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Some source of consolation from above,
Secret refreshings, that repair his strength,
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
Not evenly, as thou rul'st
The angelic orders, and inferior
Irrational and brute.
[course, his short [mute, creatures
Nor do I name of men the common rout,
That, wandering loose about,
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,
And people's safety, which in part they effect :
Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft,
Amidst their height of noon,
Changest thy countenance, and thy hand, with
Of highest favours past
From thee on them, or them to thee of service.
Nor only dost degrade them, or remit
To life obscur'd, which were a fair dismission,
But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt
Unseemly falls in human eye, [them high,
Too grievous for the trespass or omission;
Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword
So deal not with this once thy glorious cham-
The image of thy strength, and mighty minister.
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.-
I cannot but acknowledge; yet, if tears
May expiate, (though the fact more evil drew
In the perverse event than I foresaw,)
My penance hath not slacken'd, though my par-
No way assur'd. But conjugal affection,
Prevailing over fear and timorous doubt,
Hath led me on, desirous to behold
Once more thy face, and know of thy estate,
If aught in my ability may serve
To lighten what thou suffer'st, and appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my power,
Though late, yet in some part to recompense
My rash, but more unfortunate, misdeed.
Sams. Out, out, hyæna! these are thy wonted
And arts of every woman false like thee,
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray,
Then as repentant to submit, beseech,
And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse,
Confess, and promise wonders in her change;
Not truly penitent, but chief to try
Of heathen and profane, their carcasses
To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captiv'd;
Or to the unjust tribunals, under change of times,
And condemnation of the ingrateful multitude.
If these they 'scape, perhaps in poverty
Her husband, how far urg'd his patience bears,
His virtue or weakness which way to assail :
Then with more cautious and instructed skill
Again transgresses, and again submits;
With sickness and disease thou bow'st them down, That wisest and best men, full oft beguil❜d,
Painful diseases and deform'd,
In crude old age;
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.
With goodness principled not to reject
The penitent, but ever to forgive,
Are drawn to wear out miserable days,
Entangled with a poisonous bosom snake,
If not by quick destruction soon cut off,
As I by thee, to ages an example.
Dal. Yet hear me, Samson; not that I en-
To lessen or extenuate my offence,
But that on the other side, if it be weigh'd
By itself, with aggravations not surcharg❜d,
Or else with just allowance counterpois'd,
I may, if possible, thy pardon find
The easier towards me, or thy hatred less.
First granting, as I do, it was a weakness
In me, but incident to all our sex,
Curiosity, inquisitive, impórtune,
Of secrets, then with like infirmity
To publish them, both common female faults:
Was it not weakness also to make known
For importunity, that is, for nought,
Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety?
To what I did thou show'd'st me first the way.
But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not :
Nor should'st thou have trusted that to woman's
Ere I to thee, thou to thyself wast cruel.[frailty:
Let weakness then with weakness come to parle,
So near related, or the same of kind.
Thine forgive mine; that men may censure thine
The gentler, if severely thou exact not [found.
More strength from me, than in thyself was
And what if love, which thou interpret'st hate,
The jealousy of love, powerful of sway
in human hearts, nor less in mind towards thee,
Caus'd what I did? I saw thee mutable
But who is this, what thing of sea or land? Female of sex it seems,
That so bedeck'd, ornate, and gay,
Comes this way sailing
Like a stately ship
Of Tarsus; bound for the isles
Of Javan or Gadire
With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
Sails fill'd, and streamers waving,
Courted by all the winds that hold them play,
An amber scent of odorous perfume
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.
Sams. My wife! my traitress: let her not come near me.
And words address'd seem into tears dissolv'd,
Wetting the borders of her silken veil :
But now again she makes address to speak.
Chor. Yet on she moves, now stands and eyes thee fix❜d,
[clin'd, About to have spoke; but now, with head deLike a fair flower suretary'd with dew, she
Dal. With doubtful feet and wavering reso-
I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson,
Which to have merited, without excuse,
Of fancy, fear'd lest one day thou would'st leave |
As her at Timna, sought by all means therefore
How to endear, and hold thee to me firmest :
No better way I saw than by impórtuning
To learn thy secrets, get into my power
Thy key of strength and safety: thou wilt say,
Why then reveal'd? I was assur'd by those
Who tempted me, that nothing was design'd
Against thee but safe custody, and hold:
That made for me; I knew that liberty
Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises,
While I at home sat full of cares and fears,
Wailing thy absence in my widow'd bed;
Here I should still enjoy thee, day and night,
Mine and love's prisoner, not the Philistines',
Whole to myself, unhazarded abroad,
Fearless at home of partners in my love.
These reasons in love's law have past for good,
Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps :
And love hath oft, well meaning, wrought much
Yet always pity or pardon hath obtain'd,
Be not unlike all others, not austere
As thou art strong, inflexible as steel.
If thou in strength all mortals dost exceed,
In uncompassionate anger do not so.
Sams. How cunningly the sorceress displays
Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine!
That malice, not repentance, brought thee hither,
By this appears: I gave, thou say'st, the ex-
Was not behind, but ever at my ear,
Preaching how meritorious with the gods
It would be to ensnare an irreligious
Dishonourer of Dagon: what had I
To oppose against such powerful arguments?
Only my love of thee held long debate,
And combated in silence all these reasons
With hard contést: at length that grounded
And princes of my country came in person,
Solicited, commanded, threaten'd, urg'd,
Adjur'd by all the bonds of civil duty
And of religion, press'd how just it was,
How honourable, how glorious, to entrap
A common enemy, who had destroy'd
Such numbers of our nation: and the priest
So rife and celebrated in the mouths
Of wisest men, that to the public good
Private respects must yield, with grave authority
Took full possession of me, and prevail'd;
Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty, so enjoining.
Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles
In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy !
But had thy love, still odiously pretended, [thee
Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught
Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds.
I, before all the daughters of my tribe
And of my nation, chose thee from among
My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st;
Too well; unbosom'd all my secrets to thee,
Not out of levity, but over-power'd
By thy request, who could deny thee nothing;
Yet now am judg'd an enemy. Why then
Did'st thou at first receive me for thy husband,
Then, as since then, thy country's foe profess'd ?
Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave
Parents and country; nor was I their subject,
Nor under their protection but my own,
Thou mine, not theirs: if aught against my life
Thy country sought of thee, it sought unjustly,
Against the law of nature, law of nations;
No more thy country, but an impious crew
Of men conspiring to uphold their state
By worse than hostile deeds, violating the ends
For which our country is a name so dear;
Not therefore to be obey'd. But zeal mov'd thee;
To please thy gods thou didst it; gods, unable
To acquit themselves and prosecute their foes
But by ungodly deeds, the contradiction
Of their own deity, gods cannot be ;
Less therefore to be pleas'd, obey'd or fear'd.
These false pretexts, and varnish'd colours fail-
I led the way; bitter reproach, but true;
I to myself was false ere thou to me;
Such pardon therefore as I give my folly,
Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou seest
Impartial, self-severe, inexorable,
Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather
Confess it feign'd: weakness is thy excuse,
And I believe it; weakness to resist
Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,
What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it?
All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore
With God or man will gain thee no remission,
But love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage
To satisfy thy lust: love seeks to have love;
My love how could'st thou hope, who took'st the
To raise in me inexpiable hate,
Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd?
In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame,
Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st more.
Bare in thy guilt, how foul must thou appear?
Dal. In argument with men a wornán ever
Goes by the worse whatever be her cause.
Sams. For want of words no doubt, or lack of
Witness when I was worried with thy peals.
Dal. Since thou determin'st weakness for no
In man or woman, though to thy own condemn
Hear what assaults I had, what snares besides,
What sieges girt me round, ere I consented;
Which might have aw'd the best-resolv'd of men,
The constantest, to have yielded without blame.
It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st,
That wrought with me: thou know'st the magis-To afflict thyself in vain: though sight be lost,
Dal. I was a fool, too rash, and quite mistaken
In what I thought would have succeeded best.
Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson;
Afford me place to show what recompense
Towards thee I intend for what I have misdone,
Misguided; only what remains past cure
Bear not too sensibly, nor still insist
Life yet hath many solaces, enjoy'd
Where other senses want not their delights
At home in leisure and domestic ease,
Exempt from many a care and chance, to whigh
Eye-sight exposes daily men abroad.
I to the lords will intercede, not doubting
Their favourable ear, that I may fetch thee
From forth this loathsome prison-house to abide
With me, where my redoubled love and care
With nursing diligence, to me glad office,
May ever tend about thee to old age, [plied,
With all things grateful cheer'd, and so sup-
That, what by me thou hast lost, thou least shalt
Sams. No, no; of my condition take no care; It fits not; thou and I long since are twain : Nor think me so unwary or accurs'd, To bring my feet again into the snare Where once I have been caught: I know thy
Though dearly to my cost, thy gins, and toils;
Thy fair enchanted cup, and warbling charms,
No more on me have power; their force is null'd;
So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd,
To fence my ear against thy sorceries,
If in my flower of youth and strength, when all
Lov'd, honour'd, fear'd me, thou alone could'st
Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forego me;
How wouldst thou use me now, blind, and thereby
Deceivable, in most things as a child
Helpless, thence easily contemn'd and scorn'd,
And last neglected? how would'st thou insult,
When I must live uxorious to thy will
In perfect thraldom, how again betray me,
Bearing my words and doings to the lords
To gloss upon, and, censuring, frown or smile?
This jail I count the house of liberty
To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter.
Dal. Let me approach at least, and touch thy
Sams. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance wake
My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint.
At distance I forgive thee; go with that;
Bewail thy falsehood, and the pious works
It hath brought forth to make thee memorable
Among illustrious women, faithful wives!
Cherish thy hasten'd widowhood with the gold
Of matrimonial treason! so farewell.
Dal. I see thou art implacable, more deaf To prayers, than winds and seas; yet winds to Are reconcil'd at length, and sea to shore: [seas Thy anger, unappeasable, still rages, Eternal tempest, never to be calın'd. Why do I humble thus myself, and, suing For peace, reap nothing but repulse and hate? Bid go with evil omen, and the brand Of infamy upon my name denounc'd ? To mix with thy concernments Idesist Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own. Fame, if not double-fac'd, is double-mouth'd, And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds; On both his wings, one black, the other white, Bears greatest names in his wild aery flight. My name perhaps among the circumcis'd In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering tribes, To all posterity may stand defain'd, With malediction mention'd, and the blot Of falsehood most unconjugal traduc'd. But in my country, where I most desire, In Ecron, Gaza, Asdod, and in Gath, I shall be nam'd among the famousest Of women, sung at solemn festivals, Living and dead recorded, who, to save Her country from a fierce destroyer, chose Above the faith of wedlock-bands; my tomb
With odours visited and annual flowers;
Not less renown'd than in mount Ephraim
Jael, who with hospitable guile
Smote Sisera sleeping, through the temples nail'd
Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy
The public marks of honour and reward,
Conferr'd upon me, for the piety
Which to my country I was judg'd to have shown.
At this whoever envies or repines,
I leave him to his lot, and like my own. [Exit.] Chor. She's gone, a manifest serpent by her sting
Discover'd in the end, till now conceal'd.
Sams. So let her go; God sent her to debase And aggravate my folly, who committed [me, To such a viper his most sacred trust Of secresy, my safety, and my life.
Chor. Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange power, After offence returning, to regain Love once possess'd, nor can be easily Repuls'd, without much inward passion felt And secret sting of amorous remorse.
·Sams. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord Not wedlock-treachery endangering life. [end,
Chor. It is not virtue, wisdom, val ́ur, wit, Strength, comeliness of shape, or amplest merit, That woman's love can win, or long inherit; But what it is, hard is to say, Harder to hit,
(Which way soever men refer it,)
Much like thy riddle, Samson, in one day
Or seven, though one should musing sit.
If any of these, or all, the Timnian bride
Had not so soon prefert'd
Thy paranymph, worthless to thee compar'd, Successor in thy bed,
Nor both so loosely disallied
Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherous
Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
Is it for that such outward ornament
Was lavish'd on their sex, that inward gifts
Were left for haste unfinish'd, judgment scant,
Capacity not rais'd to apprehend
Or value what is best
In choice, but oftest to affect the wrong?
Or was too much of self-love mix'd,
Of constancy no root infix'd,
That either they love nothing, or not long!
Whate'er it be, to wisest men and best
Seeming at first all heavenly under virgin veil,
Soft, modest, meek, demure,
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thord
Intestine, far within defensive arms
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue
Adverse and turbulent, or by her charmis
Draws him awry enslav'd
With dotage, and his sense deprav'd
To folly and shameful deeds which ruin ends.
What pilot so expert but needs must wreck
Imbark'd with such a steers-mate at the helm?
Favour'd of Heaven, who finds
One virtuous, rarely found,
That in domestic good combines :
Happy that house! his way to peace is smooth: But virtue, which breaks through all opposition, And all temptation can remove,
Most shines, and most is acceptable above, Therefore God's universal law
Gave to the man despotic power
Over his female in due awe,
Nor from that right to part an hour,
Smile she or lour:
So shall he least confusion draw
On his whole life, not sway'd
By female usurpation, or dismay'd.
But had we best retire? I see a storm.
Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind and
Chor. But this another kind of tempest brings. Sams. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are past.
Chor. Look now for no enchanting voice, nor fear
The bait of honied words; a rougher tongue
Draws hitherward; I know him by his stride,
The giant Harapha of Gath, his look
Haughty, as is his pile high-built and proud.
Comes he in peace? what wind hath blown him
I less conjecture than when first I saw [hither
The sumptuous Dalila floating this way:
His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.
Sams. Or peace, or not, alike to me he comes. Chor. His fraught we soon shall know, he now arrives.
Har. I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance,
As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been,
Though for no friendly intent. I am of Gath;
Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd
As Og, or Anak, and the Emims old
That Kiriathaim held; thou know'st me now
If thou at all art known. Much I have heard
Of thy prodigious might and feats perform'd,
Incredible to me, in this displeas'd,
That I was never present on the place
Of those encounters, where we might have tried
Each other's force in camp or listed field;
And now am come to see of whom such noise
Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey,
If thy appearance answer loud report.
Sams. The way to know were not to see but
Har Dost thou already single me? I thought Gyyes and the mill had tam'd thee. O that fortune Had brought me to the field, where thou art fam'd
To have wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw!
I should have forc'd thee soon with other arms,
Or left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown:
So had the glory of prowess been recover'd
To Palestine, won by a Philistine,
From the unforeskin'd race, of whom thou bear'st
The highest name for valiant acts; that honour,
Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee,
I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.
Sams. Boast not of what thou would'st have done, but do What then thou would'st; thou seest it in thy hand.
Har. To combat with a blind man I disdain, And thou hast need much washing to be touch'd. Sams. Such usage as your honourable lords Afford me, assassinated and betray'd, Who durst not with their whole united powers In fight withstand me single and unarm❜d,
Nor in the house with chamber-ambushes
Close-banded durst attack me, no, not sleeping,
Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold
Breaking her marriage-faith to circumvent me.
Therefore, without feign'd shifts, let be assign'd
Some narrow place enclos'd, where sight may
Or rather flight, no great advantage on me ;
Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet
And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon,
Vant-brace and greves, and gauntlet, add thy
A weaver's beam, and seven-times-folded shield;
I only with an oaken staff will meet thee,
And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron,
Which long shall not withhold me from thy
That in a little time, while breath remains thee,
Thou oft shalt wish thyself at Gath to boast
Again in safety what thou would'st have done
To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more.
Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious
Which greatest heroes have in battle worn,
Their ornament and safety, had not spells
And black enchantments, some magician's art,
Arm'd thee or charm'd thee strong, which thou
Feign'dst at thy birth, was given thee thy hair,
Where strength can least abide, though all thy
Were bristles rang'd like those that ridge the back
Of chaf'd wild boars, or ruffled porcupines.
Sams. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts;
My trust is in the living God, who gave me
At my nativity this strength, diffus'd
No less through all my sinews, joints, and bones,
Than thine, while I preserv'd these locks unshorn,
The pledge of my unviolated vow.
For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy god,
Go to his temple, invocate his aid
With solemnest devotion, spread before him
How highly it concerns his glory now
To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells,
Which I to be the power of Israel's God
Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test,
Offering to combat thee his champion bɔld,
With the utmost of his Godhead seconded:
Then thou shalt see, or rather, to thy sorrow,
Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine.
Har. Presume not on thy God, whate'er he be;
Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off
Quite from his people, and deliver'd up
Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them
To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee
Into the common prison, there to grind
Among the slaves and asses thy comrades,
As good for nothing else; no better service
With those thy boisterous locks, no worthy match
For valour to assail, nor by the sword
Of noble warrior, so to stain his honour,
But by the barber's razor best subdued.
Sams. All these indignities, for such they are From thine, these evils I deserve, and more, Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon, Whose ear is ever open, and his eye Gracious to re-admit the suppliant: In confidence whereof I once again
Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight,
By combat to decide whose God is God,
Thine, or whom I with Israel's sons adore.
Har. This insolence other kind of answer fite.
Sams. Go, baffled coward! lest I run upon
Har. Fair honour that thou dost thy God, in Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast,
He will accept thee to defend this cause,
A murderer, a revolter, and a robber!
Sams. Tongue-doughty giant, how dost thou prove me these?
Har. Is not thy nation subject to our lords? Their magistrates confess'd it when they took thee
As a league-breaker, and deliver'd bound
Into our hands: for hadst thou not committed
Notorious murder on those thirty men
At Ascalon, who never did thee harm,
Then like a robber stripp'dst them of their robes ?
The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the
Went up with armed powers thee only seeking,
To others did no violence nor spoil.
Sams. Among the daughters of the Philistines I chose a wife, which argued me no foe; And in your city held my nuptial feast: But your ill-meaning politician lords, Under pretence of bridal friends and guests, Appointed to await me thirty spies, Who, threatening cruel death, constrain'd the To wring from me, and tell to them, my secret, That solv'd the riddle which I had propos'd. When I perceiv'd all set on enmity, As on my enemies, wherever chanc'd, I us'd hostility, and took their spoil, To pay my underminers in their coin. My nation was subjected to your lords; It was the force of conquest; force with force Is well ejected when the conquer'd can. But I a private person, whom my country As a league-breaker gave up bound, presum'd Single rebellion, and did hostile acts. I was no private, but a person rais'd [Heaven, With strength sufficient, and command from To free my country; if their servile minds Me, their deliverer sent, would not receive, But to their masters gave me up for nought, The unworthier they; whence to this day they
I was to do my part from Heaven assign'd,
And had perform'd it, if my known offence
Had not disabled me, not all your force:
These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant,
Though by his blindness maim'd for high at-
Who now defies thee thrice to single fight,
As a petty enterprise of small enforce.
Ear. With thee! a man condemn'd, a slave enroll'd,
Due by the law to capital punishment!
To fight with thee no man of arms will deign.
Sams. Cam'st thou for this, vain boaster, to
To descant on my strength, and give thy verdict?
Come nearer; part not hence so slight inform'd;
But take good heed my hand survey not thee.
Har. O Baal-zebub! can my ears unus'd Hear these dishonours, and not render death? Sams. No man withholds thee, nothing from thy hand
Fear I incurable; bring up thy van, My heels are fetter'd, but my fist is free.
And with one buffet lay thy structure low,
Or swing thee in the air, then dash thee down
To the hazard of thy brains and sbatter'd sides.
Har. By Astaroth, ere long thou shalt lament These braveries, in irons loaden on thee. [Exit.] Chor. His giantship is gone somewhat crestfallen,
Stalking with less unconscionable strides,
And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe.
Sams. I dread him nor, not all his giant-brood,
Though fame divulge him father of five sons,
All of gigantic size, Goliah chief.
Chor. He will directly to the lords, I fear,
And with malicious counsel stir them up
Some way or other yet further to afflict thee.
Sams. He must allege some cause, and offer'd
Will not dare mention, lest a question rise
Whether he durst accept the offer or not ;
And, that he durst not, plain enough appear'd.
Much more affliction than already felt
They cannot well impose, nor I sustain ;
If they intend advantage of my labours,
The work of many hands, which earns my
With no small profit daily to my owners.
But come what will, my deadliest foe will prove
My speediest friend, by death to rid me hence;
The worst that he can give to me the best.
Yet so it may fall out, because their end
Is hate, not help to me, it may with mine
Draw their own ruin who attempt the deed. .
Chor. Oh how comely it is, and how reviving To the spirits of just men long oppress'd! When God into the hands of their deliverer Puts invincible might
To quell the mighty of the Earth, the oppressor,
The brute and boisterous force of violent men,
Hardy and industrious to support
Tyrannic power, but raging to pursue
The righteous and all such as honour truth;
He all their ammunition
And feats of war defeats,
With plain heroic magnitude of mind
And celestial vigour arm'd;
Their armouries and magazines contemns,
Renders them useless; while
With winged expedition,
Swift as the lightning glance, he executes
His errand on the wicked, who, surpris'd,
Lose their defence, distracted and amaz`d.
But patience is more oft the exercise Of saints, the trial of their fortitude, Making them each his own deliverer, And victor over all
That tyranny or fortune can infiict.
Either of these is in thy lot,
Samson, with might endued
Above the sons of men; but sight bereav'd
May chance to number thee with those
Whom patience finally must crown.
This idol's day hath been to thee no day of rest, Labouring thy mind
More than the working day thy hands.
And yet perhaps more trouble is behind,
For I descry this way