Page images
PDF
EPUB

Their daily practice, to afflict me more.

Enter CHORUS.

Chor. This, this is he; softly awhile;
Let us not break in upon him;
O change beyond report, thought, or belief!
See how he lies at random, carelessly diffused,
With languish'd head unpropp'd,
As one past hope, abandon'd,
"And by himself

given over;
In slavish habit, ill-fitted weeds
O'er-worn and soild;
Or do my eyes misrepresent? Can this be he,
That heroic, that renown'd,
Irresistible Samson whom unarm'd [withstand;
No strength of man, or fiercest wild beast could
Who tore the lion, as the lion tears the kid;
Ran on embattled armies clad in iron;
And, weaponless himself,
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,
When insupportably his foot advanced,
In scorn of their proud arms and warlike tools,
Spurn'd them to death by troops. The bold Ascalo-
Fled from his lion ramp; old warriors turn'd [nite
Their plated backs under his heel; [dust.
Or, grovelling, soild their crested helmets in the
Then, with what trivial weapon came to hand,

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. [bore
Then by main force pulld up, and on his shoulders
The gates of Azza, post, and massy bar,
Up to the hill by Hebron, seat of giants old,
No journey of a Sabbath-day, and loaded so;
Like whom the Gentiles feign to bear up heaven.
Which shall I first bewail,
Thy bondage or lost sight,
Prison within prison
Inseparably

dark? Thou art become (0 worst imprisonment !) The dungeon of thyself; thy soul, (Which men enjoying sight oft without cause comImprison'd now indeed,

[plain) In real darkness of the body dwells, Shut up from outward light To 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, 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 fallen. For him I reckon not in high estate, Whom long descent of birth, Or the sphere of fortune raises;

[mate, But thee, whose strength, while virtue was her

Might have subdued the earth,
Universally crown'd with highest praises.

Sam. I hear the sound of words; their sense the
Dissolves unjointed ere it reach my ear. [air
Thor. He speaks: let us draw nigh. Matchless
The glory late of Israel, now the grief; [in might,
We come, thy friends and neighbours not unknown,
From Eshtaol and Zora's fruitful vale,
To visit or bewail thee; or, if better,
Counsel or consolation we may bring,
Salve to thy sores: apt words have power to 'suage
The tumours of a troubled mind,
And are as balm to fester'd wounds.

Sam. 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 I would be understood:) in prosperous days They swarm, but in adverse withdraw their head, Not to be found, though sought. Ye see, O friends, How many evils have enclosed me round; Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts mc, Blindness; for had I sight, confused with shame, How could I once look up, or heave the head, Who, like a foolish pilot, bave shipwreck'd My vessel trusted to me from above, Gloriously rigg'd; and for a word, a tear, Fool! have divulged the secret gift of God To a deceitful woman? tell me, friends, 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?
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

Chor. Tax not Divine disposal; wisest men
Have err’d, and by bad women been deceived;
And shall again, pretend they ne'er so wise.
Deject not then so overmuch thyself,
Who hast of sorrow thy full load besides:
Yet truth to say, I oft have heard men wonder
Why thou should'st wed Philistian women rather
Than of thine own tribe fairer, or as fair,
At least of thy own nation, and as noble.

Sam. The first I saw at Timna, and she pleased Me, not my parents, that I sought 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 urged The marriage on; that by occasion hence I might begin Israel's deliverance, The work to which I was divinely call’d. She proving false, the next I took to wife, (O that I never had! fond wish too late!) Was in the vale of Sorec, Dalila, That specious monster, my accomplish'd snare. I thought it lawful from my former act, And the same end; still watching to oppress Israel's oppressors: of what now I suffer, She was not the prime cause, but I myself, (ness!) Who, vanquish'd with a peal of words, (O weak

Gave up my

fort of silence to a woman.
Chor. In seeking just occasion to provoke
The Philistine, thy country's enemy,
Thou never wast remiss, I bear thee witness:
Yet Israel still serves with all his sons.

Sam. That fault I take not on me, but transfer
On Israel's governors and heads of tribes,
Who, seeing those great acts which God had done
Singly by me against their conquerors,
Acknowledged not, or not at all consider'd
Deliverance offer'd: I, on the other side,
Used no ambition to commend my deeds; [doer;
The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the
But they persisted deaf, and would not seem
To count them things worth notice, till at length
Their lords the Philistines, with gather'd powers,
Enter'd Judea seeking me, who then
Safe to the rock of Etham was retired;
Not flying, but fore-casting in what place
To set upon them, what advantaged best:
Meanwhile the men of Judah, to prevent
The harass of their land, beset me round:
I willingly on some conditions came
Into their hands, and they as gladly yield me
To the uncircumcised a welcome prey,

[threads Bound with two cords; but cords to me were Touch'd with the flame: on their whole host I flew Unarm’d, and with a trivial weapon fell’d Their choicest youth; they only lived who fled. Had Judah that day join'd, or one whole tribe, They had by this possess'd the towers of Gath,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »