Page images

Lay stor'd, in what part summ'd, that she might

Thrice I deluded her and turn'd to sport [know;

Her importunity, each time perceiving

How openly, and with what impudence

She purpos'd to betray me, and (which was worse

Than undissembled hate) with what contempt 400

She sought to make me traitor to myself;

Yet the fourth time, when must'ring all her wiles,

With blandish'd parlies, feminine assaults,

Tongue batteries, she surceas'd not day nor night

To storm me overwatch'd, and weary'd out,

At times when men seek most repose and rest,

I yielded, and unlock'd her all my heart,

Who with a grain of manhood well resolv'd

Might easily have shook off all her snares;

But foul effeminacy held me yok'd 410

Her bond-slave; O indignity, O blot

To honour and religion 1 servile mind

Rewarded well with servile punishment!

The base degree to which I now am fall'n.

These rags, this grinding is not yet so base

As was my former servitude ignoble,

Unmanly, ignominious, infamous,

True slavery, and that blindness worse than this

That saw not how degenerately I serv'd. 4

Man. I cannot praise thy marriage choices, Son, Rather approv'd them not; but thou didst plead Divine impulsion, prompting how thou might'st Find some occasion to infest our foes.

I state not that; this I am sure, our foes
Found soon occasion thereby to make thee
Their captive, and their triumph; thou the sooner
Temptation found'st, or over-potent charms
To violate the sacred trust of silence
Deposited within thee; which to have kept
Tacit was in thy power: fear; and thou bear'st 430
Enough, and more, the burden of that fault;
Bitterly hast thou paid, and still art paying
That rigid score. A worse thing yet remains,
This day the Philistines a popular feast;
Here celebrate in Gaza; and proclaim
Great pomp and sacrifice, and praises loud
To Dagon, as their god who hath deliver'd
Thee, Samson, bound and blind into their hands,
Them out of thine, who slew'st them many a slain.
So Dagon shall be magnified, and God, 440

Besides whom is no god, compar'd with idols
Disglorify'd, blasphem'd, and had in scorn
By the idolatrous rout amidst their wine;
Which to have come to pass by means of thee,
Samson of all thy sufferings think the heaviest,
Of all reproach the most with shame that ever,
Could have bcfall'n thee and thy father's house.

Sam. Father I do acknowledge and confess
That I this honor, I this pomp have brought
To Dagon, and advane'd his praises high 450

Among the Heathen' round; to God have brought
Dishonour, obloquy, and op'd the mouths
Of idolists, and atheists; have brought scandal

To Israel, diffidence, of God, and doubt
In feeble hearts propense enough before
To waver, or fall off and join with idols,
Which is my chief affliction, shame and sorrow,
The anguish of my soul, that suffers not
Mine eye to harbour sleep, or thoughts to rest.
This only hope relieves me, that the strife 460
With me hath end; all the contest is now
Twixt God and Dagon; Dagon hath presum'd,
Me overthrown, to enter lists with God,
His deity comparing and preferring
Before the God of Abraham. He be sure,
Will not connive, or linger, thus provok'd,
But will arise and his great name assert:
Dagon must stoop, and shall ere long receive
Such a discomfit, as shall quite despoil him
Of these boasted trophies won On me, 470

And with confusion blank his worshippers.

Man. With cause this hope relieves thee, and
I as a prophecy receive; for God, [these words,
Nothing more certain, will not long defer
To vindicate the glory of his name
Against all competition, nor will long
Endure it doubtful whether God be Lord,'
Or Dagon. But for thee what shall be done;
Thou must not in the mean while here forgot
Lie in this miserable loathsome plight 480

Neglected. I already have made way,
To some Philistian lords, with whom to treat
About thy ransome: well they may by this

Have satisfy'd their utmost of revenge

By pains and slaveries, worse than death inflicted

On thee, who now no more canst do them harm.

Sam. Spare thatproposal, Father, spare the trouOf that solicitation; let me here [ble

As I deserve, pay on my punishment j
And expiate, if possible, my crime, 499

Shameful garrulity. To have reveal'd
Secrets of men, the secrets of a friend,
How hainous had the fact been, how deserving
Contempt, and scorn of all, to be excluded
All friendship, and avoided as a blab,
The mark of fool set on his front?
But I God's counsel have not kept, his holy secret
Presumptuously have publish'd impiously,
Weakly at least, and shamefully: a sin
That Gentiles in their parables condemn 500

To their abyss and horrid pains confin'd,

Man. Be penitent and for thy fault contrite, But act not in thy own affliction, Son: Repent the sin, but if the punishment Thou canst avoid, self-preservation bids; Or th' execution leave to high disposal, And let another hand, not thine, exact Thy penal forfeit, from thyself! perhaps God will relent, and quit thee all his debt; • Who ever more approves and more accepts; 510 (Best pleased with humble, and filial submission) Him who imploring mercy sues for life,. Than who self-rigorous chooses death as due:

Which argues over-just, and self displeas'd
For self-offence, more than for God offended.
Reject not then what offer'd means; who knows
But God has set before us, to return thee
Home to thy country and his sacred house,
Where thou may'st bring thy offerings, to avert
His further ire, with pray'rs and vows renew'd ? 520

Sam. His pardon I implore; but as for life,
To what end should I seek it? when in hopes
All mortals I excell'd, and great in hopes
With youthful courage and magnanimous thoughts
Of birth from Heav'n foretold and high exploits,
Full of divine instinct, after some proof
Of acts indeed heroic, far beyond
The sons of Anak, famous now and blaz'd,
Fearless of danger, like a petty god
I walk'd about admir'd of all, and dreaded 530
On hostile ground, none daring my affront.
Then swoll'n with pride into the snare I fell
Of fair fallacious looks, venereal trains,
Soften'd with pleasure and voluptuous life;
At length to lay my head and hallow'd pledge
Of all my strength in the lascivious lap
Of a deceitful concubine, who shore me
Like a tame wether, all my precious fleece,
Then turn'd me out ridiculous, despoil'd,
Shav'n and disarm'd among mine enemies. 540

Cho Desire of wine and all delicious drinks, Which many a famous warrior overturns, Thou could'st repress, nor did the dancing ruby

« PreviousContinue »