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Of fancy, feard lest one day thou would’st leave | Was not behind, but ever at my car,
Preaching how meritorious with the gods
Only my love of thee held long debate,
maxim, Against thee but safe custody, and hold : So rife and celebrated in the mouths That made for me; I knew that liberty
Of wisest men, that to the public good Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises, Private respects must yield, with grave authority While I at home sat full of cares and fears, Took full possession of me, and prevail'd; Wailing thy absence in my widow'd bed; Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty, so enjoining. Here I should still enjoy thee, day and night, Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles Mine and love's prisoner, not the Philistines',
would end ; Whole to myself, unbazarded abroad,
In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy ! Fearless at home of partners in my love,
But had thy love, still odiously pretended, [thee These reasons in love's law have past for good, Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps : Par other reasonings, brought forth other deeds. And love hath oft, well meaning, wrought much 1, before all the daughters of my tribe woe,
And of my nation, chose thee from among Yet always pity or pardon hath obtain'd. My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st; Be not unlike all others, not austere
Too well ; unbosom'd all my secrets to thee, As thou art strong, inflexible as steel.
Not out of levity, but over-power'd If thou in strength all mortals dost exceed, By thy request, who could deny thee nothing ; In uncompassionate anger do not so.
Yet now am judgd an enemy. Why then Sams. How cunningly the sorceress displays Did'st thou at first receive me for thy husband, Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine! Then, as since then, thy country's foe professid? That malice, not repentance, brought thee hither, Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave By this appears: I gave, thou say'st, the ex Parents and country ; nor was I their subject, ample,
Nor under their protection but my own, I led the way ; bitter reproach, but true; Thoa mine, not theirs : if aught against my life Ito myself was false ere thou to me;
Thy country sought of thee, it sought unjustly, Such pardon therefore as I give my folly, Against the law of nature, law of nations ; Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou seest No more thy country, but an impionis crew Impartial, self-severe, inexorable,
Of men conspiring to uphold their state Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather By worse than hostile deeds, violating the ends Confess it feign'd : weakness is thy excuse, For which our country is a name so dear; And I believe it; weakness to resist
Not therefore to be obey'd. But zeal mowd thee; Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse, To please thy gods thou didst it ; gods, unable What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
To acquit themselves and prosecute their foes Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it? But by ungodly deeds, the contradiction All wickedness is weakness : that plea therefore Of their own deity, gods cannot be ; With God or man will gain thee no remission. Less therefore to be pleas'd, obey'd or fear'd. But love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage These false pretexts, and varnish'd colours failTo satisfy thy lust: love seeks to have love;
ing, My love how could'st thou hope, who took'st the Bare in thy guilt, how foul must thou appear? To raise in me inexpiable hate,
Dal. In argument with men a woman ever Knowing, as needs i must, by thee betray'a ? Goes by the worse whatever be her cause. In vain thou strir'st to cover shame with shaine, Sams. For want of words no doubt, or lack of Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st more.
breath; Dal. Since thou determin'st weakness for no Witness when I was worried with thy peals. plea
(ing, Dal. I was a fool, too rash, and quite mistaken In man or woman, though to thy own condemn- In what I thought would have succeeded best. Hear what assaults I had, what snares besides, Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson; What sieges girt me round, ere I consented; Afford me place to show what recompense Which might have aw'd the best-resolv'd of men, Towards thee I intend for what I have misdone, The constantest, to have yielded without blame. Misguided ; only what remains past cure It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st, Bear not too sensibly, nor still insist That wrought with me: thou know'st the magis. To afflict thyself in vain : though sight be lost, trates
Life yet hath many solaces, enjoy'd And princes of my country came in person, Where other senses want not their delights Solicited, commanded, threaten’d, urg'd,
At home in leisure and domestic ease, Adjur'd by all the bonds of civil duty
Exempt from many a care and chance, to which And of religion, press'd how just it was,
Eye-sight exposes daily men abroad. How honourable, how glorious, to entrap
I to the lords will intercede, nut doubting A common enemy, who had destroy'd
Their favourable ear, that I may fetch thee Such numbers of our nation : and the priest From forth this loathsome prison-house to abide
With me, where my redoubled love and care With odours visited and annual flowers ;
The public marks of honour and reward,
At this whoever envies or repines,
I leave him to bis lot, and like my own. (Ezil.) Where once I have been caught : I know thy Chor. She's gone, a manifest serpent by her trains,
Of secresy, my safety, and my life.
And secret sting of amorous remorse.
Chor. It is not virtue, wisdom, valour, wit,
Harder to hit,
Or seven, though one should musing sit. Sams. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance If any of these, or all, the Timnian bride wake
Had not so soon preferr'd
Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
Was lavish'd on their sex, that inward gifts
In choice, but oftest to affect the wrong?
Or was too much of self-love mix'd,
Whate'er it be, to wisest men and best
Seeming at first all heavenly under virgin veil,
Soft, modest, meek, demure,
What pilot so expert but needs must wreck
Favour'd of Heaven, who finds
That in domestic good combines :
Happy that house ! his way to peace is smooth:
But virtue, which breaks through all opposition,
And all temptation can remove,
Gave to the man despotic power
Nor in the house with chamber-ambushes Over his female in due awe,
Close-banded durst attack me, no, not sleeping, Nor from that right to part an hour,
Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold Smile she or lour:
Breaking her marriage-faith to circumvent me. So shall he least cunfusion draw
Therefore, without feign'd shifts, let be assign'd On his whole life, not sway'd
Some narrow place enclos'd, where sight may By female usurpation, or dismay'd.
give thee, But had we best retire? I see a storm. Or rather fight, no great advantage on me; Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind and Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet rain.
And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon. Chor. But this another kind of tempest brings. Vant-brace and greves, and gauntlet, add thy Sams. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are
A weaver's beam, and seven-times-folded shield; Chor. Look now for no enchanting voice, nor | I only with an oaken staff will meet thee, fear
And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron, The bait of honied words ; a rougher tongne Which long shall not withhold me from thy Draws hitherward; I know him by his stride,
head, The giant Harapha of Gath, his look
That in a little time, while breath remains thee, Haughty, as is his pile high-built and proud. Thou oft shalt wish thyself at Gatb to boast Comes be in peace? what wind hath blown him Again in safety what thou would'st have done I less conjecture than when first I saw [hither To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more. The sumptuous Dalila floating this way:
Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.
arms, Sams. Or peace, or not, alike to me he comes. Which greatest heroes have in battle worn, Chor. His fraught we soon shall know, he now | Their omament and safety, had not spells arrives.
And black enchantments, some magician's art,
Arm'd thee or charm'd thee strong, which thou (Enter) Harapha.
from Heaven Har. I come not, Samson, to condole thy Peign'dst at thy birth, was given thee in thy hair, chance,
Where strength can least abide, though all thy As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been,
hairs Though for no friendly intent. I am of Gath ; Were bristles rang'd like those that ridge the back Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd
Of chaf'd wild boars, or ruffled porcupines. As Og, or Anak, and the Emims old
Sams. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts; That Kiriathaim held; thou know'st me now My trust is in the living God, who gave me If thou at all art known. Much I have heard At my nativity this strength, diffus'd Ofthy prodigious might and feats perform'd, No less through all my sinews, joints, and bones, Incredible to me, in this displeas'd,
Than thine, while I preserv'd these locks unshorn, That I was never present on the place
The pledge of my unviolated vow.
Go to his temple, invocate his aid
To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells, Sams. The way to know were not to see but | Which I to be the power of Israel's God taste.
Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test, Har. Dost thou already single me? I thought | Offering to combat thee his champion bold, Gyves and the mill had tam'd thee. O that fortune With the utmost of his Godhead seconded : Had brought me to the field, where thou art Then thon shalt see, or rather, to thy sorrow, fam'd
Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine. To bave wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw! Har. Presume not on thy God, whate'er he be ; I should have forc'd thee soon with other arms, Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off Or left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown: Quite from his people, and deliver'd up So had the glory of prowess been recover'd Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them To Palestine, won by a Philistine,
To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee From the unforeskin'd race, of whom thou bear'st Into the common prison, there to grind The bighest name for valiant acts; that honour, Among the slaves and asses thy comrades, Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee, As good for nothing else; no better service I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.
