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Better at home lie bed-rid, not only idle, Inglorious, unemploy'd, with age out-worn. 580 But God, who caused a fountain at thy prayer From the dry ground to spring, thy thirst to allay After the brunt of battle, can as easy Cause light again within thy eyes to spring, Where with to serve him better than thou hast; 585 And I persuade me so ; why else this strength Miraculous yet remaining in those locks 7 His might continues in thee not for nought, Nor shall his wondrous gifts be frustrate thus. 589 Sam. All otherwise to me my thou.hts portend, That these dark orbs no more shall treat with light, North' 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 505 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 From anguish of the mind and humours black, 600 That mingle with thy fancy. I however Must not omit a father's timely care To prosecute the means of thy deliverance By ransom, or how else : meanwhile be calm, And healing words from these thy friends admit. 605 Sam. O that torment should not be confined To the body's wounds and sores, With maladies innumerable In heart, head, breast and reins; But must secret passage find To th’ inmost mind, There exercise all his fierce accidents, And on her purest spirits prey, As on entrails, joints, and limbs, With answerable pains, but more intense, 615
581. There is a difference between this account of the fountain which rose in answer to Samson's prayer, and that which is given in our translation of the Scripture. In the latter it is said the water sprang from the cleft Jäv, but by most of the commentators it is said, that as the word translated jaw is the proper name of a spot of ground, it should not in this place be translated in the
sense given in our version.
Though void of corporal sense.
My griefs not only pain ine
625 Dire inflammation, which no cooling herb Or medicinal liquor can assuage, Nor breath of vernal air from snowy Alp. Sleep hath forsook and given me o’er To death's benumbing opium as my only cure : 630 Thence faintings, swoonings of despair, And sense of Heav'n's desertion.
I was his nursling once and choice delight, His destined from the womb, Promised by heav'nly message twice descending. 635 Under his special eye Abstemious I grew up and thrived amain ; He led me on to mightiest deeds Above the nerve of mortal arm Against th' uncircumcised, our enemies :
640 But now hath cast me off as never known, And to those cruel enemies, Whom I by his appointment had provoked, Left une all helpless with th' irreparable loss Of sight, reserved alive to be repeated
645 The subject of their cruelty or scorn. Nor am I in the list of them that hope ; Hopeless are all my evils, all remediless ; This one prayer yet remains, might I be heard, No long petition, speedy death,
650 The close of all my miseries, and the balm.
Chor. Many are the sayings of the wise In ancient and in modern books inrollid, Extolling patience as the truest fortitude : And to the bearing well of all calamities, 655 All chances incident to man's frail life, 628. Alp, here used as a general name for mountains :
see also Par. Lost, ii. 628.
665 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, Not evenly, as thou rul'st
671 Th' angelic orders and inferior creatures mute, Irrational and brute ? Nor do I name of men the common rout, That, wand'ring loose about,
67 Grow up and perish as the summer fly, Heads without name no more remember'd; But such as thou hast solemnly elected, With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd To some great work, thy glory,
660 And people's safety, which in part they effect: Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft Amidst their highth of noon Changest thy count'nance, and thy hand with no Of highest favours past
(regard From thee on them, or them to thee of service. 686 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 Unseernly falls in human eye,
[high, Too grievous for the trespass or omission; 691 Oft leavest them to the hostile sword Of Heathen and profane, their carcases To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captived ; • Or to the unjust tribunals, under change of times, And condemnation of th' ungrateful multitude. 696 If these they 'scape, perhaps in poverty 658. Fraught is proposed by Warburton, instead of songht.
661. Ecclus. xxii. 6.
With sickness and disease thou bow'st them down, Painful diseases and deform'd, crude old age :
700 Though not disordinate, yet causeless suffering The punishment of dissolute days; in fine, Just or unjust alike seem miserable, For oft alike both come to evil end.
So deal not with this once thy glorious champion The image of thy strength, and mighty minister. 700 What do I beg ? how hast thou dealt already? Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn His labours, for thou canst, to peaceful end.
But who is this, what thing of sea or land? 710 Female of sex it seems, That so bedeck’d, ornate and gay, Comes this way sailing Like a stately ship Of Tarsus, bound for th' isles
715 Of Javan or Gadire With all her bravery an, and tackle trim, Sails fill'd, and streamers waving, Courted by all the winds that hold them play, An amber scent of odorous perfume
720 Her harbinger, a damsel train behind ? Some rich Philistian matron she may seem, And now at nearer view, no other certain Than Dalila thy wife. Sam. My wife, my traitress, let her not come near me.
725 Chor. Yet on she moves, now stands and eyes thee
fix'd, About to have spoke, but now,
with head declined Like a fair flower surcharged with dew, she weeps, And words address'd seem into tears dissolved, Wetting the borders of her silken veil :
730 But now again she makes address to speak.
Dal. With doubtful feet and wavering resolution I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson, Which to have merited, without excuse, I cannot but acknowledge; yet if tears
700. Crude, premature. 714. This comparison is to be found in several of the older poets, Shakspeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, &c.
May expiate (though the fact more evil drew
Sam. Out, out, hyæna; these are thy wonted arts,
760 The penitent, but ever to forgive, Are drawn to wear out miserable days, Entangled with a pois'nous bosom snake, If not by quick destruction soon cut off As I by thee, to ages an example.
765 Dal. Yet hear me, Samson; not that I endeavour To lessen or extenuate my offence, But that on the other side if it be weigh'd By' itself, with aggravations not surcharged, Or else with just allowance counterpoised, 770 1 may,
if possible, thy pardon find
775 Of secrets, then with like infirmity
748. Hyena ; this animal is known to imitate the human voice so well, as to have deceived travellers with its compluiats.