« PreviousContinue »
Sparkling, out-pour'd, the flavor, or the smell, Or taste that cheers the heart of gods and men, Allure thee from the cool crystallin stream.
Sam. Wherever fountain or fresh current flow'd Against the eastern ray, translucent pure With touch ethereal of Heav'n's fiery rod 1 drank, from the clear milky juice allaying 550 Thirst, and refresh'd; nor envy'd them the grape Whose heads thatturbulent liquor fills with fumes.
C H o R . O madness to think use of strongest wines And strongest drinks our chief support of health, When God with these forbidden made choice to rear His mighty champion, strong above compare, Whose drink was only from the liquid brook.
Sam. Butwhat avail'd this temp'ranee, not comAgainst another object more enticing? [plete
What boots it at one gate to make defence, 560 And at another to let in the foe, Effeminately vanquish'd? by which means, Now blind, dishearten'd, sham'd, dishonor'd, To what can I be useful, wherein serve [quell'd, My nation, and the work from Heav'n impos'd, But to sit idle on the household hearth, A burd'nous drone; to visitants a gaze, Or pity'd object, these redundant locks Robustious to no purpose clust'ring down, Vain monument of strength; till lengthofyears5"4 And sedentary numness craze my limbs /.?i» ^j^SflTomptible old age obscure? , -11*- _-_-_-.-.!. -\t me drudge and earn my bread,
Till vermin, or the draff of servile food
Consume me, and oft-invok'd death
Hasten the welcome end of all my pains.
Man . Wilt thou then serve the Philistines with
Which was expressly giv'n thee to annoy them?
Better at home lie bed-rid, not only idle,
Inglorious, unemployed, with age outworn. 580
But God who caus'd 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,
Werewith to serve him better than thou hast;
And I persuade me so; why else this strength
Miraculous yet remaining in those locks?
His might continues in thee not for nought.
Nor shall his wondrous gifts be frustrate thus. 589
Sam.au otherwise to me my thoughts portend, That these dark orbs no more shall treat with light, Nor th' 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 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 wilh thy fancy. I howevef .. j^ « > Must not omit a'father's timely care ■ ■' ■'■'-. ^ v';.;
i ■ '■.;■' >~T.■'■.':/'
To prosecute the means of thy deliverance
By ransome, or how else: mean while be calm,
And healing words from these thy friends admit.
Sam. O that Torment should not be confin'd
To the body's wounds and sores,
With maladies innumerable
In heart, head, breast and reins;
But must secret passage find 610
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,
Though void of corporal sense.
My griefs not only pain me
As a ling'ring disease,
But finding no redress, ferment and rage,
Nor less than wounds immedicable 620
Rankle, and fester, and grangrene,
To black mortification.
Thoughts my tormentors arm'd with deadly sting!
Mangle my apprehensive tenderest parts,
Exasperate, exulcerate, and raise
Dire inflammation, which no cooling herb
Or medicinal liquor can asswagc,
Nor breath of vernal air from snowy Alp.
Sleep hath forsook and giv'n me o'er
To death benumming 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 distin'd from the womb,
Promis'd by heav'nly message twice descending.
Under his special eye
Abstemious I grew up and thriv'd amain;
He led me on to mightiest deeds
Above the nerve of mortal arm
Against th' uncircumcis'd, our enemies: 640
But now hath cast me off as never known,
And to those cruel enemies,
Whom I by his appointment had provok'd,
Left me all helpless with th' irreparable loss
Of sight, reserv'd alive to be repeated
The subject of their cruelty and scorn.
Nor am I in the list of them that hope 5
Hopeless are all my evils, all remediless;
This one pray'r yet remains, might 1 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 inroll'd,
Extolling patience as the truest fortitude:
And to the bearing well of all calamities,
All chances incident to man's frail life,
With study'dargument, and much persuasion sought
Lenient of grief and anxious thought:
But with th' afflicted in his pangs their sound 660
Little prevails, or rather seems a tune
Harsh, and of dissonant mood from his complaint
Unless he feel within
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 his short course,
Not ev'nly 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,
Grow up and perish as the summer flic,
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, 680
And people's safety, which in part they effect:
Yet toward these thus dignify'd, thou oft
Amidst their highth of noon
Changestthy count'nance, and thy hand with no re-
Of highest favours past Cg31^
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 them Unseemly falls in human eye, [n'Sni
Too grievous for the trespass or omission; 691 Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword