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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,
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;
Not therefore to be obey'd. But zeal mov'd thee; 895
To please thy Gods thou didst 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 colours failing,
Bare in thy guilt how foul must thou appear?
In argument with men a woman ever
Goes by the worse, whatever be her cause.
For want of words no doubt, or lack of breath ; 905
Witness when I was worried with thy peals.
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 recompence
Tow'rds 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
At home in leisure and domestic ease,
Exempt from many a care and chance to which
Eye-sight exposes daily men abroad.
I to the lords will intercede, not doubting
Their favourable ear, 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 cheer'd, and so supplied, That what by me thou' hast lost thou least shalt miss.
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,
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 nullid, 935
So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd
934. Thy fair inchanted cup, ately following is taken from and warbling charms] Alluding Scripture. Thyer. no doubt to the story of Circe He might as well be supposed and the Sirens; but did not our to know the story of Circe and author's fondness for Greek learn- the Sirens, as of Tantalus, &c. ing make him here forget, that it before, ver. 500. and there is no is a little out of character to re- more impropriety in the one than present Samson acquainted with in the other. the mythology of that country? 936. So much of adder's wisdom It seems the more odd, as the I have learn'd] The allusion is to allusion to the adder immedi. Psal. lviii. 4, 5. They are like the
To fence my ear against thy sorceries.
If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men
Lov'd, honour'd, fear'd me, thou alone could'st hate me
Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forego me; 940
How would'st thou use me now, blind, and thereby
Deceivable, in most things as a child
Helpless, thence easily contemn'd, and scorn'd,
And last neglected? How would'st thou insult,
When I must live uxorious to thy will
In perfect thraldom, how again betray me,
Bearing my words and doings to the lords.
To gloss upon, and censuring, frown or smile?
This jail I count the house of liberty
To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter. 950
Let me approach at least and touch thy hand.
Not for thy life, lest fierce reinembrance wake
My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint.
At distance I forgive thee, go with that;
Bewail thy falsehood, and the pious works
It hath brought forth to make thee memorable
Among illustrious women, faithful wives:
Cherish thy hasten’d widowhood with the gold
Of matrimonial treason: so farewel.
I see thou art implacable, more deaf
To pray’rs, than winds and seas, yet winds to seas
Are reconcild at length, and sea to shore:
deaf adder, that stoppeth her ear; of charmers, charming never 30 which will not hearken to the voice wisely.
Thy anger, unappeasable, still rages,
Eternal tempest never to be calm’d.
Why do I humble thus myself, and suing
For peace, reap nothing but repulse and hate?
with evil omen, and the brand
Of infamy upon my name denounc'd ?
To mix with thy concernments I desist
Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own.
Fame if not double-fac'd is double-mouth'd,
And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds ;
On both his wings, one black, the other white,
Bears greatest names in his wild aery flight.
My name perhaps among the circumcis'd
In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering tribes,
To all posterity may stand defam’d,
With malediction mention'd, and the blot
Of falsehood most unconjugal traduc'd.
But in my country where I most desire,
973. On both his wings, one in his Lycidas he says, (unless it biack, the other white,
be a false print) Bears greatest names in his wild
So may some gentle Muse aery flight.]
With lucky words favour my destin'd I think Fame has passed for a
And as he passes turn, goddess ever since Hesiod deified
And bid fair peace be to my sable her: Egy. 763.
Where Muse in the inasculine Φημη δ' ου τις παμπαν απoλλυται, ήν
for poet is very
bold. Perhaps it Λαοι Φημιζoυσι. Θεος νυ τις εςι και αυτη.
Bears greatest names in his wide aery Fama vero nulla prorsus perit, quam
flight. quidem multi Populi divulgant, quippe dea quidem What Milton says of Fame's bearest et ipsa.
ing great names on his wings,
seems to be partly from Horace, Milton makes her a gud, I know Od. ii. ii. 7. not why, unless secundum eos,
Illum aget penna metuente solvi qui dicunt utriusque sexus par
Fama superstes. ticipationem habere numina. So
In Ecron, Gaza, Asdod, and in Gath,
I shall be nam'd among the famousest
Of women, sung at solemn festivals,
Living and dead recorded, who to save
Her country from a fierce destroyer, chose 985
Above the faith of wedlock-bands, my tomb
With odours visited and annual flowers;
Not less renown'd than in mount Ephraim
Jael, who with inhospitable guile
Smote Sisera sleeping through the temples nail'd. 990
Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy
The public marks of honour and reward
Conferr'd upon me, for the piety
Which to my country I was judg’d to have shown.
At this who ever envies or repines,
995 I leave him to his lot, and like my own.
gone, a manifest serpent by her sting Discover'd in the end, till now conceal’d.
Jael is celebrated in the noble With odours visited and unnual song of Deborah and Barak, flowers;] What is said in Scrip- Judges v. and Deborah dwelt ture of the daughter of Jephthah, between Ramah and Beth-et in that the daughters of Israel went mount Ephraim. Judges iv. 5. yearly to lament her, seems to 995. Al this who erer envies or imply that this solemn and perio- repines, dical visitation of the tombs of I leave him to his lot, and like eminent persons was an eastern
my own.) custom. Thyer.
Teucer to the Chorus in SophoSo it is said afterwards of cles's Ajax, ver. 1038. Samson, The virgins also shall on feastful
" 'Oro de
ταδ' εστιν εν γνωμη φιλα, , days
Κινος σ' εκεινα στεργιτω, καγω ταδε. Visit his tomb with flowers.
Cui autem hæc non sunt cordi, 988. Not less renown'd than in Ileque sua amet, et ego mea. mount Ephraim