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As their deliverer ; if he ought begin,
How frequent to desert him, and at last 275
To heap ingratitude on worthiest deeds?
Chor. Thy words to my remembrance bring
How Succoth and the fort of Penuel
Their great deliverer contemn'd,
The matchless Gideon in pursuit 280
Of Madian and her vanquish'd kingsi
And how ingrateful Ephraim
Had dealt with Jephtha, who by argument,
Not worse than by his shield and spear,
Defended Israel from the Ammonite, 285
Had not his prowess quell'd their pride
In that sore battel, when so many dy'd
Without reprieve adjug'd to death,
For want of well pronouncing Shibboleth.
Sam. Ofsuch examples add me to the roll, 290
Me easily indeed mine may neglect,
But God's propos'd deliverance not so.
Chor. Just are the ways of God, And justifiable to men;
Unless there be who think not God at all; 295
If any be, they walk obscure;
For ofsuch doctrin never was there school,
But the heart of the fool,
And no man therein doctor but himself.
Yet more there be who doubt his ways not just, As to his own edicts found contradicting, 301
Then give the reins to wand'ring thought,
Regardless of his glory's diminution;
Till by their own perplexities involv'd
They ravel more, still less resolv'd, 305
But never find self-satisfying solution.
As if they would confine th' Interminable,
And tie him to his own prescript,
Who made our laws to bind us, not himself,
And hath full right to' exempt 310
Whom so it pleases him by choice
From national obstriction, without taint
Of sin, or legal debt;
For with his own laws he can best dispense.
He would not else who never wanted means, 315
Nor in respect of th' enemy just cause
To set his people free,
Have prompted this heroic Nazarite,
Against his vow of strictest purity,
To seek in marriage that fallacious bride, 320
Down reason then, at least vain reasonings down,
Though reason here aver
That moral verdict quits her of unclean:
Unchaste was subsequent, her stain not his. 345
But see here comes thy reverend sire
With careful stsp, locks white as down,
Forthwith how thou ought'st to receive him.
Sam. Ay me, another inward grief awak'd 330 With mention of that name renews th' assault.
Man. Brethren and men of Dan,for such ye seem. Though in this uncouth place; if old respect,
As I suppose, tow'ards your once glory'd friend, My son now captive, hither hath inform'd 335 Your younger feet, while mine cast back with age Came lagging after; say if he be here?
Chor. As signal now in low dejected state, As erst in high'est, behold him where he lies.
Man. O miserable change I is this the man, 340
That invincible Samson, far renown'd,
The dread of Israel's foes, who with a strength
Equivalent to angels walk'd their streets,
None offering fight; who single combatant
Duel'd their armies rank'd in proud array, 34.J
Himself an army, now unequal match
To save himself against a coward arm'd
At one spear's length. O ever-failing trust
In mortal strength! and oh what not in man
Deceivable and vain? Nay what thing good 350
Pray'd for, but often proves our woe, our bane?
I pray'd for children, and thought barrenness
In wedlock a reproach; I gain'd a son,
And such a son as all men hail'd me happy;
Who would be now a father in my stead f 355
O wherefore did God grant me my request,
And as a blessing with such pomp adorn'd?
Why are his gifts desirable, to tempt
Our earnest pray'rs, then giv'n with solemn hand
As graces, draw a scorpion's tail behind? 360
For this did th' angel twice descend? for this
Ordain'd thy nurture holy, as of a plant
Select, and sacred, glorious for a while,
Volume 111." I
The miracle of men; then in an hour
Insnar'd, assaulted, overcome, led bound, 365
Thy foes' derision, captive, poor and blind,
Into a dungeon thrust, to work with slaves?
Alas, methinks whom God hath chosen once
To worthiest deeds, if he through frailty err,
.He should not so o'erwhelm, and as a thrall 370
Subject him to so foul indignities
Be' it but for honor's sake of former deeds.
Sam. Appoint notheav'nly disposition, Father;
Nothing of all these evils hath befall'n me
But justly; I myself have brought them on, 375
Sole author I, sole cause i if ought seem vile,
As vile hath been my folly, who' have profan'd
The mystery of God giv'n me under pledge
Of vow, and have betray'd it to a woman,
A Canaanite, my faithless enemy. 380
This well I knew, nor was at all surpris'd,
But warn'd by oft experience i did not she
Of Timna first betray me, and reveal
The secret wrested from me in her highth
Of nuptial love profess'd, carrying it strait 385
To them who had corrupted her, my spies,
And rivals? In this other was there found
More faith, who also in her prime of love,
Spousal embraces, vitiated with gold,
Though offer'd only, by the sent conceiv'd 390
Her spurious first-bom, treason against me?
Thrice sheassay'd with flattering pray'rs and sighs,
And amorous reproaches, to win from me
My capital secret, in what part my strength [know;
Lay stor'd, in what part summ'd, that she might
Thrice I deluded her, and turn'd to sport 396
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, femenine assaults,
Tongue-batteries, she surceas'd not day nor night
To storm me overwatch'd, and weary'd out, 405
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 honor and religion! 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 415
As was my former servitude, ignoble,
Unmanly, ignominious, infamous,
True slavery, and that blindnes worse than this,
That saw not how degenerately I serv'd. 419
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.: