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By this repulse receiv'd, and hold'st in Hell
Thus they the Son of God our Saviour meek Sung victor, and from heav'nly feast refresh'd Brought on his way with joy; he unobserv'd Home to his mother's house private return'd.
END OF PARADISE REGAIN'..
She Persons. SAMSON, MANOAH, the Father of Samsor, DALILA, his wife. HARAPHA of Gath, Public Officer, Messenger. Chorus of Danites.
The Scene before the Prison in Gaza. SAMSON AGONISTES.
Che Argument. Samson made eaptive, blind, and now in the prison of Gaza,
there to labor as in a common workhouse, on a festival day, in the general cessation from labor, comes forth into the open air, to a place nigh, somewhat retired, there to sit awhile and bemoan his condition. Where he happens at length to be visited by certain friends and equals of his tribe, which make the Chorus, who seek to comfort him what they can ; then by his old father, Manoah, who endeavours the like, and withal tells him his purpose to procure his liberty by ransom; lastly, that this feast was proclaimed by the Philistines as a day of thanksgiving for their deliverance from the hands of Samson, which yet more troubles him.
Manoah then departs to pro. secute his endeavour with the Philistine lords for Samson's re. demption; who in the inean while is visited by other persons; and lastly by a public officer to require his coming to the feast before the lords and people, to play or show his strength in their presence ; he at first refuses, dismissing the public officer with absolute denial to come; at length persuaded inwardly that this was from God, he yields to go along with him, who came now the second time with great threatenings to fetch him: the Chorus yet remaining on the place, Manoah returns full of joyful hope, to procure ere long his son's deliverance, in the midst of which discourse an Hebrew comes in haste, confusedly at first, and afterward more distinctly relating the catastrophe, what Samson had done to the Philistines, and by accideni to himself; where with the tragedy ends.
task of servile toil,
Daily in the common prison else injoin’d me,
With this Heav'n-gifted strength ? O glorious
great deliverer now, and find him 40
stay, let me not rashly call in doubt Divine prediction; what if all foretold Had been fulfill'd but through mine own default, Whom have I to complain of but myself ? Who this high gift of ștrength committed to me, In what part lodg’d, how easily bereft me, Under the seal of silence could not keep, But weakly to a woman must reveal it, 50 O’ercome with importunity and tears. O impotence of mind, in body strong! But what is strength without a double share Of wisdom, vast, unwieldy, burdensome, Proudly secure, yet liable to fall By weakest subtleties, not made to rule, But to subserve where wisdom bears command ! God, when he gave me strength, to show withal How slight the gift was, hung it in my hair. But
peace, I must not quarrel with the will 60 Of highest dispensation, which herein Haply had ends above my reach to know : Suffices that to me strength is my bane, And proves the source of all my miseries ; So many and so huge, that each apart