Page images



While I at home sat full of cares and fears, . 805
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.
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 firong, inflexible as steel.
If thou in strength all mortals doft exceed,
In uncompassionate anger do not so.

Sams. How cunningly the forceress 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, 825 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 Philiftian gold: if weakness may excuse, What murderer, what traitor, parricide,


Incesluous, sacrilegious, but may plead il?
All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore
With God or Man will gain thee no remission. 835
But love constrain’d thee; call it furious rage
To satisfy thy lust: love seeks to' have love;
My love how could's thou hope, who took's the way
To raise in me inexpiable hate,
Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd ? 840
In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame,
Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st more.

Dal. Since thou determin'st weakness for no plea
In man or woman, though to thy own condemning,
Here what assaults I had, what snares besides, 845
What sieges girt me round, ere I consented ;
Which might have aw'd the best resolv'd of men,
· The constantest, to’ have yielded without blame.
It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st,
That wrought with me: thou know'st the magistrates
And princes of my country came in person, 851
Solicited, commanded, threaten’d, urg'd,
Adjur'd by all the bonds of civil duty
And of religion, press’d how just it was,
How honorable, how glorious to intrap 855
A common enemy, who had destroy'd
Such numbers of our nation: and the priest
Was not behind, but ever at my ear,
Preaching how meritorious with the Gods
It would be to insnare an irreligious 860
Dishonorer of Dagon: what had I
T'oppose against such pow’rful arguments ?
Only my love of thee held long debate,
And combated in silence all these reasons
With hard contest: at length that grounded maxim
So rife and celebrated in the mouths

Of wisest men, that to the public good
Private respects must yield, with grave authority
Took full possession of me and prevail'd;
Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty so injoining. 870

Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles would In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy. (end; But had thy love, ftill odiously pretended, Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught thee Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds. I before all the daughters of my tribe 876 And of my nation chose thee from among My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st, Too well, unbosom'd all my secrets to thee, Not out of levity, but over-power'd

880 By thy request, who could deny thee nothing; Yet now am judg’d an enemy. Why then Didst thou at first receive me for thy husband, Then, as since then, thy country's foe profess’d? Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave 885 Parents and country; nor was I their subject, Nor under their protection but my own, Thou mine, not theirs: if ought against my life


Thy country sought of thee, it sought unjustly,
Against the law of nature, law of nations, 890
No more thy country, but an impious crew
Of men conspiring to uphold their state
By worse than hostile deeds, violating the ends
For which our country is a name so dear; 894
Not therefore to be' obey'd. But zeal mov'd thee;
To please thy Gods thou didit it; Gods unable
T'acquit themselves and prosecute their foes
But by ungodly deeds, the contradiction
Of their own deity, Gods cannot be;
Less therefore to be pleas'd, obey'd, or fear'd. 900
These false pretexts and varnish'd colors failing,
Bare in thy guilt how foul must thou appear?

Dal. In argument with men a woman ever
Goes by the worse, whatever be her cause. 904

Sams. For want of words no doubt, or lack of Witness when I was worried with thy peals. (breath;

Dal. I was a fool, too rash, and quite mistaken In what I thought would have succeeded best, Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson, Afford me place to show what recompense 910 Tow’ards thee I intend for what I have misdone, Misguided; only what remains past cure Bear not too sensibly, nor still insist T'afflict thyself in vain: though sight be lost, Life yet hath many solaces, enjoy’d Where other senses want not their delights

[ocr errors]

· 915

R :


At home in leisure and domestic ease,
Exempt from many a care and chance to which
Eye-light exposes daily men abroad.
I to the lords will intercede, not doubting 920
Their favorable ears, that I may fetch thee
From forth this loathsome prison-house, to abide
With me, where my redoubled love and care
With nursing diligence, to me glad office,
May ever tend about thee to old age

925 With all things grateful chear’d, and so fupply'd, That what by me thou' has lost thou least shalt miss.

Sams. No, no, of my condition take no care ; It fits not; thou and I long since are twain ; Nor think me so unwary or accurs’d, 930 To bring my feet again into the snare Where once I have been caught; I know thy trains Though dearly to my cost, thy gins, and toils; Thy fair inchanted cup, and warbling charms No more on me have pow'r, their force is null'd, So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd 936 To fence my ear against thy sorceries. If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men Lov’d, honor’d, fear'dme, thou alone could's hate me Thy husband, slight me, fell me, and forgo me; How wouldst thou use me now, blind, and thereby Deceivable, in most things as a child 942 Helpless, thence easily contemn'd, and scorn'd, And last neglected ? How wouldlt thou insult,


« PreviousContinue »