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O first created Beam, and thou great

Word,
Let there be light, and light was over all ;
Why am I thus bereav'd thy prime decree ?
The sun to me is dark
And silent as the moon,
When the deserts the night
Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.
Since light so necessary is to life,
And almost life itself, if it be true
That light is in the soul,
She all in every part ; why was the fight
To such a tender ball as th’

eye confin'd,
So obvious and so easy to be quench'd ?
And not, as feeling, through all parts diffus’d,
That she might look at will through every pore?
Then had I not been thus exil'd from light,
As in the land of darkness yet in light,
To live a life half dead, a living death,
And bury'd ; but O yet more miserable !
Myself, my sepulchre, a moving grave,
Bury'd, yet not exempt
By privilege of death and burial
From worst of other evils, pains and wrongs,
But made hereby obnoxious more
To all the miseries of life,
Life in captivity
Among inhuman foes.
But who are these? for with joint pace I hear
The tread of many feet steering this way ;
Perhaps my enemies who come to stare

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120

At my affliction, and perhaps t'insult,
Their daily practice to afflict me more.
CHOR. This, this is he ; softly a while,

115
Let us not break in upon him ;
O change beyond report, thought, or belief!
See how he lies at random, carelesly diffus’d,
With languish'd head unpropt,
As one past hope, abandon'd,
And by himself given over ;
In Navish habit, ill fitted weeds
O'er-worn and soil'd;
Or do my eyes misrepresent? Can this be he,
That heroic, that renown'd,

125 Irresistible Samson? whom unarm’d No strength of man, or fiercest wild beast could withstand; Who tore the lion, as the lion tears the kid, Ran on imbattel'd armies clad in iron, And weaponless himself,

130 Made arms ridiculous, useless the forgery Of brazen shield and spear, the hammer'd cuirass, Chalybean temper'd steel, and frock of mail Adamantean proof; But safest he who stood aloof,

135 When insupportably his foot advanc'd, In scorn of their proud arms and warlike tools, Spurn’d them to death by troops. The bold Ascalonite Fled from his lion ramp, old warriors turn'd Their plated backs under his heel;

14 Or grov'ling foild their crested helmets in the dust. Then with what trivial weapon came to hand,

The

The jaw of a dead ass, his sword of bone,
A thousand fore-skins fell, the flower of Palestine,
In Ramath-lechi famous to this day.

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Then by main force pull’d up, and on his shoulders bore
The gates of Azza, poft, and maffy bar,
Up to the hill by Hebron, seat of giants old,
No journey of a fabbath-day, and loaded fo ;
Like whom the Gentiles feign to bear up Heaven. 150
Which shall I first bewail,
Thy bondage or loft fight,
Prison within prison
Inseparably dark ?
Thou art become (О worst imprisonment!) 155
The dungeon of thyself; thy soul
(Which men enjoying sight oft without cause complain)
Imprison’d now indeed,
In real darkness of the body dwells,
Shut up from outward light

160 T'incorporate with gloomy night; For inward light alas Puts forth no visual beam. O mirror of our fickle state, Since man on earth unparallel'd !

165 The rarer thy example stands, By how much from the top of wondrous glory, Strongest of mortal men, To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fallin. For him I reckon not in high estate

170 Whom long descent of birth Or the sphere of fortune raises;

But

But thee whose strength, while virtue was her mate,
Might have subdued the earth,
Universally crown'd with highest praises.

175 Sams. I hear the sound of words, their sense the air Diffolves unjointed ere it reach my ear.

Cho. He speaks, let us draw nigh. Matchless in The glory late of Israel, now the grief; [might, We come thy friends and neighbours not unknown 180 From Ethtaol and Zora's fruitful vale, To visit or bewail thee, or if better, Counsel or confolation we may bring, Salve to thy fores; apt words have pow'r to swage The tumors of a troubled mind,

185 And are as balm to fester'd wounds.

SAMs. Your coming, Friends, revives me, for I Now of my own experience, not by talk, [learn How counterfeit a coin they are who friends Bear in their superscription (of the most

190 I would be understood); in prosp'rous days They (warm, but in adverse withdraw their head, Not to be found, though sought. Ye see, O Friends, How many evils have inclos'd me round; Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me, 193 Blindness, for had I fight, confus’d with shame, How could I once look up, or heave the head, Who like a foolish pilot have shipwrack'd My vessel trusted to me from above, Gloriously rigg'd; and for a word, a tear, Fool, have divulg'd the secret gift of God To a deceitful woman? tell me, Friends,

Am

200 210

Am I not sung and proverb’d for a fool
In every street? do they not say, how well
Are come upon him his deserts ? yet why? 205
Immeasurable strength they might behold
In me, of wisdom nothing more than mean;
This with the other should, at least, have pair'd,
These two proportion’d ill drove me transverse.

Cho. Tax not divine disposal; wisest men
Have err’d, and by bad women been deceiv’d;
And shall again, pretend they ne'er so wise.
Deject not then so overmuch thyself,
Who halt of sorrow thy full load besides ;
Yet truth to say, I oft have heard men wonder

215
Why thou shouldft wed Philiftian women rather
Than of thinè own tribe fairer, or as fair,
At least of thy own nation, and as noble.

Sams. The first I saw at Timna, and the pleas’d. Me, not my parents, that I fought to wed The daughter of an infidel: they knew not That what I motion'd was of God; I knew From intimate impulse, and therefore urg'd The marriage on; that by occasion hence I might begin Ifrael's deliverance,

225 The work to which I was divinely call’d. She proving false, the next I took to wife (O that I never had! fond with too late,) Was in the vale of Sorec, Dalila, That specious monster, my accomplish'd snare. 230 I thought it lawful from

my

former act, And the fame end; still watching to oppress

Ifrael's

220

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