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To daily fraud, contempt, abuse, and wrong.
Within doors, or without, still as a fool
In power of others, never in my own;
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half.
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse
Without all hope of day!
O first created beam, and thou great Word,
Let there be light, and light was over all ;
Why am I thus bereav'd thy prime decree?
The sun to me is dark
And silent as the moon,
When she deserts the night
Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.
Since light so necessary is to life,
And almost life itself, if it be true
That light is in the soul,
She all in every part; why was the sight
To such a tender ball

eye

confin'd, So obvious and so easy to be quench'd ? And not as feeling through all parts diffus'd,

as

th'

67 silent] · Mediæque silentia lunæ. Stat. Theb. ii. 58. • tacito sub lumine Phoeben. Sil. Ital. xv. 566. Mr. Todd quotes Dante Inferno, c. 1. • Mi ripingeva là dove 'l sol tace.' Mr. Dyce cites Shirley's Bird in a Cage, act iii. sc. 2. “As silent as the moon.'

A9 cave] Claudiani Cons. Stilickonis, iii. 268. •Concepit luna cavernis.' Iliados Epitome, ed. Korten, ver. 875.

quantum vel in orbe mearet Luna Cava Lucret. iv. 392. • Ætheriis adfixa cavernis.'

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That she might look at will through every pore?
Then had I not been thus exil'd from light,
As in the land of darkness yet in light,
To live a life half dead, a living death,
And buried; but O yet more miserable !
Myself my sepulchre, a moving grave,
Buried, yet not exempt
By privilege of death and burial
From worst of other evils, pains, and wrongs, 105
But made hereby obnoxious more
To all the miseries of life,
Life in captivity
Among inhuman foes.
But who are these ? for with joint pace I hear 110
The tread of many feet steering this way;
Perhaps my enemies, who come to stare
At my affliction, and perhaps t' insult,
Their daily practice to afflict me more.

Chor. This, this is he; softly a while, 115
Let us not break in upon him;
O change beyond report, thought, or belief!
See how he lies at random, carelessly diffus'd,

115

100 a living death] Consult the note, in Mr. Todd's edition, for the frequent use of this expression, from Petrarch, and Shakespeare, and the old English Poets.

102 a moving grave] A living grave.' Sidney's Arcadia, p. 352. A walking grave. Sir R. Howard's Vestal Vir. gin, 1665.

118 diffus'd] Sits diffus’d. Heywood's Troy, p. 314. Mr. Thyer quotes Ovid ex Ponto, iii. 3. 7.

Fusaque erant toto languida membra toro.'

1 20

125

With languish'd head unpropp'd,
As one past hope, abandon'd,
As by himself given over;
In slavish habit, ill-fitted weeds
O'er-worn and soil'd ;
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 imbattled 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 advanc'd, In scorn of their proud arms and warlike tools, Spurn'd them to death by troops. The bold Asca

lonite Fled from his lion ramp, old warriors turn'd Their plated backs under his heel;

132

135

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133 Chalybean] Virg. Georg. i. 58. Ov. Fast. iv. 405.

Newton, 131 Adamantean] Johnson thinks this word peculiar to Milton. Perhaps he coined it from Ovid. Met. vii. 104. Todd. 138 insupportably) Spens. F. Q. i. vii. 11.

he gan advance With huge force, and insupportable main.' Thyer.

115

Or grov'ling soild their crested helmets in the dust.
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 :
Then by main force pull'd up, and on his shoulders
The gates of Azza, post, and massy bar, [bore
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 heav'n.
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 com-
Imprison'd now indeed,

[plain, In real darkness of the body dwells, Shut

up

from outward light, T' 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,

165

147

gates of Azza] Beaumont's Psyche, C. V. st. 71.
• With statelier might his brawnie shoulders bare
Did Gaza's gates up Hebron's mountains wear.'

170

175

Strongest of mortal men,
To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fall’n.
For him I reckon not in high estate,
Whom long descent of birth
Or the sphere of fortune raises :
But thee, whose strength, while virtue was her mate,
Might have subdued the earth,
Universally crown'd with highest praises.

Sams. I hear the sound of words, their sense the Dissolves unjointed ere it reach my ear. [air

CHOR. 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 swage The tumours of a troubled mind, And are as balm to fester'd wounds.

185

179

glory] Fletcher's Pisc. Eclogues, 1633, p. 27. ' his glory late, but now his shame,' Todd,

184 Salve to thy sores] This is one of the most common expressions in old English poetry. See Southwell's Mæonia, p. 21. Park's note to Heliconia, Part 1, p. 186. Billingsley's Divine Raptures, p. 67. Smith's Chloris, 1597. Byrd's Psalms, p. 11. Lydgate's Troy, p. 220. Gascoigne's Works, p. 14. 177. 230. 247. Beaumont's Psyche, c. xiii. st. 225; and Ellis's Specimens, ii, p. 15.

apt words] Æsch. Prom. Vinct. ver. 377. Hor. Epist. i. i. 34.

'Sunt verba et voces, quibus hunc lenire dolorem
Possis, et magnam morbi deponere partem.'

Thyer and Newton.

184

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