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I state not that; this I am sure, our foes
Found soon occasion thereby to make thee 425
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: true; 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 proclame 43 5

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 magnify'd, 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, 445
Of all reproach the most with shame that ever
Could have befall'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, andadvanc'd his praises high 450

Among the Heathen round; to God have brought
Dishonor, obloquy, and op'd the mouths
Of idoiisrs, aud atheists; have brought scandal

To Israel, diffidence of God, and doubt

In feeble hearts, prepense enough before 455

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, 465

Will not connive, or linger, thus provok'd,

But will arise and his great name asserti

Dagon must stoop, and shall ere long receive

Such a discomfit, as shall quite despoil him

Of all these boasted trophies won on me, 470

And with confusion blank his worshippers.

Man . With cause this hope relieves thee, and these I as a prophecy receive; for God, [words

Nothing more certain, will not long defer
To vindicate the glory of his name 475

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 48a

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

Have safisfy'd their utmost of revenge

By pains and slaveries, worse than death inflicted 4 85

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

Sam. Spare that proposal, Father, spare the trouble
Of that solicitation; let me here
As I deserve, pay on my punishment;
And expiate, if possible, my crime, 490

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, 495

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 i a sin
That Gentiles in their parables condemn 500

To their abyss and horrid pains confin'd.

Man. Be penitentand for thy fault contrite, But act not in thy own affliction, Soni Repent the sin, but if the punishment Thou canst avoid, self-preservation bids; 505 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 pleas'd 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-offense, more than for God offended. 515
Reject not then what offer'd means; who knows
But God hath set before us, to return thee
Home to thy country and his sacred house,
Where thou mayst 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 strength
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 526

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 535
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'dmeout ridiculous, despoil'd,
Shav'n, anddisarm'd among mine enemies. 540

Chor. Desire of wine and all delicious drinks,
Which many a famous warrior overturns,
Thou couldst repress, nor did the dancing ruby

Sparkling, out-pour'd, the flavor, or the smell,
Or taste that cheers the heart of gods and men, 545
Allure thee from the cool crystallin stream.

Sam. Wherever fountain or fresh current flow'd
Against the eastern ray, translucent, pure
With touch ethereal of Heav'n's fiery rod
I drank, from the clear milky juice allaying 550
Thirst, and refresh'd; nor envy'd them the grape
Whose heads that turbulent liquor fills with fumes.

Chor. O madness, tothinkuseof strongestwines And strongest drinks our chief support of health, When God with these forbidd'n made choice to rear His mighty champion, strong above compare, 556 Whose drink was only from the liquid brook.

Sam. But what avail'd this temp'rance, not comAgainst another object more enticing? [plete

What boots it at one gate to make defense, 560
And at another to let in the foe,
Effeminately vanquish'd? by which means,
Now blind,disiiearten'd, sham'd, dishonor'd, quell'd,
To what can I be useful, wherein serve
My nation, and the work from Heav'n impos'd, 565
But to sit idle on the houshold hearth,
A burd'nous drone; to visitant's a gaze,
Or pity'd object, these redundant locks
Robustious to no purpose clustring down,
Vain monument of strength ; till length of years 570
And sedentary numness craze my limbs
To a contemptible old age obscure?
Here rather let me drudge and earn my bread,

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