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Besides whom is no god, compar'd with idols, Of fair fallacious looks, venereal trains,
Disglorified, blasphein'd, and had in scorn

Soften'd with pleasure and voluptuous life;
By the idolatrous rout amidst their wine;

At length to lay my head and hallow'd pledge 535 Which to have come to pass by means of thee, Of all my strength in the lascivious lap Samson, of all thy sufferings think the heaviest, Of a deceitful concubine, who shore me Of all reproach the most with shame that ever 446 Like a tame wether, of my precious fleece, Could have befallen thee and thy father's house. Then turn'd me out ridiculous, despoil'd,

Sams. Father, I do acknowledge and confess Shaven and disarm'd among mine enemies. 540 That I this honour, I this pomp have brought Chor. Desire of wine and all delicious drinks, To Dagon, and advanc'd his praises high 450

Which many a famous warrior overturns, Among the Heathen round; to God have brought Thou couldst repress, nor did the dancing ruby, Dishonour, obloquy, and op'd the mouths

Sparkling, out pour'd the flavour or the smell, Of idolists, and atheists; have brought scandal Or taste that cheers the hearts of gods and men, To Israel, diffidence of God, and doubt

Allure thee from the cool crystalline stream. 546 In feeble hearts, propense enough before 455

Sams. Wherever fountain or fresh current To waver, or fall off and join with idols;

flow'd Which is my chief affliction, shame, and sorrow, Against the eastern ray, translucent, pure, The anguish of my soul, that suffers not

With touch ethereal of heaven's fiery rod, Mine eye to harbour sleep, or thoughts to rest. I drank, from the clear milky juice allaying 550 This only hope relieves me, that the strife 460 Thirst, and refresh'd ; nor envied them the grape With me hath end; all the contest is now

Whose heads that turbulent liquor fills with fumes. Twixt God and Dagon; Dagon hath presumid, Chor. O madness, to think use of strongest wines Me overthrown, to enter lists with God,

And strongest drinks our chief support of health, His deity comparing and preferring

When God with these forbidden made choice to Before the God of Abraham. He, be sure, 465


555 Will not connive, or linger, thus provok'd,

His mighty champion, strong above compare, But will arise and his great name assert :

Whose drink was only from the liquid brook. Dagon must stoop, and shalt ere long receive

Sams. But what avail'd this temp'rance, not Such a discomfit, as shall quite despoil him

complete Of all these boasted trophies won on me, 470 Against another object more enticing? And with confusion blank his worshippers.

What boots it at one gate to make defence, 560 Man. With cause this hope relieves thee, and And at another to let in the foe, these words

Effeminately vanquish'd ? by which means, I as a prophecy receive ; for God,

Now blind, dishearten'd, sham'd, dishonour'd, Nothing more certain, will not long defer

To what can I be useful, wherein serve

(quellid, To vindicate the glory of his name

475 My nation,

and the work from heaven impos'd, 566 Against all competition, nor will long

But to sit idle on the household hearth, Endure it doubtful whether God be Lord,

A hurdenous drone; to visitants a gaze, Or Dagon. But for thee what shall be done?

Or pitied object, these redundant locks Thou must not in the meanwhile here forgot Robustious to no purpose clust'ring down, Lie in this miserable loathsome plight 480

Vain monument of strength; till length of years Neglected. I already have made way

And sedentary numbness craze my limbs 571 To some Philistian lords, with whom to treat To a contemptible old age obscure; About thy ransom: well they may by this

Here rather let me drudge and earn my bread, Have satisfied their utmost of revenge

484 Till vermin or the draft of servile food By pains and slaveries, worse than death inflicted Consume me, and oft-invocated death

575 On thee, who now no more canst do them harm. Hasten the welcome end of all my pains.

Sams. Spare that proposal, father, spare the Man. Wilt thou then serve the Philistines with Of that solicitation ; let me here,


that gift As I deserve, pay on my punishment;

Which was expressly given thee to annoy them? And expiate, if possible, my crime,

490 Better at home lie bed-rid, not only idle, Shameful garrulity. To have reveal'd,

Inglorious, unemploy'd, with age out-worn. 580 Secrets of men, the secrets of a friend,

But God who causd a fountain at thy prayer How heinous had the fact been, how deserving From the dry ground to spring, thy thirst 't allay Contempt and scorn of all, to be excluded

After the brunt of battle, can as easy All friendship, and avoided as a blab,


Cause light again within thy eyes to spring, 584 The mark of fool set on his front?

