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And celestial vigor arm’d, 128o
Their armories 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 1285
Lose their defense distraćled and amaz'd.
But more oft the exercise
Of saints, the trial of their fortitude,
Making them each his own deliverer,
And vićtor over all 1290
That tyranny or fortune can inflićt.
Either of these is in thy lot,
Samson, with might indued
Above the sons of men; but fight bereav'd -
May chance to number thee with those 1295
Whom patience finally must crown.
This idol's day hath been to thee no day of rest,
Laboring thy mind
More than the working day thy hands.
And yet perhaps more trouble is behind, 13oo
For I descry this way
Some other tending, in his hand
A scepter or quaint staff he bears,
Comes on amain, speed in his look. -
By his habit I discern him now 1305
A public Officer, and now at hand.
His message will be short and voluble.


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With corporal servitude, that my mind ever
Will condescend to such absurd commands?
Although their drudge, to be their fool orjester,
And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief
To show them feats, and play beforetheir God, 1340
The worst of all indignities, yet on me
Join'd with extreme contempt? I will not come.
Off. My message was impos'd on me with speed,
Brooks no delay: is this thy resolution? I344
Sams. So take it with what speed thy message needs.
Off. I am sorry what this stoutness will produce.
Sams. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sorrow indeed.
Chor. Consider, Samson; matters now are strain'd
Up to the highth, whether to hold or break;
He's gone, and who knows how he may report 1350
Thy words by adding fuel to the flame?
Expect another message more imperious,
More lordly thund'ring than thou well wilt bear.
Sams. Shall I abuse this consecrated gift
Of strength, again returning with my hair I355
After my great transgression, so requite
Favor renew'd, and add a greater sin
By prostituting holy things to idols;
A Nazarite in place abominable
Vaunting my strength in honor to their Dagon? 1360
Besides how vile, contemptible, ridiculous,
What ačt more execrably unclean, profane? (flines,
Chor. Yet with this strength thou serv'st the Phili-

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To thee I am bid say. Art thou our slave,
Our captive, at the public mill our drudge,
And dar'st thou at our sending and command
Dispute thy coming? come without delay; I305
Or we shall find such engins to assail
And hamper thee, as thou shalt come of force,
Though thou wert firmlier fasten'd than a rock.

Sams. I could be well content to try their art,
Which to no few of them would prove pernicious.
Yet knowing their advantages too many, I4OI
Because they shall not trail me through their streets
Like a wild beast, I am content to go.
Masters commands come with a pow'r resistless
To such as owe them absolute subjećtion; I 405
And for a life who will not change his purpose?
(So mutable are all the ways of men)
Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply
Scandalous or forbidden in our Law.

Off. I praise thy resolution: doff these links: 1410
By this compliance thou wilt win the lords
To favor, and perhaps to set thee free.

Sams. Brethren farewel; your Company along
I will not wish, left it perhaps offend them
To see me girt with friends; and how the sight 1415
Of me as of a common enemy,
So dreaded once, may now exasperate them
I know not: lords are lordliest in their wine;
And the well-feasted priest then soonest fir’d

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