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Inseparably da 'k?

Thou art becoite (O worst imprisonment!)

The dungeon of thyself; thy sonl,

{Which men enjoying sight oft without cause


I mpriaoned now indeed,
In real darkness of the body dwells,
Shut up from outward light
To incorporate with gloomy night;
For inward light, alas!
Puts forth nu visual beam.

0 mirror of our fickle state,
.Since man on earth unparalleled!
The rarer thy example stands,

By how much from the top of wondrous glory,

Strongest of mortal men,

To lowest piteh of abject fortune thou art fallen.

For him I reckon not in high estate

Whom long descent of birth,

Or the sphere of fortune. raises;

But thee whose strength, while virtui' vsas her mate,

Might have subdued the earth,

Universally erowned with highest praises.

Saml. I hear the sound of words; their sense the air

Dissolves unjointed ere it reach my ear.

Chor. He speaks, let us draw nigh. Matehless in might,

The glory late of Israel, now the grief;

We come thy friends and neigh!iours not unknown,

From Eshtaol and Zora's fruitful vale,

To visit or bewail thee; or, if better,

Counsel or consolation we may bring, .

Salve to thy sores: apt words have power to swage

The tumours of a troubled mind.

And arc as balm to festered wounds.

Sams. Your coming, friends, reviyes me, for I learn

Now of my own experience, not by talk,

How counterfeit a coin they are who friends

Bear in their superscription, (of the most

1 would be understood:) in prosperous days
They swarm, but in adverse withdraw their head,
Not to be found, though sought. Ye see, O friends,
How many evils have enclosed me round:

Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me,
Blindness; for had I sight, conbsed with shame,
How could 1 once look up, or heave the head,
Who, like a foolish pilot, have shipwrecked
My vessel trusted to me from above,
Gloriously rigged; and for a word, a tear,
Fool! have divulged the seeret gift of God
To a deceitful woman? tell me, friends,
Am / not sung and proveibed for a fool
In every street? do they not say, how well
Are come upon him his deserts? yet why? .
s'ti| able strength they might behold

In me, of wisdom nothing more than mean;
This with the othrr should, at least, have paired.
These two, proportioned ill, drove me transfer*.

Chor. Tax not divine disposal; wisest men
Have erred, and by bad women been deceived;
And shall again, pretend they ne'er so wise.
Deject not then so overmuch thyself,
Who hast of sorrow thy full load besides;
Yet, truth to say, I oft have heard men wonder
Why thou should'st wed Philistian woman rather
Than of thine own tribe fairer, or as fair,
At least of thy own nation, and as noble.

Sams The first I saw at Timna, and she plea.-cd
Me, not my parents, that I sought to wed
The daughter of an infidel: they knew not
That what I mentioned was of God: I knew
From intimate impulse, and therefore urged
The marrtage on; that by oceasion hence
I might begin Israel's deliverance,
The work to which I was divinely called.
She proving false, the next 1 took to wife
(O that I never had! fond wish too late)
Was in the vale of Sorce, Dulila,
That specious monster, my aceomplished snare.
I thought it lawful from my former act,
And the same end; still watehing to oppress
Israel's oppressors: of what now I sufler
She was not the prime cause, but I myself,
Who, vanquished with a peal of w rds, (O weak-
Gave up my fort of silence to a woman.

Char. In seeking just oceasion to provoke
The Philistine, thy country's enemy,
Thou never wast remiss, I bear thee witness:
Yet Israel still serves with all his sons.

Sams. That fault I take not on me, but transfer
On Israel's governors, and heads of tribes,
Who, seeing those great acts which God had don*
Singly by me against their conquerors,
Acknowledged not, or not at all considered,
Deliverance offered: I on the other side
Used no ambition to commend my deeds;
The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke lom)

the doer:

But they persisted deaf, and would not seem
To count them things worth notice, till at length
Their lords the Philistines with gathered powers
Entered Judea seeking me, who then
Safe to the rock of Etlram was retired;
Not flying, but forecasting in what place
To set U|xm them, what advantaged best:
Meanwhile the men of Judah, to prevent
The harass of their land, beset me round:
I willingly on some conditions came
Into their hands, and they as gladly yield me
To the uncircumeised a weleome prey,
Bound'with two cords; but cords to me wcm

threads Touched with the flame: on their whole host' Be"

Unarmed, and with a trivial weapon felled Their choicest youth; they only lived who fled. I-Iad Judah that day joined, or one whole tribe, They had by this possessed the towers of Gath, And lorded over them whom they now serve: But what more oft, in nations grown corrupt, And by their vices brought to servitude, Than to love bondage more than liberty, Bondage with case than strenuous liberty: And to despise, or envy, or suspect Whom God hath of his special favour raised As their deliverer; if be aught begin, How frequent to desert him, and at last To heap ingratitude on worthiest deeds?

Char. Thy words to my remembrance bring
How Suecoth and the fort of Penucl
Their great deliverer contemned,
The matehless Gideon, in pursuit
Of Madian and her vanquished kings:
And how ingrateful Ephraim
Had dealt with Jephtha, who by argument,
Not worse than by his shield and spear,
Defended Israel from the Ammonite,
Had not his prowess quelled their pride
In that sore battle, when so many died
Without reprieve, adjudged to death,
For want of well pronouncing Shibboleth.

Sanu. Of such example add me to the roll;
Me easily indeed mine may neglect,
But God's proposed deliverance not so.

Char. Just are the ways of God,
And justifiable to men;
Unless there be who think not God at all:
If any be, they walk obscure;
For of such doctrine never was their school,
But the heart of the fool,
And no man therein doctor but himself.

Yet more they be, who doubt his ways not just,
As to his own edicts found contradicting,
Then give the reigns to wandering thought,
Regardless of his glory's diminution;
Till by their own perplexities involved,
They ravel more, still less resolved,
But never find self-satisfying solution.

As if they would confine the Interminable,
And tie him to his own preseript,
Wno mode our laws to bind us, not himself,
And hath full right to exempt
Whom so it pleases him by choice
From national obstriction, without taint
Of sin, orlrgal debt;
Kor with his own laws he can bost dispense.

He would not else, who nnver wanted means,
Nor in respect of the enemy just cause,
To set his people free,
I lave piompted this heroic Nazarite,
Agairjt his vow of strietest purity,
T•j «•ax jr. marriage that fallacious bride,
Maclean, unchaste

Down, reason, then; at least, vain reasonings,


Though reason here aver,
That moral verdict quits her of unclean:
Unchaste was subsequent, her stain not his.

But sec here comes thy reverend sire
With careful step, locks white as down.
Old Manoah: advise
Forthwith how thou ought'st to receive him.

Sams. Ay me, another inward grief, awaked With mention of that name, renews the assault

[EnteiJ JfanooA. .

Man. Brethren and men of Dan, for sucb y«


j Though in'this uncouth place; if old respect,
I As I suppose, towards your once gloried friend,
I My son, now captive, hither hath informed
Your younger feet, while mine cast back with age
Came lagging after; say if he be here.

Char. As signal now in low dejected state,
As erst in highest, behold him where he lies.
Man. O miserable change! is this the man,
That invincible Samson, fur renowned,
The dread of Israel's foes, who with a strrr.cth
Equivalent to angels walked their streets,
None oflering fight; who single combatant
Duelled their armies ranked in proud array,
Himself an army, now unequal mateh
To save himself against a coward armed
At one spear's length. O everfailing trust
In mortal strength! and eh! what not in man
Deceivable and vain? Nay, what thing good
; Prayed for, but often proves our wo, our bane?
I prayed for children, and thought barrermess
In wedlock a reproach; I gained a son,
And such a son as all men hailed me happy;
Who would be now a father in my stead?
O wherefore did God grant me my request,
And as a blessing with such pomp adorned?
Why are his gifts desirable, to tempt
Our earnest prayers, then, given with solemn hand
As graces, draw a scorpion's tail behind?
| For this did the angel twice descend ? for this
Ordained thy nurture holy, as of a plant
Select, and sacrvd, glorious for awhile,
The miracle of men; then in an hour
Insnored, assaulted, overeome, led bound,
Thy foes' derision, captive, poor, and blind,
Into a dungeon thrust, to work with slaves I
Alas! methinks whom God hath chosen once
To worthiest deeds, if he through frailty err,
He should not so o'erwhel>n, and as a thrall
Subject him to foul indignities,
Be it but for honour's sake of former deeds.
Sams. Appoint not heavenly disposition • fa-

