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Imprison'd now indeed,
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!

165 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 fall'n, For him I reckon not in high estate

70 Whom long descent of birth Or the sphere of fortune raises j But thee whose strength, while virtue was her mate, Might have subdued the earth, Universally crown'd with highest praises. 175

Sam. 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, 181 To visit or bewail thee, or if better, Counsel or consolation we may bring, Salve to thy sores ; apt words have power swage The tumors of a troubled mind,

185 And are as balm to fester'd wounds.




Sam. Your coming, friends,revives me, for I learn
Now of my own experience, not by talk,
How counterfeit a coin they are who friends
Bear in their superscription, (of the most 190
I would be understood) in prosp'rous days
They swarm, but in adverse withdraw their head,
Not to be found, though sought. Ye see, O friends,
How many evils have inclos’d me round; 194
Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me,
Blindness, for had I sight, confus’d with shame,
How could I once look up, or heave the head,
Who like a foolish pilot have shipwrack'd
My vessel trusted to me from above,
Gloriously rigg'd; and for a word, a tear,
Fool, have divulg'd 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 inight 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. 209

Chor. Tax not divine disposal ; wisest men
Have err’d, and by bad women been deceiv’d;
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 215

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Why thou shouldst 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 pleas'd
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 urg'd
The marriage on; that by occasion hence
I might begin Israel's deliverance,

225 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,

229 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, Who vanquish'd with a peal of words (O weakness!) Gave up my fort of silence to a woman. 236

CHOR. In seeking just occasion to provoke
The Philistine, thy country's enemy,
Thou never wast remiss, I bear thee witness :
Yet Israël still serves with all his sons. 240

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,

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Acknowledg’d not, or not at all consider'd

Deliverance offer’d: I on the other side
Us'd 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 retir'd,
Not flying, but fore-casting in what place
To set upon them, what advantag'd best : 255
Mean while the men of Judah, to prevent
The harrass of their land, beset me round;
I willingly on some conditions came
Into their hands, and they as gladly yield me
To the uncircumcis’d a welcome prey,

Bound with two cords ; but cords to me were threds
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 liv'd who fled.
Had Judah that day join'd, or one whole tribe, 265
They had by this possess'd the towers of Gath,
And lorded over them whom they now serve :
But what more oft in nations grown corrupt,
And by their vices brought to servitude,
Than to love bondage more than liberty, 270
Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty ;
And to despise, or envy, or suspect
Whom God hath of his special favor rais’d

As their deliverer ; if he ought begin,
How frequent to desert him, and at last

275 To heap ingratitude on worthiest deeds ?

CHOR. Thy words to my remembrance bring How Succoth and the fort of Penuel Their great deliverer contemn'd, The matchless Gideon in pursuit

280 Of Madian and her vanquish'd kings: And how ingrateful Ephraim Had dealt with Jephtha, who by argument, Not worse than by his shield and spear, Defended Israel from the Ammonite, 285 Had not his prowess quell’d their pride In that sore battel, when so many dy'd Without reprieve adjug’d to death, For want of well pronouncing Shibboleth.

SAM. Of such examples add me to the roll, 290
Me easily indeed mine may neglect,
But God's propos’d deliverance not so.

Chor. Just are the ways of God,
And justifiable to men;
Unless there be who think not God at all;

If any be, they walk obscure ;
For of such doctrin never was there school,
But the heart of the fool,
And no man therein doctor but himself,

Yet more there be who doubt his ways not just,
As to his own ediets found contradicting, 301
Then give the reins to wand'ring thought,
Regardless of his glory's diminution;

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