 6 The harass of their land, beset me round; friends,
I willingly on some cunditions came How many evils have enclos'd me round; Into their hands, and they as gladly yield me Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts To the uncircumcis'd a welcome prey, me,
Bound with two cords; but cords to me were Blindness; for had I sight, confus'd with shame,
threads How could I once look up or heave the head, Touch'd with the flame : on their whole host I Who, like a foolish pilot, have shipwreck'd Unarm'd, and with a trivial weapon felld My vessel trusted to me from above,
Their choicest youth ; they only liv'd who fled
. Gloriously rigg'd; and for a word, a tear, Had Judah that day join'd, or one whole tribeFool! have divulg'd the secret gift of God They had by this possess'd the towers of Gath,
And lorded over them whom they now serve: As I suppose, towards your once gloried friend, But what more oft, in nations grown corrupt, My son, now captive, hither hath inform'd [age And by their vices brought to servitude,
Your younger feet, while mine cast back with Than to love bondage more than liberty, Came lagging after ; say if he be here. Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty; Chor, Assignal now in low dejected state, And to despise, or envy, or suspect.
As erst in highest, behold him where he lies. Whom God hath of his special favour rais'd Man. O miserable change! is this the man, As their deliverer? if he aught begin,
That invincible Samson, far renown'd, How frequent to desert him, and at last
The dread of Israel's foes, who with a strength To heap ingratitude on worthiest deeds ?
Equivalent to angels walk'd their streets, Chor. Thy words to my remembrance bring None offering fight; who single combatant How Succoth and the fort of Penuel
Duelld their armies rank'd in prond array, Their great deliverer contemn'd,
Himself an army, now unequal match The matchless Gideon, in pursuit
To save himself
against a coward arm'd Of Madian and her vanquish'd kings:
At one spear's length. O ever-failing trust And how ingrateful Ephraim
In mortal strength! and oh! what not in man Had dealt with Jephtha, who by argument, Deceivable and vain ? Nay, what thing good Not worse than by his shield and spear,
Pray'd for, but often proves our bane? Defended Israel from the Ammonite,
I pray'd for children, and thought barrenness Had not his prowess quelld their pride
In wedlock a reproach; I gain'd a son, In that sore battle, when so many died
And such a son as all men hail'd me happy ; Without reprieve, adjudg‘d to death,
Who would be now a father in my stead? For want of well pronouncing Shibboleth. O wherefore did God grant me my request,
Sams. Of such examples add me to the roll; And as a blessing with such pomp adorn'd ? Me easily indeed mine may neglect,
Why are his gifts desirable, to tempt But God's propos'd deliverance not so.
Our earnest prayers,then,given with solemn hand Chor. Just are the ways of God,
As graces, draw a scorpion's tail behind ? And justifiable to men ;
For this did the angel twice descend? for this l'nless there be, who think not God at all : Ordain'd thy nurture holy, as of a plant If any be, they walk obscure;
Select, and sacred, glorious for a while, For of such doctrine never was there school, The miracle of men; then in an hour But the heart of the fool,
Ensnar'd, assaulted, overcome, led bound, And no man therein doctor but himself.
Thy foe's derision, captive, poor, and blind, Yet more there be, who doubt his ways not Into a dungeon thrust, to work with slaves? As to bis own edícts found contradicting, (just, Alas! methinks whom God hath chosen once Then give the reins to wandering thought, To worthiest deeds, if he through frailty err, Regardless of his glory's diminution;
He should not so oferwhelm, and as a thrall Till by their own perplexities involv'd,
Subject him to so foul indignities, They ravel more, still less resolvid,
Be it but for honour's sake of former deeds. But never find self-satisfying solution.
Sams. Appoint not heavenly disposition, father; As if they would confine the Interminable, Nothing of all these evils hath befallin me And tie him to his own prescript,
But justly; I myself have brought them on, Who made oar laws to bind us, not himself, Sole author I, sole cause : if aught seem vile, And hath full right to exempt.
As vile hath been my folly, who have prophan'd Whom so it pleases him by choice
The mystery of God given me under pledge
A Canaanite, my faithless enemy.
He would not else, who never wanted means, But warn'd by oft experience: did not she
Of Timna first betray me, and reveal To set his people free,
The secret wrested from me in her height Have prompted this heroic Nazarite,
Of nuptial love profess'd, carrying it straight Against his vow of strictest purity,
To them who had corrupted her, my spies, To seek in marriage that fallacious bride, And rivals? In this other was there found Unclean, upchaste.
More faith, who also in her prime of love, Down, reason, then ; at least vain reasonings, Spousal embraces, vitiated witin gold, Though reason here aver,
(down; Though offer'd only, by the scent conceiv'd That moral verdict quits her of unclean : Her spurious first-born, treason against me? Unchaste was subsequent, her stain not his. Thrice she assay'd with flattering prayers and But see here comes thy reverend sire
sighs, With careful step, locks white as down,
And amorous reproaches, to win from me Old Manoah: advise
My capital secret, in what part my strength Porth with how thou ought'st to receive him. Lay stord, in what part summ'd, that she might Sams. Ay me! another inward grief, awak'd
know ; With mention of that name, renews the assault. Thrice I deluded her, and turn'd to sport
Her importunity, each time perceiving (Enter) Manoah.
How openly, and with what impudence Man. Brethren and men of Dan, for such ye She purpos’d to betray me, and (which was worse seern,
Than undissembled hate) with what contempt Tho:igh in this ancouth place; if old respect, She sought to make me traitor to myself;
Yet the fourth time, when, mustering all her | Dagon must stoop, and shall ere long receite wiles,
Such a discomfit, as shall quite despoil him With blandish'd parlies, feminine assaults, of all these boasted trophies won on me, Tongue-batteries, she surceas'd not, day nor And with confusion blank bis worshippers. night,
Man. With cause this hope relieves thee, and To storm me over-watch’d, and wearied dut.
Endure it doubtful whether God be Lord,
Or Dagon. But for thee what shall be done? To honour and religion ! servile mind
Thou must not, in the mean while here forgots Rewarded well with servile punishment ! Lie in this miserable loathsome plights The base degree to which I now am fall’n, Neglected. · I already have made way These rags, this grinding is not yet so base To some Philistian lords, with whom to treat As was my former servitude, ignoble,
About thy ransom: well they may by this Unmanly, ignominious, infamous,
Have satisfied their utmost of revenge True slavery, and that blindness worse than this By pains and slaveries, worse than death, inflicted That saw not how degenerately I serv'd.
On thee, who now no more canst do them Man. I cannot praise thy marriage-choices,
Sams. Spare that proposal, father ; spare the Rather approv'd them not; but thou didst plead of that solicitation ; let me here, (troable Divine impulsion prompting how thou might'st As I deserve, pay on my punishment; Find some occasion to infest our foes.
And expiate, if possible, my crime, I state not that ; this I am sure, our foes
Shameful garrulity. To have reveal'd Found soon occasiou thereby to make thee Secrets of men, the secrets of a friend, Their captive, and their triumph; thou the sooner How heinous had the fact been, how deserving Temptation found'st, or over-potent charms, Contempt and scorn of all, to be excluded To violate the sacred trust of silence
All friendship, and avoided as a blab, Deposited within thee; which to have kept The mark of fool set on his front? But I Tacit was in thy power: true; and thou bear'st God's counsel have not kept, his holy secret Enough, and more the burthen of that fault; Presumptuously have publish'd, impiously, Bitterly hast thou paid, and still art paying, Weakly at least, and shamefully; a sin That rigid score. A worse thing yet remains; That Gentiles in their parables condemn This day the Fhilistines a popular feast To their abyss and horrid pains confin'd. Here celebrate in Gaza; and proclaim
Man. Be penitent, and for thy fault contrite; Great pomp, and sacrifices and praises loud,
But act not in thy own affliction, son: To Dagon, as their god who hath deliver'd
Repent the sin; but, if the punishment Thee, Samson, bound and blind into their hands,
Thou canst avoid, self-preservation bids; Them out of thine, who slew'st them many a Or the execution leave to high disposal, slain.
And let another hand, not thine, exact So Dagon shall be magnified, and God,
Thy penal forfeit from thyself: perhaps Besides whom is no God, compard with idols, God will relent, and quit thee all his debt; Disglorified, blasphem'd, and had in scorn Who ever more approves, and more accepts, By ihe idolatrous rout amidst their wine; (Best pleas'd with humble and filial submission,) Which to have come to pass by means of thee, Him, who, imploring mercy, sues for life, Samson, of all thy sufferings think the heaviest, Than who, self-rigorous, chooses death as due; Of all reproach the most with shame that ever Which argues over-just, and self-displeas'd Could have befall’n thee and thy father's house, For self-offence, more than for God offended.
