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As I suppose, towards your once glory'd friend,
My son now captive, hither hath informid 335
Your younger feet, while mine cast back with age
Came lagring after; say if he be here?

Chor. As signal now in low dejected state,
As erst in ni hest, behold him where he lies.

Man. miserable change! is this the man, 340
That invincible Samson, far renown'd,
The dread of Israel's foes, who with a strength
Equivalent to angels walk'd their streets,
None offering fight: who single combatant
Duell’d their armies rank'd in proud array, .

313
Himself an army, now unequal match
To save himself against a coward arm'd
At one spear's length ? O ever-failing trust,
Immortal strength! and oh what not in man
Deceivable and vain? Nay, what thing good
Pray'd for, but often proves our woe, our bane?
I pray'd for children, and thought barrenness
In wedlock a reproach; I gain'd a son,
And such a son as all men hail'd me happy;
Who would be now a father in my stead? 355
() wherefore did God grant me my request,
And as a blessing with such pomp adorn'd?
Why are his gifts desirable, to tempt
Our earnest prayers, then, given with solemn hand
As graces, draw a scorpion's tail behind ? 300
For this did th' angel twice descend ? for this
Ordain'd thy nurture holy as of a plant
Select, and sacred, glorious for a while,
The miracle of men ; then in an hour
Insnared, assaulted, overcome, led bound, 305
Thy foes' derision, captive, poor and blind,
Into a dungeon thrust, to work with slaves ?
Alas, methinks whom God hath chosen once
To worthiest deeds, if he through frailty eri,
He should not so o'erwhelm, and as a thrall 370
Subject him to so foul indignities
Be' it but for honour's sake of former deeds.

Sum. Appoint not heav'nly disposition, Father; Nothing of all these evils hath befall n me

359. Luke x1. 12.
372 Appoint, arraigo or summon to answet.

But justly;

myself have brought then on, 375 Sole author I, sole cause : if aught seem vile, As vile hath heen my folly, who have profaned The mystery of God giv'n me under pledge Of vow, and have betray'd it to a woman, A Canaanite, my faithless enemy.

380 This we'i I knew, nor was at all surprised, But warn'd by oft experience : did not she Of Timna first betray me, and reveal The secret wrested from me in her highth Of nuptial love profess'd, carrying it straight 385 To them who had corrupted her, my spies, And rivals? In this other was there found More faith, who also in her prime of love, Spousal embraces, vitiated with gold, Though offer'd only, by the scent conceived

390 Her spurious first-born, treason against me? Thrice she assay'd with flattering pray’rs and sighs, And amorous reproaches, to win from me My capital secret, in what part my strength [know; Lay stored, in what part summ'd, that she might Thrice I deluded her, and turn'd to sport

396
Her importunity, each time perceiving
How openly, and with what impudence
She purposed to betray mne, and (which was worse
Than undissembled hate) with what contempt 400
She sought to make me traitor to myself;
Yet the fourth time, when must'ring all her wiles,
With blandish'd parleys, feminine assaults,
Tongue-batteries, she surceased not day nor night
To storm me over-watch'd, and weary'd out, 405
At times when men seek most repose and rest,
I yielded, and unlock'd her all my heart,
Who with a grain of manhood well resolved
Might easily have shook off all her snares;
But foul effeminacy held me yoked

410
Her bond-slave; () indignity, O blot
To honour and religion ! servile mind
Rewarded well with servile punishment!
The base degree to which I now am fallen,
These rags, this grinding is not yet so base 413
As was iny former servitude ignoble,
Unmanly, ignominious, infamous,

True slavery, and that blindness worse than this, That saw not how degenerately I served. 419

Man. I cannot praise thy marriage choices, Son, Rather approved them not; but thou plead Divine impulsion prompting how thou might'st Find some occasion to infest our foes. I state not that; this I am sure, our foes Found soon occasion thereby to make thee 425 Their captive, and their triumph; thou the sooner Temptation found'st, or over-potent charms To violate the sacred trust of silence Deposited within thee; which to have kept Tacit was in thy power : true; and thou bear'st 430 Enough, and more, the burden of that fault; Bitterly hast thou paid, and still art paying That rizid score. A worse thing yet remains : This day the Philistines a popular feast Here celebrate in Gaza ; and proclaim

434 Great pomp and sacrifice, and praises loud To Dagon, as their god who hath deliver'd Thee, Samson, bound and blind into their hands, Them out of thine, who slew'st them many a slain. So Dagon shall be magnified, and God,

440 Besides whoin is no god, compared with idols Disglorified, blasphened, and had in scorn By the idolatrous rout ainidst their wine; Which to have come to pass by means of thee, Samson, of all thy sufferings think the heaviest, 443 Of all reproach the most with shame that ever Could have befallen thee and thy father's house.

Sam. Fathe:, I do acknowledge and confess That I this honour, I this pomp, have brought To Dagon, and advanced his praises high

-150 Among the Heathen 'round; to God have brought Dishonour, obloquy, and oped the mouths Of idolists, and atheists; have brought scandal To Israel, diffidence of God, and doubt In feeble hearts, propense enough before

455 To waver, or fall off and join with idols; Which is my chief affliction, shame and sorrow, The anguish of my soul, that suffers not Mine eye to harbour sleep, or thoughts to rest. This only hope relieves me, that the strife ACN

With me bath end, all tlie contést is now
'Twixt God and Dagon; Dagon hath. presumed,
Me overthrown, to enter lists with God,
His deitv comparing and preferring
Before the God of Abraham. He, be sure, 406
Will not connive, ur linger, thus provoked,
But will arise and his great name assert :
Dagon must stoop, and shall ere long receive
Such a discomfit, as shall quite despoil him
Of all these boast d trophies wou on me,

470 And with confusion blank his worshippers.

Mun. With cause this hope relieves thee, and these I as a prophecy receive; for God,

(words, Nothing more certain, will not long defer To vindicate the glory of his name

475 Against all competition, nor will long Endure it doubtful whether God be Lord, Or Dagon. But for thee what shall be done? Thou must not in the meanwhile here forgot Lie in this miserable loathsome plight

480 Neglected. I already have made way To some Philistian lords, with whom to treat About thy ransum : well they may by this Have satisfied their utmost of revenge By pains and slaveries, worse than death inflicted On thee, who now no more can't do them harm. 186

Sum. Spare that proposal, Father, spare the trouble Of that solicitation ; let me here, As I deserve, pay on my punishment; And expiate, if possible, my crime,

490 Shameful garrulity. To have reveal'd Secrets of men, the secrets of a friend, How heinous had the fact beeu, how deserving Contenipt, and scorn of all, to be excluded All friendship, and avoided as a blab,

495 The mark of fool set on his front? But I God's counsel have not kept, his holy secret Presumptuously have publish'd impiously, Weakly at least, and shamefully: a sin That Gentiles in their parables condemn

500

500. The a'lusion is to the story of Tantalus, who it is said revealed the secrrts of the gods, and was for that condemned to punishment in the infernal regions.

To their abyss and horrid pains confined.

Man. Be penitent and for thy fault contrite,
But act not in thy own affliction, Son:
Repent the sin, but if the punishment
Thou canst avoid, self-preservation bids ;

305
Or th' execution leave to high disposal,
And let another hand, not thine, exact
Thy penal forfeit from thyself ; perhaps
God will relent, and quit thee all his debt;
Who ever more approves, and more accepts 510
(Best pleased with humble' and filial submission)
Him who imploring mercy sues for life,
Than who self-rigorous chooses death as due :
Which argues over-just, and self-displeased
For self-offence, more than for God offended. 515
Reject not then what offer'd means; who knows
But God hath sent before us, to return thee
Home to thy country and his sacred house,
Where thou mayst bring thy offerings, to avert
His further ire, with pray’rs and vows renew'd ? 520

Sam. His pardon I implore ; but as for life, To what end should I seek it? when in strength All mortals I excell'd, and great in hopes With youthful courage and magnanimous thoughts Of birth from Heav'n foretold and high exploits, 525 Full of divine instinct, after some proof Or acts indeed heroic, far beyond The sons of Anak, famous now and blazed, Fearless of danger, like a petty god, I walk'd about admired of all, and dreaded 530 On hostile ground, none daring my affront. Then swollen with pride into the snare I fell Of fair fallacious looks, venereal trains, Soften'd with pleasure and voluptuous life ; At length to lay my head and hallow'd pledge 535 Of all my strength in the lascivious lap Of a deceitful concubine, who shore me Like a tame wether, all my precious fleece, Then turn'd me out ridiculous, despoil'd, Shaven and disarm'd among mine enemies.

540 Chor. Desire of wine and all delicious drinks,

538. OS is to be understood before all, &c. 541. Allusion is here made to the strictness of living imposed

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