Wherewith to serve him better than thou hast; But I God's counsel have not kept, his holy secret And I persuade me so, why else this strength Presumptuously have publish'd, impiously,

Miraculous yet remaining in those locks? Weakly at least, and shamefully: a sin

His might continues in thee not for nought, That Gentiles in their parables condemn 500 Nor shall his wondrous gifts be frustrate thus. 589 To their abyss and horrid pains confin'd.

Sams. All otherwise to me my thoughts portend, Man. Be penitent and for thy fault contrite, That these dark orbs no more shall treat with light, But act not in thy own affliction, son ;

Nor th' other light of life continue long,
Repent the sin, but if the punishment

But yield to double darkness nigh at hand :
Thou canst avoid, self-preservation bids; 505 So much I feel my genial spirits droop,
Or th' execution leave to high disposal,

My hopes all flat, nature within me seems 595 And let another hand, not thine, exact

In all her functions weary of herself, Thy penal forfeit from thyself; perhaps

My race of glory run, and race of shame, God will relent, and quit thee all his debt;

And I shall shortly be with them that rest. Who ever more approves and more accepts 510 Man. Believe not these suggestions which pro. (Best pleas'd with humble and filial submission)

ceed Him who imploring mercy sues for life,

From anguish of the mind and humours black 600 Than who self-rigorous chooses death as due ; That mingle with thy fancy. I however Which argues over-just, and self displeas'd Must not omit a father's timely care For self-offence, more than for God offended. 515 To prosecute the means of thy deliverance Reject not then what offer'd means; who knows By ransom, or how else: meanwhile be calm But God hath set before us, to return thee

And healing words from these thy friends admit. Home to thy country and his sacred house,

Sams. O that torment should not be confin'd 606 Where thon may'st bring thy offerings to avert To the body's wounds and sores, His further ire, with prayers and vows renew'd ? 520 With maladies innumerable

Sams. His pardon I implore; but as for life, In heart, head, breast, and reins; To what end should I seek it? when in strength But must secret passage find

610 All mortals I excell'd, and great in hopes

To th' inmost mind,
With youthful courage and magnanimous thoughts There exercise all his fierce accidents,
Of birth from heaven foretold and high exploits, 525 And on her purest spirits prey,
Full of divine instinct, after some proof

As on entrails, joints, and limbs,
Of acts indeed heroic, far beyond

With answerable pains but more intense, 615
The sons of Anak, famous now and blaz'd, Though void of corporal sense.
Fearless of danger, like a petty god

My griefs not only pain me
I walk d about admir'd of all and dreaded 530 As a ling'ring disease,
On hostile ground, none daring my affront. But finding no redress ferment and rage,
Then swoln with pride into the snare I fell

Nor less than wounds immedicable

620 near me.

Rankle, and fester, and gangrene,

That so bedeck'd, ornate, and gay, To black mortification.

Comes this way sailing Thoughts my tormentors arm'd with deadly stings Like a stately ship Mangle my apprehensive tenderest parts,

Of Tarsus, bound for th' isles

715 Exasperate, exulcerate, and raise

625 Of Javan or Gadire Dire inflammation, which no cooling herb

With all her bravery on, and tackle trim, Or medicinal liquor can assuage,

Sails fill'd, and streamers waving, Nor breath of vernal air from snowy Alp.

Courted by all the winds that hold them play, Sleep hath forsook and given me o'er

An amber scent of odorous perfume

720 To death's benumbing opium as my only cure . 630 Her harbinger, a damsel train behind; Thence faintings, swoonings of despair,

Some rich Philistian matron she may seem,
And sense of heaven's desertion.

