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My hopes all flat, nature within me seems

595 In all her functions weary of herself, , My race of glory run, and race of shame, And I shall shortly be with them that rest.

MANOAH. Believe not these suggestions which proceed From anguish of the mind and humours black, 600 That mingle with thy fancy. I however Must not omit a father's timely care To prosecute the means of thy deliverance By ransom, or how else: mean while be calm, And healing words from these thy friends admit. 605

SAMSON O that torment should not be confin'd To the body's wounds and sores, With maladies innumerable In heart, head, breast, and reins ; felt, and what he thought in duces Satan in the shape of a some of his melancholy hours. toad at the ear of Eve. iv. 804. He could not have wrote so well but from his own feeling and

Or if, inspiring venom, be might taint

Th' animal spirits &c. experience, and the very flow of the verses is melancholy, and ex

So again in the Mask, cellently adapted to the subject.

-'tis but the lees As Mr. Thyer expresses it, there

And settlings of a melancholy blood. is a remarkable solemnity and

Thyer. air of melancholy in the very

606. O that torment should not sound of these verses, and the be confin'd &c.] Milton, no doubt, reader will find it very

difficult was apprehensive that this long to pronounce them without that description of Samson's grief and grave and serious tone of voice misery might grow tedious to which is proper for the occasion. the reader, and therefore here

600. -and humours black, with great judgment varies both

That mingle with thy fancy.] his manner of expressing it and This very just notion of the the versification. These sudden mind or fancy's being affected, starts of impatience are very naand as it were tainted, with the tural to persons in such circumvitiated humours of the body, stances, and this rough and unMilton had before adopted in his equal measure of the verses is Paradise Lost, where he intro- very well suited to it. Thyer.

610

615

But must secret passage find
To th' inmost mind,
There exercise all his fierce accidents,
And on her purest spirits prey,
As on entrails, joints, and limbs,
With answerable pains, but more intense,
Though void of corporal sense.

My griefs not only pain me
As a lingøring disease,
But finding no redress, ferment and rage,
Nor less than wounds immedicable
Rankle, and fester, and gangrene,
To black mortification.
Thoughts my tormentors arm'd with deadly stings
Mangle my apprehensive tenderest parts,
Exasperate, exulcerate, and raise
Dire inflammation, which no cooling herb
Or medicinal liquor can asswage,
Nor breath of vernal air from snowy Alp.

620

625

623. Thoughts my tormentors than as we commonly pronounce arm'd with deadly stings

it medicinal with the accent upon Mangle &c.]

the last syllable but two, or This descriptive imagery is fine med'cinal as Milton has used it and well pursued. The idea is in the Mask. The same musical taken from the effects of poison- pronunciation occurs in Shakeous salts in the stomach and speare. Othello, act v. sc. 10. bowels, which stimulate, tear,

Drop tears as fast as the Arabian inflame, and exulcerate the tender fibres, and end in a mortification,

Their medicinal gum. which he calls death's benumbing

628. —from snowy Alp.] He opium, as in that stage the pain

uses Alp for mountain in general, is over. Warburton.

as in the Paradise Lost, ii. 620. 627. Or medicinal liquor can

O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp. asswage,] Here medicinal is

pronounced with the accent upon Alp in the strict etymology of the last syllable but one, as in the word signifies à mountain Latin: which is more musical white with snow. We have in.

trees

630

635

Sleep hath forsook and gir'n me o'er
To death's benumbing opium as my only cure:
Thence faintings, swoonings of despair,
And sense of heav'n's desertion.

I was his nursling once, and choice delight,
His destin'd from the womb,
Promis'd by heav'nly message twice descending.
Under his special eye
Abstemious I grew up, and thriv'd amain;
He led me on to mightiest deeds
Above the nerve of mortal arm
Against th' uncircumcis'd, our enemies :
But now hath cast me off as never known,
And to those cruel enemies,
Whom I by his appointment had provok’d,
Left me all helpless with th' irreparable loss
Of sight, reserv'd alive to be repeated
The subject of their cruelty or scorn.
Nor am I in the list of them that hope;
Hopeless are all my evils, all remediless;
This one prayer yet remains, might I be heard,

640

645

deed appropriated the name to &c.]. This part of Samson's the high mountains which sepa- speech is little more than a reperate Italy from France and Ger- tition of what he had said before, many; but any high mountain ver. 23. may be so called, and so Sido

O wherefore was my birth from nius Apollinaris calls mount heav'n foretold Athos, speaking of Xerxes cut- Twice by an angel &c. ting through it, Carmen ii. 510.