With those thy boisterous locks, no worthy match Sams. Boast not of what thou would'st have | For valour to assail, nor by the sword done, but do
Of noble warrior, so to stain his honour, What then thou would'st; thou seest it in thy But by the barber's razor best subdued. hand.
Sams. All these indiguities, for such they are Har. To combat with a blind man I disdain, From thine, these evils I deserve, and more, And thou hast need much washing to be touch'd. Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me
Sams. Such usage as your honourable lords Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon, Afford me, assassinated and betray'd,
Whose ear is ever open, and his eye Who durst not with their whole united powers Gracious to re-admit the suppliant : In fight withstand me single and unarm'd, In confidence whereof. I once again
Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight,
f Har. This insolence other kind of anster fits. By combat to decide whose God is God,
Sams. Go, baffled coward ! lest I run upor Thine, or whom I with Israel's sons adore.
thee, Har. Fajr honour that thou dost thy God, in Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast; trusting
And with one buffet lay thy structure low, He will accept thee to defend this cause, | Or swing thee in the air, then dashi thee down · A murderer, a revolter, and a robber!
To the hazard of thy brains and shatter'd sides. Sams. Tongue-doughty giant, how dost thou Har. By Astaroth, ere long thou shalt lament prove me these?
These braveries, in irons loaden on thee: [Erit.] Har. Is not thy nation subject to our lords? | Chor. His giantship is gone somewhai crest Their magistrates confess'd it when they took
Stalking with less unconscionable strides, As a league-breaker, and deliver'd bound And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe. Into our hands : for hadst thou not committed Sams. I dread him nor, not all his giant-brood, Notorious murder on those thirty men
Though fame divulge him father of five sons, At Ascalon, who never did thee barm,
All of gigantic size, Goliah chief. Then like a robber stripp'dst them of their robes ? Chor. He will directly to the lords, I fear, The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the And with malicious counsel stir them up league,
Some way or other yet further to affict thee. Went up with armed powers thee only seeking, Sams. He must allege some cause, and offer'd To others did no violence nor spoil.
And, that he durst not, plain enough appear'd. But your ill-meaning politician lords,
Much more affliction than already felt Under pretence of bridal friends and guests, They cannot well impose, nor I sustain; Appointed to await me thirty spies, sbride If they intend advantage of my labours, Who, threatening cruel death, constrain'd the | The work of many hands, which earns my To wring from me, and tell to them, my secret,
keeping That solv'd the riddle wbich I had propos'd. With no small profit daily to my owners. When I perceiv'd all set on enmity,
| But come what will, my deadliest foe will prove As on my enemies, wherever chanc'd,
My speediest friend, by death to rid me hence I us'd hostility, and took their spoil,
The worst that he can give to me the best. To pay my underminers in their cojn.
Yet so it may fall out, because their end
Is hate, not help to me, it may with mine
Chør. Oh how comely it is, and how reviving But I a private person, whom my country
To the spirits of just men long oppress'd! As a league-breaker gave up bound, presum'd When God into the hands of their deliverer Single rebellion, and did hostile acts.
Puts invincible might
And feats of war defeats,
Their armouries and magazines contemns,
Renders them useless; while Though by his blindness maim'd for high at- / With winged expedition, tempts,
Swift as the lightning glance, he executes Wbo dow defies thee thrice to single fight,
His errand on the wicked, who, surpris'd, As a petty enterprise of small enforce.
Lose their defence, distracted and amaz'd. Har. With thee! a man condemn'd, a slave But patience is more oft the exercise enrollid,
Of saints, the trial of their fortitude, Due by the law to capital punishment !
Making them each his own deliverer, To fight with thee no man of arms will deign.
And victor over all
Either of these is in thy lot,
Whom patience finally must crown.
More than the working day thy hands. Fear I incurable ; bring up thy van,
And yet, perbaps more trouble is behind,.. My heels are fetter'd, but my fist iö free. For I descry this way
Some other tending ; in bis hand
After my great transgression, so requite A sceptre or quaint staff he bears,
Favour renew'd, and add a greater sin Comes on amain, speed in his look.