And now at nearer view, no other certain
I was his nursling once and choice delight, Than Dalila thy wife.
His distin'd from the womb,

Sams. My wife, my traitress, let her not come Promis'd, by heavenly message twice descending,

725 Under his special eye

636 Chor. Yet on she moves, now stands, and eyes Abstemious I grew up and thriv'd amain ;

thee fix'd, He led me on to mightiest deeds

About to have spoke, but now, with head declin'd Above the nerve of mortal arm

Like a fair flower surcharg'd with dew, she weeps, Against th' uncircumcis'd, our enemies : 640 And words address'd seem into tears dissolved, But now hath cast me off as never known,

Wetting the borders of her silken veil:

730 And to those cruel enemies,

But now again she makes address to speak. Whom I by his appointment had provok'd,

Dal. With doubtful feet and wavering resolution Left me all helpless with th' irreparable loss

I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson, Of sight, reserv'd alive to be repeated

645 | Which to have merited, without excuse, The subject of their cruelty or scorn.

I cannot but acknowledge ; yet if tears

735 Nor am I in the list of them that hope;

May expiate (though the fact more evil drew Hopeless are all my evils, all remediless;

In the perverse event than I foresaw) This one prayer yet remains, might I be heard, My penance hath not slacken'd, though my pardon No long petition, speedy death,

650 No way assur'd. But conjugal affection The close of all my miseries, and the balm.

Prevailing over fear, and timorous doubt, 740 Chor. Many are the sayings of the wise,

Hath led me on desirous to behold In ancient and in modern books inrollid,

Once more thy face, and know of thy estate, Extolling patience as the truest fortitude

Ifaught in my ability may serve And to the bearing well of all calamities,

655 To lighten what thou suffer'st, and appease All chances incident to man's frail life,

Thy mind with what amends is in my power, 745 Consolatories writ

[sought, Though late, yet in some part to recompense With studied argument, and much persuasion My rash but more unfortunate misdeed! Lenient of grief and anxious thought :

Sams. Out, out hyæna; these are thy wonted But with th' afflicted in his pangs their sound 660 And arts of every woman false like thee, (arts, Little prevails, or rather seems a tune

To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray, 750 Harsh, and of dissonant mood from his complaint! Then as repentant to submit beseech, Unless he feel within

And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse, Some source of consolation from above,

Confess, and promise wonders in her change, decret refreshings, that repair his strength,

665 Not truly penitent, but chief to try And fainting spirits uphold.

Her husband, how far ury'd his patience bears, 755 God of our fathers, what is man!

His virtue or weakness which way to assail : That thou tow'rds hím with hand so various, Then with more cautious and instructed skill Or might I cay contrarious,

Again transgresses, and again submits; Temper'st thy providence through his short course, That wisest and best men full oft beguilid, Not evenly as thou rul'st

671 With goodness principled not to reject 760 Th' angelic orders and inferior creatures mute, The penitent, but ever to forgive, Irrational and brute.

Are drawn to wear out miserable days, Nor do I name of men the common rout,

Intangled with a pois'nous bosom snake, That wand'ring loose about

675 If not by quick destruction soon cut off Grow up and perish, as the summer fly,

As I by thee, to ages an example.

765 Heads without name no more remember'd,

Dal. Yet hear me, Sanson; not that I endeavour But such as thou hast solemnly elected,

To lessen or extenuate my offence, With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd

But that on th' other side if it be weigh'd Tc some great work, thy glory,

680 By'

with aggravations not surcharg'd, And people's safety, which in part they'effect: Or else with just allowance counterpois'd, 770 Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft

1 may, if possible, thy pardon find Amidst their height of noon

(regard The easier towards me, or thy hatred less. Changest thy countenance, and thy hand with no

First granting, as I do, it was a weakness Of highest favours past

685 In me, but incident to all our sex, From thee on theni, or them to thee of service. Curiosity, inquisitive, importune

775 Nor only dost degrade them, or remit

Of secrets, then with like infirmity To life obscurd, which were a fair dismission, To publish them, both common female faults: But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt them Was it not weakness also to make known high,

For importunity, that is for nought, Unseemly falls in human eye,

690 Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety ? 780 Too grievous for the tre pass or omission;

To what I did thou show'dst me first the way, Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword

But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not. Of heathen and profane, their carcasses

Nor shouldst thou have trusted that to woman's To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captiv'd;

frailty: Or to th' unjust tribunals, under change of times Ere I to thee, thou to thyself wast cruel, 784 And condemnation of th' ingrateful multitude. 696 Let weakness then with weakness come to parle If these they 'scape, perhaps in poverty

So near related, or the same of kind, Cith sickness and disease thou bow'st them down, Thinc forgive mine ; that man may censure thine Painful diseases and deform'd,

The gentler, if severely thou exact not In crude old age;

700 More strength from me, than in thyself was found. Though not disordinate, yet causeless suff'ring And what if love, which thou interpret'st hate, 790 The punishment of dissolute days: in fine,

The jealousy of love, powerful of sway Just or unjust alike stem miserable.

In human hearts, nor less in mine tow'rds thee, For oft alike both come to evil end.

704 Caus'd what I did ? I saw thee mutable So deal not with this once thy glorious champion, Of fancy, fear'd lest one day thou wouldst leave me The image of thy strength, and mighty minister. As her at Timna, sought by all means therefore What do I beg how hast thou dealt already ? How to indear, and hold thee to me firmest: 796 Behold him in this state calainitous, and turn No better way I saw than by importuning His labours, for thou canst, to peaceful end. To learn thy secrets, get into my power

But who is this, what thing of sea or land ? 710 The key of strength and safety: thou wilt say, Female of scx it seeins,

Why then reveal'd? I was assur'd by those 800 905

Who tempted me, that nothing was design'd Thy country sought of thee, it sought unjustly, Against thee but safe custody, and hold :

Against the law of nature, law of nations; 890 That made for me; I knew that liberty

No more thy country but an impious crew Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises, of men conspiring to uphold their state While I at home sat full of cares and fears, 805 By worse than hostile deeds, violating the ends Wailing thy absence in my widow'd bed;

For which our country is a name so dear; Here I should still enjoy thee day and night Not therefore to be obey'd. But zeal mov'd thee; Mine and love's prisoner, not the Philistines', To please thy gods thou didst it; gods unable 896 Whole to myself unhazarded abroad,

To acquit themselves and prosecute their foes Fearless at home of partners in my love. 810 But by ungodly deeds; the contradiction These reasons in love's law have pass'd for good, of their own deity, gods cannot be; Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps : Less therefore to be pleas'd, obey'd, or fear'd. 900 And love hath oft, well meaning, wrought much These false pretexts and varnish'd colours failing, woe,

Bare in thy guilt how foul must thou appear? Yet always pity' or pardon hath obtain'd.

Dal. In argument with men a woman ever Be not unlike all others, not austere

815 Goes by the worse, whatever be her cause. As thou art strong, inflexible as steel.

Sams. For want of words no doubt, or lack of If thou in strength all mortals dost exceed,

breath; In uncompassionate anger do not so.

Witness when I was worried with thy peals. Sams. How cunningly the sorceress displays

Dal. I was a fool, too rash, and quite mistaken Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine? 820 In what I thought would have succeeded best. That malice not repentance brought thee hither, Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson, By this appears; I gave, thou say'st, th' example, Afford me place to show what recompense 910 I led the way; bitter reproach, but true;

Tow'rds thee I intend for what I have misdone, I to myself was false ere thou to me;

Misguided only what remains past cure Such pardon therefore as I give my folly, 825 Bear not too sensibly, nor still insist Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou seest To' afflict thyself in vain: though sight be lost, Impartial, self-severe, inexorable,

Life yet hath many solaces, enjoy'd,

915 Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather Where other senses want not their delights, Confess it feign'd; weakness is thy excuse,

At home, in leisure and domestic ease, And I believe it, weakness to resist

830 Exempt from many a care and chance to which Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,

Eye-sight exposes daily men abroad. What murderer, what traitor, parricide,

I to the lords will intercede, not doubting 920 Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it ?

Their favourable ear, that I may fetch thee All wickedness is weakness : that plea therefore From forth this loathsome prison-house, to abide With God or man will gain thee no remission. 835 With me, where my redoubled love and care But love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage With nursing diligence, to me glad office, To satisfy thy lust; love seeks to have love;

May ever tend about thee to old age

925 My love how couldst thou hope, who took'st the With all things grateful cheer'd, and so supplied, way

That what by me thou' hast lost thou least shalt To raise in me inexpiable hate,

miss. Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd ? 840 Sams. No, no, of my condition take no care; In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame, It fits not; thou and I long since are twain; Or hy evasions thy crime uncover'st more.

Nor think me so unwary or accursid,

930 Dal. Since thou determin'st weakness for no plea To bring my feet again into the snare In man or woman, though to thy own condemning, Where once I have been caught; I know thy trains Hear what assaults I had, what snares besides, 845 Though dearly to my cost, thy gins, and toils; What sieges girt me round, ere I consented; Thy fair enchanted cup, and warbling charms Which might have aw'd the best resolv'd of men, No more on me have power, their force is nullid, The constantest, to have yielded without blame. So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd 936 It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st,

To fence my ear against thy sorceries. That wrought with me: thou know'st the magis. If in my flower of youth and strength, when all trates


men And princes of my country came in person,

Lov'd, honour'd, fear'd me, thou alone couldst hate Solicited, commanded, threaten'd, urg'd,


939 Adjur'd by all the bonds of civil duty

Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forego me; Apd of religion, press'd how just it was,

How wouldst thou use me now, blind; and there How honourable, how glorious to intrap 855

by A common enemy, who had destroy'd

Deceivable, in most things as a child Such numbers of our nation : and the priest Helpless, thence easily contemn'd, and scorn'd, Was not behind, but ever at my ear,

And last neglected ? How wouldst thou insult, Preaching how meritorious with the gods

When I must live uxorious to thy will

945 It would be to ensnare an irreligious


In perfect thraldom, how again betray me, Dishonourer of Dagon: what had I

Bearing my words and doings to the lords To'oppose against such powerful arguments ? To gloss upon, and censuring, frown or smile ? Only my love of thee held long debate,

This jail I count the house of liberty

949 And combated in silence all these reasons

To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter. With hard contest: at length that grounded maxim Dal. Let me approach at least, and touch thy So rife and celebrated in the inouths


hand. Of wisest men, that to the public good

Sams. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance Private respects must yield, with grave authority

wake Took full possession of me and prevail'd;

My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint. Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty so enjoining. 870 Ai distance I forgive thee, go with that ; Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles Bewail thy falsehood, and the pious works 955 would end;

It hath brought forth to make thee memorable In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy.

Among illustrious women, faithful wives : But had thy love, still odiously pretended,

Cherish'd by hasten'd widowhood with the gold Been as it ought, sincere, it would have taught thee Of matrimonial treason: so farewell. Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds. Dal. I see thou art implacable, more deaf 960 I, before all the daughters of my tribe


To prayers, than winds and seas, yet winds to seas And of my nation, chose thee from among

Are reconcil'd at length, and sea to shore;
My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st, Thy anger, unappeasable, still rages,
Too well, unbosom'd all my secrets

Eternal tempest never to be calın'd.
Not out of levity, but over-power'd

880 Why do I humble thus myself, and suing 965 By thy request, who could deny thee nothing;

For peace, reap nothing but repulse and hate? Yet now am judg'd an enemy. Why then

Bid go with evil omen and the brand Didst thou at first receive me for thy husband, Of infamy upon iny name denounc'd ? Then, as since then, thy country's foe profess'd ? To mix with thy concernments I desist Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own. 970 Parents and country; nor was I their subject, Fame if not double-fac'd is double-mouth'd, Nor under their protection, but my own,

And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds; Ibuu mine not iheirs: if vught against my life On both his wings, one black, the other white,



Bears greatest names in his wild airy flight.

Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind and My name perhaps among the circumcis'd 975

rain. In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering tribes,

Chor. But this another kind of tempest brings. To all posterity may stand defam'd,

Sams. Be less abtruse, iny riddling days are past. With malediction mention'd, and the blot

Chor. Look now for no enchanting voice, nor fear Of falsehood most unconjugal traduc'd.

The bait of honied words; a rougher tongue 1066 But in my country, where I most desire, 980 Draws hitherward, I know him by his stride, In Ecron, Gaza, Asdod, and in Gath,

The giant Harapha of Gath, his look I shall be nam'd among the famousest

Haughty as is his pile high-built and proud. Of women, sung at solemn festivals,

Comes he in peace ? what wind hath blown him Living and dead recorded, who to save


1070 Her country from a fierce destroyer, chose 985 I less conjecture than when first I saw Above the faith of wedlock-bands, my tomb

The sumptuous Dalila floating this way: With odours visited, and annual flowers;

His habit carries peace, his brow defiance. Not less renown'd than in mount Ephraim

Sams. Or peace or not, alike to me he comes. Jael, who with inhospitable guile

Chor. His fraught we soon shall know, he now Smote Sisera sleeping thro' the temples nail'd. 990


1075 Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy

Har. I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance, The public marks of honour and reward

As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been, Conferr'd upon me, for the piety

Though for no friendly' intent. I am of Gath, Which to my country I was judg'd to have shown. Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd At this who ever envies or repines, 995 As Og or Anak and the Emims old

1080 I leave him to his lot, and like my own.

That Kiriathaim held, thou know'st me now Chor. She's gone, a manifest serpent by her If thou at all art known. Much I have heard sting

Of thy prodigious might and feats perform'd Discover'd in the end, till now conceal'd.

Incredible to me, in this displeas'd, Sams. So let her go, God sent her to debase me, That I was never present on the place 1085 And aggravate my folly, who committed 1000 Of those encounters, where we might have tried To such a viper his most sacred trust

Each other's force in camp or listed field: Of secresy, my safety and my life.

And now am come to see of whom such noise Chor. Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey, power,

If thy appearance answer loud report. 1090 After offence returning, to regain

Sams. The way to know were not to see but taste. Love once possess'd, nor can be easily 1005 Har. Dost thou already single me? I thought Repuls'd, without much inward passion felt Gyves and the mill had tam'd thee. O that for. And secret sting of amorous remorse.

tune Sams. Love quarrels oft in pleasing concord end, Had brought me to the field, where thou art fam'd Not wedlock-treachery indang'ring life.

To have wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw; Chor. It is not virtue, wisdom, valour, wit, 1010 I should have forc'd thee soon with other arms, 1096 Strength, comeliness of shape, or amplest merit Or left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown: That woman's love can win or long inherit;

So had the glory' of prowess been recover'd But what it is, hard is to say,

To Palestine, won by a Philistine Harder to hit,

From the unforeskin'd race, of whom thou bear'st (Which way soever men refer it)


The highest name for valiant acts;that honour 1101 Much like thy riddle, Samson, in one day

Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee, Or seven, though one should musing sit.

I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out. If any of these or all, the Timnian bride

Sams. Boast not of what thou wouldst have done, Had not so soon preferr'd

but do Thy paranymph, worthless to the compar'd 1020 What then thou wouldst, thou seest it in thy hand. Successor in thy bed,

Har. To combat with a blind man I disdain, 1106 Nor both so loosely disallied

And thou hast need much washing to be touch'd. Their nuptials, not this last so treacherously

Sams. Such usage as your honourable lords Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.

Afford me' assassinated and betray'd, Is it for that such outward ornament

1025 Who durst not with their whole united powers Was lavish'd on their sex, that inward gifts In fight withstand me single and unarm'd, 1111 Were left for haste unfinish'd judgment scant, Nor in the house with chamber ambushes Capacity not rais'd to apprehend

Close-banded durst attack me, no not sleeping, Or value what is best

Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold 1114 In choice, but oftest to affect the wrong? 1030 Breaking her marriage faith to circuinvent me. Or was too much of self-love mix'd,

Therefore without feign'd shifts let me be assign'd Of constancy no root infix'd,

Some narrow place inclos'd, where sight may give That either they love nothing, or not long?

thee, Whate'er it be to wisest men and best

Or rather flight, no great advantage on me; Seeming at first all heavenly under virgin veil 1035 Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet Soft, modest, meek, demure,