But yet it cannot justly be im-cui ruptus Athos, cui remige Medo puted as a fault to our author. Turgida sylvosam currebant vela per Grief though eloquent is not tied Alpem.

to forms, and is besides apt in And the old Glossary interprets its own nature frequently to recur Alps by ognirfinna high mountains. to and repeats its source and

633. I was his nursling once object. Thyer.

No long petition, speedy death,

650 The close of all my miseries, and the balm.

CHORUS.
Many are the sayings of the wise
In ancient and in modern books inroll'd,
Extolling patience as the truest fortitude ;
And to the bearing well of all calamities,

655
All chances incident to man's frail life,
Consolatories writ
With studied argument, and much persuasion sought
Lenient of grief and anxious thought:
But with th' afflicted in his pangs their sound 660
Little prevails, or rather seems a tune
Harsh, and of dissonant mood from his complaint ;
Unless he feel within
Some source of consolation from above,
Secret refreshings, that repair his strength,

665

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656. All chances incident to pressed from what we quoted man's frail life, &c.] There is before from Horace, epist. i. i. a full stop at the end of this line 34. in all the editions, but there

Sunt verba et voces quibus hunc should be only a comma, as the lenire dolorem sense evinces, the construction Possis. being And consolatories writ with

660. But with th' afflicted &c.] &c. to the bearing well &c. Milton Here was another error perpehimself corrected it in the first tuated through all the editions, edition; but when an error is

But to th' afflicted &c. once made, it is sure to be perpetuated through all the editions. Milton himself corrected it, and

658. -and much persuasion certainly their sound prevails with sought] I suppose an error of th' afflicted is better than prevails the press for fraught. Warbur- to th' afflicted. ton.

661. or rather seems a tune I conceive the construction to Harsh, and of dissonant mood be, consolatories are writ with

&c.] studied argument, and much per- Alluding to Ecclus. xxii. 6. A suasion is sought &c.

tale out of season is as music in 659. Lenient of grief] Ex- mourning. Thyer.

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And fainting spirits uphold.

God of our fathers, what is man!
That thou tow'ards him with hand so various,
Or might I say contrarious,
Temper'st thy providence through his short course, 670
Not ev'nly, as thou rulst
Th' angelic orders and inferior creatures mute,
Irrational and brute.
Nor do I name of men the common rout,
That wand'ring loose about

675
Grow up and perish, as the summer fly,
Heads without name no more remember'd,
But such as thou hast solemnly elected,
With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd
To some great work, thy glory,

680
And people's safety, which in part they'effect :
Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft
Amidst their height of noon

667. God of our fathers, what term for this lower class of moris man! &c.] This and the fol- tals. They style them are@nor lowing paragraph to ver. 705. or avaguntos, men not numbered, seems to be an imitation of the or not worth the numbering. Chorus in Seneca's Hippolytus, Thyer. where the immature and unde- 683. Amidst their height of served fate of that young hero is noon] Milton is accustomed to this lamented. Act iv. 971.

expression. See below, v. 1612.
sed cur idem,

The feast and noon grew high.
Qui tanta regis, sub quo vasti So in P. L. iv. 564.
Pondera mundi librata suos
Ducunt orbes, hominum nimium This day at height of noon came to
Securus abes; non sollicitus

my sphere. Prodesse bonis, nocuisse malis ?

&c. to the end. Compare P. L. v. 174. and Il Pens.
Thyer.

68. So in Harrison's Description

of Britaine, prefixed to Hollings677. Heads wilhout name no bead, “ The husbandmen dine more remember'd,] Milton here at high noone, as they call it." probably had in view the Greek T. Warton.

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