Sams. Father, I do acknowledge and confess Reject not then what offer'd means; who knows That I this honour, I this pon.p, have brought But God hath set before us, to return thee To Dagon, and advanc'd his praises high Home to thy country and his sacred house, Among the heathen round: to God have brought Where thoa mayst bring thy offerings, to avert Dishonour, obloquy, and op'd the mouths His further ire, with prayers and vows rener'd? Of idolists, and aiheists; have brought scandal Sams. His pardon I implore; but as for life, To Israel, diffidence of God, and doubt
To what end should I seek it when in strength In feeble hearts, propense enough before All mortals I excell'd, and great in hopes To waver, or fall off and join with idols; With youthful courage, and magnanimous Which is my chief affliction, shame and sorrow,
(ploits, The anguish of my soul, that suffers not Of birth from Heaven foretold, and high exMine eye to harbour sleep, or thoughts to rest. Full of divine instinct, after some proof This only hope relieves me, that the strife Of acts indeed heroic, far beyond With me hath end; all the contest is now The sons of Anak, famous now and blaz'd, 'Swixt God and Dagon ; Dagon hath presum'd, Fearless of danger, like a petty god Me overthrown, to enter lists with God,
I walk'd about admir'd of all, and dreaded His deity comparing and preferring
On hostile ground, none daring my affront. Before the God of Abraham. He, be sure, Then swoll'n with pride into the snare I fell Will not connive, or linger, thus provok'd, Of fair fallacious looks, venereal trans, But will arise, and his great name assert: Softeu'd with pleasure and voluptuous life,
At length to lay my head and hallow'd pledge | My race of glory run, and race of slame,
And I shall shortly be with them that rest.
Man. Believe not these suggestions, wbich Like a tame wether, all my precious fleece,
proceed Then turu'd me out ridiculous, despoil'd, From anguish of the mind and humours black, Shaven, and disarm'd among mine enemies. That mingle with thy fancy. I however
Chor. Desire of wine and all delicious drinks, Must not omit a father's timely care Which many a famous warrior overturns, To prosecute the means of thy deliverance Thou couldst repress; nor did the dancing ruby By ransom, or how else: mean while be calm, Sparkling, out-pour'd, the flavour, or the smell, And healing words from these thy friends admit. Or taste that chcers the heart of gods or men,
[Erit.] Allure thee from the cool crystalline stream. Sams. O that torment should not be confin'd
Sams. Wherever fountain or fresh current to the body's wounds and sores,
And on ber purest spirits prey, Chor. O madness, to think use of strongest As on er rails, joints, and limbs, wines
With answerable pains, but more intense,
As a lingering disease,
To black mortification,
Exasperate, exulcerate, and raise
Nor breath of verpal air from snowy Alp.
Sleep hath forsook and given me o'er My nation, and the work from Heaven impos'd, To death's benumbing opium as my only cure : Bat to sit idle on the household hearth;
Thence faincings, swoonings of despair, A burdenous drone; to visitants a gaze,
And sense of Heaven's desertion. Or pitied object, these redundant locks
I was his nursling once, and choice delight, Robustions to no purpose clustering dowu, His destin'd from the womb, Vain monument of strength; till length of years Promis'd by heavenly message twice descending. And sedentary numbness craze my limbs
Under bis special eye To a contemptible old age obscure ?
Absteminous I grew up, and thriv'd amain ; Here rather let me drudge, and earn my bread; He led me on to mightiest deeds, Till vermin, or the draft of servile food,
Above the nerve of mortal arm, Consume me, and oft.invocated death
Against the uncircumcis'd, our enemies : Hasten the welcome end of all my pains.
But now hath cast me off as never known, Man. Wilt thou then serve the Philistines with And to those cruel enemies, that gift
Whom I by his appointment had provok'd, Which was expressly given thee to annoy them? Left me all helpless, with the irreparable loss Better at home lie bed-rid, not only idle,
Of sight, reserv'd alive to be repeated
This one prayer yet remains, might I be heard,
[sought That these dark orbs no more shall treat with With studied argument, and much persuasion Nor the other light of life continue long,
Lenient of grief and anxious thought : But yield to double darkness nigh at hand: But with the afflicted in his pangs their sound So much I feel my genial spirits droop,
Little prevails, or rather seems a tune [plaint; My hopes all fat, Nature within me seems Harsh, and of dissonant inood froin his comIn all ber functions weary of herself;
Unless he feel within
Some source of consolation from above,
And words address'd seem into tean dissolrd," Secret refreshings, that repair his strength, Wetting the borders of her silken veil: and fainting spirits uphold.
