Page images
PDF

Nor less renown'd than in Mount Ephraim

Jael, who with inhospitable guile

Smote Sisera sleeping, through the temples nail'd.

Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy 991

The public marks of honour and reward

Conferr'd upon me for the piety

Which to my country I wasjudg'd to' have shown,

At this whoever envies or repines,

I leave him to his lot, and like my own.

Chor. She's gone, a manifest serpent by her sting

Discover'd in the end, till now conceal'd.

Sam. So let her go, God sent her to debase me,

And aggravate my folly, who committed 1001)

1 o such a viper his most sacred trust

Of secrecy, my safety, and my life.

Chor. Yet beauty,though injurious, hath strange After offence returning, to regain [power

Love once possess'd, nor can be easily

Repuls'd, without much inward passion felt

And secret sting of amorous remorse.

Sam. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord end Not wedlock-treachery indang'ring life.

Chor. It is not virtue, wisdom, valor, wit, 1010
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 sev'n, though one should musing sit.

If any of these or all, the Timnian bride
Hnd not so soon preferr'd

Thy paranymph, worthless to thee compar'd, j020
Successor to thy bed,
Nor both so loosely dissally'd
Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherously
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? 1030

Or was too much of self-love mix'd,

Of constancy no root infix'd,

That either they love nothing, or not long T
Whate'er.it be, to wisest men and best

Seeming at first all heav'nly under virgin veil,

Soft, modest," meek, demure,

Onccjoin'd, the contrary-she proves, a thorn

Intestine, far within defensive arms

A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue

Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms 104S

Draws him awry enslav'd

With dotage, and D's sense deprav'd

To folly' and shameful deeds with ruin ends.

What pilot so expert but needs must wreck

Imbark'd with such a steers-mate at the helm?

Favor'd of Heav'n 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,! 050

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 own life, not sway'd

By female usurpation, or dismay'd. 1060

But had we best retire, I see a storm?

Sam. Fair days have oft contracted wind and rain.
Ciior. But this another kind of tempest brings.
Sam. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are past.
Chok. Look now for no inchanting voice,nor fear

The bait of honied words ; a rougher tongue

Draws hithcrward, I know him by his stride,

The giant Harapha of Gath, his look

Haughty as his pile high-built and proud.

Comes he in peace ? what wind hath blown him hither

I less cenjecture than when fist I saw 1071

The sumptuous Dalila floating this way;

His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.

Sam. Or peace ornot.aliketome he comes, [rives. C H OR. His fraughtwesoon shall know,he now aril A R . 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 Gaih,

Men call me Harapha, of stock renowu'd

As Og or Anak and the Emmims old 1080

That Kiriathim 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 was never present on the place

Of those encounters, where we might have try'd

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. 1090

Sam. The way to know were not to see but taste

Har. Dost thou already single me ? I thought Gyves 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 fore'd thee soon with other arms, Or left thy carcase where the ass lay thrown: So had the glory' of prowess been recover'd To Palestine, won by a Philistine, From the unforeskinn'd race, of whom thou beard The highest name for valiant acts ; that honor 1101 Certain to' have won by mortal duel from thee, I lose, prevented by thy eyes put put. [but do

Sam. Boast not of what thou would'st have done 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.

Sam. Such usages as your honorable lords Afford me' assassinated and betray'd; Who durst not with their whole united powers 1110 In fight withstand me single and unarm'd, Nor in the house with chamber ambushes Close-banded durst attack me, no not sleeping, 1 ill they 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 give Or rather flight, no great advantage on me; [thee i hen put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon, 1120 Vant-brass, and greves, and gauntlet, add thy spear, A weaver's beam, and sev'n 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 head, That in a little time while breath remains thee, Thou oft shall 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 arms
Which greatest heroes have in battle worn, 1131
Their ornament and safety, had not spells.
And black inchantments, some Magician's art,
Arm'd thee or charm'd thee strong, which thou do

Heav'n
Feign'dst at thy birth was giv'n thee in thy hair,

« PreviousContinue »