And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon,1120 Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn Vant-brass and greaves, and gauntlet, add thy Intestine, far within defensive arms

spear, A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue

A weaver's beam, and seven-times-folded shield, Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms 1040 I only with an oaken staff will meet thee Draws him awry inslav'd

And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron, 1124 With dotage, and his sense deprav'd

Which shall not long withhold me from thy head, To folly' and shameful deeds which ruin ends. That in a little time while breath remains thee, What pilot so expert but needs must wreck

Thou oft shalt wish thyself at Gath to boast Embark'd with such a steersmate at the helm ? 1045 Again in safety what thou wouldst have done Favour'd of Heaven who finds

To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more. One virtuous rarely found,

Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious That in domestic good combines :


1130 Happy that house!his way to peace is smooth. Which greatest heroes have in battle worn, But virtue which breaks thro' all opposition, 1050 Their ornament and safety, had not spells And all temptation can remove,

And black enchantments, some magician's art, Most shines and most is acceptable above.

Arm'd thee, or charın'd thee strong, which thou Therefore God's universal law

from Heaven

1134 Gave to the man despotic power

Feign'st at thy birth was given thee in thy hair, ()ver his female in due awe,

1055 Where strength can least abide, though all thy hairs Not from that right to part an hour,

Were bristles rang'd like those that ridge the back Smile she or lower:

Of chaf'd wild boars, or ruffled porcupines. So shall he least confusion draw

Sams. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts; On his whole life, not sway'd

My trust is in the living God, who gave me 1140 By female usurpation, or dismay'd.

1060 At my nativity this strength, diffusa But had we best retire, I see a storm ?

No less through all my sinews, joints and bones,

Than thine, while I preserv'd these locks unshorn, To descant on my strength, and give thy verdict? The pledge of my unviolated vow.

Come nearer, part not hence so slight inform'd; For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy god, 1145 But take good heed my hand survey not thee. 1230 Go to his temple, invocate his aid

Har. O Baal-zebub! can my ears unus'd With solemnest devotion, spread before him Hear these dishonours, and not render death? How highly it concerns his glory now

Sams. No man withholds thee, nothing from thy To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells, Fear I incurable; bring up thy van, (hand, Which I to be the power of Israel's God 1150 My heels are fetter'd, but my fist is free. 1235 Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test,

Har. This insolence other kind of answer fits. Offering to combat thee his champion bold

Sams. Go, baffled coward, lest I run upon thee, With th' utmost of his godhead seconded :

Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast, Then thou shalt see, or rather to thy sorrow 1154 And with one buffet lay thy structure low, Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine. Or swing thee in the air, then dash thee down 1240

Har. Presume not on thy God, what'er he be, To the hazard of thy brains and shatter'd sides. Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off

Har. By Astaroth ere long thou shalt lament Quite from his people, and deliver'd up

These braveries in irons loaden on thee. Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them

Chor. His giantship is gone somewhat crestTo put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee

fallen, Into the common prison, there to grind 1161 Stalking with less unconscionable strides, 1245 Among the slaves and asses thy comrades,

And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe. As good for nothing else, no better service

Sams. I dread' him not, nor all his giant-brood, With those thy boist'rous locks no worthy match Though fame divulge him father of five sons, For valour to assail, nor by the sword 1165 All of gigantic size, Goliah chief. Of noble warrior, so to stain his honour,

Chor. He will directly to the lon's, I fear, 1250 But by the barber's razor best subdued.

And with malicious counsel stir them up Sams. All these indignities, for such they are Some way or other yet further to afflict thee. From thine, these evils I deserve and more,

Sams. He must allege some cause, and offer'd Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me 1170 Will not dare mention, lest a question rise (fight Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon,

Whether he durst accept th' offer or not, 1255 Whose ear is ever open, and his eye

And that he durst not plain enough appear'd. Gracious to re-admit the suppliant;

Much more affliction than already felt In confidence whereof I once again

They cannot well impose, nor I sustain, Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight, 1175 If they intend advantage of my labours, By combat to decide whose god is God,

The work of many hands, which earns my keeping Thine or whom I with Israel's sons adore.

