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135

Adamantean proof;
But safest he who stood aloof,
When insupportably his foot advanc'd,
In scorn of their proud arms and warlike tools,
Spurn’d them to death by troops. The bold Ascalo.
Fled from his lion ramp, old warriors turn’d (nite
Their plated backs under his heel;

140
Or grov'ling soil'd their crested helmets in the dust.
Then with what trivial weapon came to hand,
The jaw of a dead ass, his sword of bone,
A thousand fore-skins fell, the flow'r of Palestine,
In Ramath-lechi famous to this day.

145 Then by main force pulld up, and on his shoulders The gates of Azza, post, and massy bar, (bore Up to the hill by Hebron, seat of giants old, No journey of a sabbath-day, and loaded fo; Like whom the Gentiles feign to bear up Heaven. Which shall I first bewail,

151 Thy bondage or lost sight, Prison within prison Inseparably dark ? Thou art become (О worst imprisonment!) 155 The dungeon of thyself; thy soul (Which men enjoying light oft without cause comImprison'd now indeed,

(plain) In real darkness of the body dwells, Shut up from outward light T' incorporate with gloomy night;

For

160

For inward light alas
Puts forth no visual beam.
O mirror of our fickle state,
Since man on earth unparralleld! - 165
The rarer thy example stands,
By how much from the top of wondrous glory,
Strongest of mortal men,
To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fall’n.
For him I reckon not in high estate

170
Whom long descent of birth
Or the sphere of fortune raises;
But thee whose strength, while virtue was her mate,
Might have subdu'd the earth,
Universally crown'd with highest praises. 175

Sams. I hear the sound of words, their sense the
Dissolves unjointed ere it reach my ear. (air

Chor. He speaks, let us draw nigh. Matchless in
The glory late of Israel, now.the grief; (might,
We come thy friends and neighbours not unknown
From Eshtaol and Zora's fruitful vale 181
To visit or bewail thee, or if better,
Counsel or confolation we may bring,
Salve to thy fores; apt words have pow'r to swage
The tumors of a troubled mind,

185 And are as balm to fester'd wounds.

Sams. Your coming, Friends, revives me, for I Now of my own experience, not by talk, (learn How counterfeit a coin they are who friends

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Bear in their superscription, (of the most 190
I would be understood) in prosp'rous days
They swarm, but in adverse withdraw their head,
Not to be found, though sought. Ye fee, O Friends,
How many evils have inclos’d me round; 194
Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me,
Blindness, for had I sight, confus’d with shame,
How could I once look up, or heave the head,
Who like a foolish pilot have shipwreck'd
My vessel trusted to me from above,
Gloriously rigg’d; and for a word, a tear, 200
Fool, have divulg'd the secret gift of God
To a deceitful woman? tell me, Friends,
Am I not sung and proverb’d for a fool
In every street ? do they not say, how well
Are come upon him his deserts ? yet why? 205
Immeasurable strength they might behold
In me, of wisdom nothing more than mean;

This with the other should, at least, have pair’d, *These two proportion'd ill drove me transverse.

Chor. Tax not divine disposal; wisest men 210 Have err’d, and by bad women been deceiv'd; And shall again, pretend they ne'er so wise. Deject not then so overmuch thyself, Who hast of sorrow thy full load besides ; Yet truth to say, I oft have heard men wonder 215 Why thou shouldst wed Philiftian women rather Than of thine own tribe fairer, or as fair,

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At least of thy own nation, and as noble.

Sams. The first I saw at Timna, and she pleas'd Me, not my parents, that I sought to wed 220 The daughter of an infidel: they knew not That what I motion'd was of God; I knew From intimate impulse, and therefore urg'd The marriage on; that by occasion hence I might begin Israel's deliverance,

225 The work to which I was divinely call’d. She proving false, the next I took to wife (O that I never had! fond wish too late,) Was in the vale of Sorec, Dalila, That specious monster, my accomplish'd snare. 230 I thought it lawful from my former act, And the same end; still watching to oppress Israel's oppressors : of what now I suffer She was not the prime cause, but I myself, Who vanquish'd with a peal of words (O weakness!) Gave up my fort of silence to a woman. 235

Chor. In seeking just occasion to provoke . The Philistine, thy country's enemy, Thou never wast remiss, I bear thee witness: Yet Israël still serves with all his sons. 240

Sams. That fault I take not on me, but transfer On Israel's governors, and heads of tribes, Who seeing those great acts, which God had done Singly by me against their conquerors, Acknowledg’d not, or not at all consider’d 245

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