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Of Heathen and profane, their carcases

To dogs and fowls a prey, or elsecaptiv'd;

Or to the unjust tribunals, under change of tims,

And condemnation of th' ungrateful multitude.

If these they 'scape, perhaps in poverty

With sickness, and disease thou bow'st them down,

Painful diseases and deform'd,

In crude old age; 700

Though not disordinate, yet causeless suff'ring

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. What do I beg? how hast thou dealt already? Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn His labors, for thou cans't, to peaceful end.

But who is this, what thing of sea or land? 110
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' iles
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 720

Her jjarbiuger, 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. [thee fix'd,

Chok. Yet on she moves, now stands and eyes About t' have spoke, but now, with head declin'd Like a fair tlow'r surcharg'd with dew, she weeps, And words address'd seem into tears dissolv'd, Wetting the borders of her silken veil: 730

But now again she makes address to speak.

Dal. Withdoubtful feet and wavering resolution I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson, Which to have merited, without excuse 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 pardon No way assur'd. But conjugal affection Prevailing over fear, and timorous doubt, 740 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.

Sam. Out, out hyaena; These are thy wonted arts, And arts of every woman false like thee, To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray, 7S» 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

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:

The wisest and best men full oftbeguil'd

With goodness principled not to reject 760

The penitent, but ever to forgive,

Are drawn to wear out miserable days,

Intangled with a pois'nous bosom snake,

If not by quick destruction soon cut off

As I by thee, to ages an example.

Dal. Yet hear mc, Samson ; not that I endeavor 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, 770 I may, if possible my 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, importune 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 ? 780 To what I did, thou show'd'st me first the way.

But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not:

Nor shouldst thou have trusted that to woman's

frailty:
Ere I to thee, thou to thyself wast cruel.
Let weakness then with weakness come to park
So near related, or the same of kind,
Thine forgive mine; that men may censure thine
The gentler, if severely thou exact not
More strength from me than in thyself was found.
And what if love which thou interpret'st hate,
The jealous of love powerful of sway 791

In human hearts, nor less in mind tow'ards thee,
Caus'd what I did? I saw thee mutable
Of fancy, fear'd lest one day thou would's leave me
As her at Timna, sought by all means therefore
How to indear, and hold thee to me firmest:
No better way I saw than by' importuning
To learn thy secrets, get into my power
The key of strength and safety: thou wilt say.
Why then reveal'd ? I was assur'd by those 800
Who tempted me, that nothing was designed
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. 810

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 woe

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.

Sam. How cunningly the sorceress displays
Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine ; 820
That malice, not repentance brought thee hither,
By this appears: I gave, thou say'st, th' example,
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 839

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, [way

Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd ? 840

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