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On hostile ground, none daring my affront;
Sams. Wherever fountain or fresh current flow'd Against the eastern ray, translucent, pure With touch ethereal of heaven's fiery rod, I drank, from the clear milky juice allaying Thirst, and refresh'd; nor envied them the grape Whose heads that turbulent liquor fills with fumes.
Cho. O madness, to think use of strongest wines, And strongest drinks, our chief support of health, When God, with these forbidden, made choice to rear His mighty champion, strong above compare, Whose drink was only from the liquid brook!
Sams. But what avail'd this temperance, not comAgainst another object more enticing ? [plete What boots it at one gate to make defence, 560 And at another to let in the foe, Effeminately vanquish'd ? by which means, Now blind, dishearten'd, shamed, dishonour'd, puell'd To what can I be useful, wherein serve
My nation, and the work from Heaven imposed,
Man. Wilt thou then serve the Philistines with that
Sams. All otherwise to me my thoughts portend, : 90 That these dark orbs no more shall treat with light, Nor the other light of life continue long, But yield to double darkness nigh at hand: So much I feel my genial spirits droop, My hopes all flat, nature within me seems In all her functions weary of herself; My race of glory run, and race of shame, And I shall shortly be with them that rest.
Man. Believe not these suggestions which proceed
Sams. O, that torment should not be confined
My griefs not only pain me,
I was his nursling once, and choice delight,
Cho. Many are the sayings of the wise, In ancient and in modern books enroll’d, Extolling patience as the truest fortitude; And to the bearing well of all calamities, All chances incident to man's frail life, Consolatories writ With studied argument, and much persuasion sought, Lenient of grief and anxious thought: But with the afflicted, in his pangs, their sound 660 Little prevails, or rather seems a tune Harsh, and of dissonant mood from his complaint: Unless he feel within Some source of consolation from above, Secret refreshings, that repair his strength, And fainting spirits uphold.
God of our fathers ! what is man, That thou, towards him, with hand so various, Or might I say contrarious, Temper'st thy providence through his short course,670 Not evenly, as thou rulest The angelic orders, and inferior creatures mute, Irrational and brute ? Nor do I name of men the common rout, That, wandering loose about, Grow and perish, as the summer fly, Heads without name, no more remembered; But such as thou hast solemnly elected, With gifts and graces eminently adorn’d, To some great work, thy glory,
680 And people's safety, which in part they effect : Yet toward these, thus dignified, thou oft, Amidst their height of noon, Changest thy countenance, and thy hand, with no regard Of highest favours past From thee on them, or them to thee of service.
Nor only dost degrade them, or remit To life obscured, which were a fair dismission, But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt them Unseemly falls in human eye,
[high; Too grievous for the trespass or omission; 690 Oft leavest them to the hostile sword Of heathen and profane, their carcasses To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captived; Or to the unjust tribunals, under change of times, And condemnation of the ungrateful multitude. If these they 'scape, perhaps in poverty, With sickness and disease, thou bow'st them down, Painful diseases and deform'd, In crude old age;