But now again she makes address to speak. God of our fathers, what is man! That thou towards him with hand so various,
[Enter] Dalila. Or might I say contrarious,
[course, Dal. With doubtful feet and wareriog rei Temper'st thy providence through his short
lution Not evenly, as thou rul'st
(mute, I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson, The angelic orders, and inferior creatures which to have merited, without excuse, Irrational and brute.
I cannot but acknowledge; yet, if tears Nor do I name of men the common rout, May expiate, (though the fact more evil drew That, wandering loose about,
In the perverse event than I foresaw,) Grow up and perish, as the summer-fly,
My penance hath not slacken'd, though my par Heads without name no more remember'd; No way assurd. But conjugal affection, dan But such as thou hast solemnly elected,
Prevailing over fear and timorous doubt,
Once more thy face, and know of thy estate,
My rash, but more unfortunate, misdeed. From thee on them, or them to thee of service. Sans. Out, out, hyæna! these are thy wonted Nor only dost degrade them, or remit
arts, To life obscurd, which were a fair dismission, And arts of every woman false like thee, But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray, Unseemly falls in human eye, [them high, Then as repentant to submit, beseech, Too grievous for the trespass or omission; And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse, Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword
Confess, and promise wonders in her change; Of heathen and profane, their carcasses Not truly penitent, but chief to try To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captivd; Her husband, how far urg'd his patience bears, Or to the unjust tribunals, under change of times, His virtue or weakness which way to assail : And condemnation of the ingrateful multitude. Then with more cautious and instructed skilt If these they 'scape, perhaps in poverty
Again transgresses, and again submits; With sickness and disease thou bow'st them down, That wisest and best men, full oft beguil'd, Painful diseases and deform'd,
With goodness priucipled not to reject In crude old age;
The penitent, but ever to forgive, Though not disordinate, yet causeless suffering Are drawn to wear out miserable days,
The punishment of dissolute days: in fine, Entangled with a poisonous bosom snake, Just, or unjust, alike seem miserable,
If not by quick destruction soon cut off, For oft alike both come to evil end.
As I by thee, to ages an example. So deal not with this once thy glorious cham Dal. Yet hear me, Samson; not that I expion,
To lessen or extenuate my offence,
[deavou The image of thy strength, and mighty minister. But that on the other side, if it be weigh'd What do I beg? how hast thou dealt already? By itself, with aggravations not surcharg'd, Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn Or else with just allowance counterpoisid, His labours, for thou canst, to peaceful end. I may, if possible, thy pardon find
But who is this, what thing of sea or land? The easier towards me, or thy hatred less. Female of sex it seems,
First granting, as I do, it was a weakness That so bedeck'd, ornate, and gay,
In me, but incident to all our sex, Comes this way sailing
Curiosity, inquisitive, importune, Like a stately ship
Of secrets, then with like infirmity Of Tarsus, bound for the isles
To publish them, both common female faults: Of Javan or Gadire
Was it not weakness also to make known With all her bravery on, and tackle trim, For importunity, that is, for nought, Sails fill'd, and streamers waving,
Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety? Courted by all the winds that hold them play, To what I did thou show d'st me first the way. An amber scent of odorous perfume
But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not : Her harbinger, a damsel train behind ;
Nor should'st thou have trusted that to woman's Some rich Philistian matron she may seem; Ere I to thee, thou to thyself wast cruel.[frailty: And now at nearer view, no other certain Let weakness then with weakness come to parle, Than Dalila thy wife.
So near related, or the same of kind. Eums. My wife! my traitress : let her not Thine forgive mine; that men may censure thige
The gentler, if severely thou exact not found Chor. Yet on she muves, now stands and eyes More strength from me, than in thyself was thee fix'd,
[clin’d, And what if love, which thou interpret'st hate, About to have spoke; but now, with head de- The jealousy of love, powerful of sway Like a fair flower surcharg'd' with dew, she in human hearts, nor less in mind towards thet, weeps,
Caus'd what I did? I saw thee mutable
come near me.