By prostituting holy things to idols ? By his habit I discern him now
A Nazarite in place abominable A public officer, and now at hand;
Vaunting my strength in honour to their Dagon! His message will be short and voluble.
Besides, how vile, contemptible, ridiculous,
What act more execrably unclean, prophane ? [Enter] Officer.
Chor. Yet with this strength thou serv'st the Off. Hebrews, the prisoner Samson here i
Idolatrous, uncircumcis'd, unclean. Chor. His manacles remark him, there he Sams. Not in their idol-worship, but by labour sits.
Honest and lawful to deserve my food Off. Samson, to thee our lords thus bid me of those who have me in their civil power. This day to Dagon is a solemn feast, (say; | Chor. Where the heart joins not, outward acts With sacrifices, triumph, pomp, and games :
defile not. Thy strength they know surpassing human rate, Sams. Where outward force constrains, the And now some public proof thereof require
sentence holds. To honour this great feast, and great assembly : But who coustrains me to the temple of Dagon, Rise therefore with all speed, and come along, Not dragging? the Philistian lords command. Where I will see thee hearten'd, and fresh clad, Commands are no constraints. If I obey them, To appear as fits before the illustrious lords. I do it freely, venturing to displease Sams. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew, there. God for the fear of man, and man prefer, fore tell them,
Set God behind: which in his jealousy Our law forbids at their religiov cites
| Shall never, unrepented, find forgiveness. My presence; for that cause cannot come. Yet that he may dispense with me, or thee, Off. This answer, be assurd, will not content Present in temples at idolatrous rites them.
For some important cause, thou need'st not doubt. Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every Chor. How thou wilt here come off surmounts sort
my reach. Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, Sams. Be of good courage; I begin to feel Jaglers, and dancers, antics, mummers, mis Some rousing motions in me, which dispose mics,
To something extraordinary my thoughts.
Nothing to do, be sure, that may dishonour To make them sport with blind activity
Our law, or stain my vow of Nazarite.
This day will be remarkable in my life
By some great act, or of my days the last.' Return the way thou cam'st, I will not come. Chor. In time thou hast resoly'd, the man reOff. Regard thyself; this will offend them
Off. Samson, this second message from our Sams. Myself? my conscience, and internal
To thee I am bid say. Art thod our slave, Can they think me so broken, so debas'd Our captive at the public mill, our drudge, With corporal servitude, that my mind ever And dar'st thou at our sending and command Will condescend to such absurd commands? Dispute thy coming ? come without delay; Although their drudge, to be their fool or jester, Or we shall find such engines to assail And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief And hamper thee, as thou shalt come of foice, To show them feats, and play before their god, Though thou wert firmlier fasten'd than a rock The worst of all indignities, yet on me
Sams. I could be well content to try their art, Join'd with extreme contempt? I will not come. | Which to no few of them would prove pernicious. Off. My message was impos'd on me with Yet, knowing their advantages too many, speed,
Because they shall not trail me through their Brooks no delay: is this thy resolution?
streets Sams. So take it with what speed thy message Like a wild beast, I am content to go. needs.
Masters' commands come with a power resistless Off. I am sorry what this stoutness will pro To such as owe them absolute subiection, duce. (Erit.]
And for a life who will not change his purpose ? Sams. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sor (So mutable are all the ways of men ;) row indeed.
Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply Chor. Consider, Samson; matters now are
Scandalous or forbidden in our law.
Off. I praise thy resolution : doff these links : Up to the height, whether to hold or break : By this compliance thou wilt win the lords He's gone, and who knows how he may report | To favour, and perhaps to set thee free. Thy words by adding fuel to the fame?
Sams. Brethren, farewell; your company Expect another message more imperious,
along More lordly thundering than thou well wilt bear. I will not wish, lest it perbaps offend them
Sams. Shall I abuse this consecrated gift To see me girt with friends, and how the sight Of strength, again returning with my hair Of me, as of a common enemy,