With no small profit daily to my owners. Har. Fair honour that thou dost thy God, in But come what will, my deadliest foe will prove trusting

My speediest friend, by death to rid me hence, He will accept thee to defend his cause

The worst that he can give, to me the best. A Murderer, a Revolter, and a Robber. 1180 Yet so it may fall out' because their end 1265 Sams. Tongue-doughty Giant, how dost thou Is hate, not help to me, it may with mine prove me these?

Draw their own ruin who attempt the deed. Har. Is not thy nation subject to our lords?

Chor. O how comely it is, and how reviving Their magistrates confess'd it, when they took thee To the spirits of just men long oppress'd! As a league-breaker, and deliver'd bound

When God into the hands of their deliverer 1270 Into our hands : for hadst thou not committed 1185 Puts invincible might Notorious murder on those thirty men

10 quell the mighty of the earth, th' oppressor, At Ascalon, who never did thee harm,

1 he brute and boist'rous force of violent men Then like a robber stripp'dst them of their Hardy and industrious to support robes?

Tyrannic power, but raging to pursue 1275
The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the league, The righteous and all such as honour truth;
Went up with armed powers thee only seeking, 1196 He all their ammunition
To others did no violence nor spoil.

And feats of war defeats
Sams. Among the daughters of the Philistines With plain heroic magnitude of mind
I chose a wife, which argued me no foe;

And celestial vigour arm'd,

1280 And in your city held my nuptial feast :

Their armouries and magazines contemns,
But your ill-meaning politician lords, 1195 Renders them useless, while
Under pretence of bridal friends and guests, With wing'd expedition
Appointed to await me thirty spies,

Swift as the lightning glance he executes
Who threat'ning ctuel death constraind the bride His errand on the wicked, who surpris'd 1283
To wring from me and tell to them my secret, Lose their defence distracted and amaz'd.
That solv'd the riddle which I had propos d. 1200 But patience is more oft the exercise
When I perceiv'd all set on enmity,

Of saints, the trial of their fortitude, As on my enemies, wherever chanc'd

Making them each his own deliverer, I us'd hostility, and took their spoil

And victor over all

1290 To pay my underminers in their coin.

That tyranny or fortune can inflict, My nation was subjected to your lords. 1205

Either of these is in thy lot It was the force of conquest; force with force Samson, with might indued Is well ejected when the conquer'd can.

Above the sons of men; but sight bereav'd But I a private person, whom my country

May chance to number thee with those 1295 As a league-breaker gave up bound, presum'd Whom patience finally must crown. Single rebellion and did hostile acts.

12101 This idol's day hath been thee no day of rest, I was no private but a person rais'd

Labouring thy mind
With strength sufficient and command from More than the working day thy hands.

And yet perhaps more trouble is behind, 1300 To free my country; if their servile minds

For I descry this way
Me their deliverer sent would not receive,

Some other tending, in his hand
But to their masters gave me up for nought, 1215 A sceptre or quaint staff he bears,
Th' anworthier they; whence to this day they Comes on amain, speed in his look.
By his habit I discern him now

1305 I was to do my part from Heaven assign'd,

A public officer, and now at hand. And had perform'd it, if my known offence His message will be short and voluble. Had not disabled me, not all your force:

off. Hebrews, the pris'ner Samson here I seek. These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant 1220 Chor. His manacles remark him, there he sits. Though by his blindness maim'd for high attempts off. Samson, to thee our lords thus bid me say; Who now defies thee thrice to single fight,

This day to Dagon is a solemn feast,

1311 as a petty enterprise of small enforce.

With sacrifices, triumph, pomp, and games; Har. With thee a man condemn'd, a slave in- Thy strength they know surpassing human rate, rollid,

And now some public proof thereof require Due by the law to capital punishment ? 1225 To honour this great feast, and great assembly; To fight with thee no man of arms will deign. Rise therefore with all speed and come along, 1310 Sams. Cain'st thou for this, vain boaster, to sur Where I will see thee hearten'd and fresh clad vey me,

To appear as fits before th' illustrious lords.

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