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Nothing of all these evils hath befallen me
But justly: I myself have brought them on,
Sole author I, sole cause: if aught seem vile,
As vile hath been my folly, who have profaned
The mystery of God given me under pledge
Of Tow, and have betrayed it to a woman,
A Canaanite, my faithless enemy.
This well I knew, nor was at all surprised,
But warned by oil experience: did not she
Of Timna first betray me, and reveal
The seeret wrested from me in her height
Of nuptial love professed, carry it straight
To them who had corrupted her, my spies,
And rivals? In this other was there fuund
More faith, who also in her prime of love,
Spousal embraces, vitiated with gold,
Though offered only, by the scent conceived
Her spurious first-born, treason against met
Thrice she assayed with flattering prayers and


And amorous reproaches, to win from me
My capital seeret, in what part my strength
Lay stored, in what part summed, that she might


Thrice I deluded her, and turned to sport
Her importunity, each time pereeiving
How openly, and with what impudence
She purposed to betray me, and (which was worse
Than undissembled hate) with what contempt
She sought to make me traitor to myself;
Yet the fourth time, when, mustering all her wiles,
With blandished parleys, feminine assaults.
Tongue batteries, she sureeased not, day nor night
To storm me overwatehed, and wearied out,
At times when men seek most repose and rest
I yielded, and unlocked her all my heart,
Who, with a grain of manhood well resolved,
Might easily have shook off all her snares:
But foul effeminacy held me yoked
Her bondslave; O indignity, O blot,
To honour and religion! servile mind
Kewarded well with servile punishment!
The base degree to which I now am fallen,
These rags, this grinding is not yet so base
As was my former servitude ignoble,
Unmanly, ignominious, infamous,
True slavery, and that blindness worse than this,
That saw not how degenerately I nerved.

Afan. lean not praise thy marriage choices, son,
tUther approved them not; but thou didst plead
Divine impulsion prompting how thou might'st
Find some oecasion to infest our foes.
I state not that; this I am sure, our foes
Found soon oecasion thereby to make thee
Their captive, and their triumph; thou the sooner
Temptation foundest, or over potent charms,
To violate the saered trust of silence
Deposited within thee; which t.t have kept
1 tcit, was in thy power: true; and thou bearest

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 proclaim
Great pomp, and saerifiee, and praises loud,
To Dagon as their God, who hath delivered
Thee, Samson, bound and blind into their hands,
Them out of thine, who slewest them many a slain,
So Dagon shall be magnified, and God,
Besides whom is no God, compared with idols,
Disglorified, blasphemed, 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,
Of all reproach the most with shame that ever
Could have befallen thee and thy father's house.

Sams. Father, I do acknowledge and confess
That I this honour, I this pomp have brought
To Dagon, and advanced his praises high
Among the Heathen round; to God have brought
Dishonour, obloquy, and oped the mouths
Of idolists and atheists; have brought scandal
To Israel, diffidence of God, and doubt
In feeble hearts, propense enough before
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
With me hath end; all the contest is now
'Twixt God and Dagon; Dagon hath presumed,
Me overthrown, to enter lists with God.
His deity comparing and preferring
Before the God of Abraham. He, be sure,
Will not connive, or linger, thus provoked,
But will arise, and his great name assert:
Dagon must stoop, and shall ere long receive
Such a discomfit as shall quite despoil him
Of all these boasted trophies won on me,
And with confusing blank his worshippers.

Man. With cause this hope relieves thee, and

these words

I as a prophecy receive; for God,
Nothing more certain, will not long defer
To vindicate the glory of his name
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 meanwhile, here forgot,
Lie in this miserable loathsome plight,
Veglected. I already have made way
To some Philistian lords, with whom to treat
About thy ransom: well they may by this
Have satisfied their utmost of revenge
3y pains and slaveries, worse than death, inflictell
Dn thee, who now no more canst do them harm

Sams. Spare that proposal, 'nther; spare tbs trouble

Of that solieitation; let mo here,

Aa I tic.serve, pay on my punishment;

And expiate, if possible, my crime,

Shai.ieful garrulity. To have revealed

Seerets of men, the seerets of a friend,

Plow heinous had the fact been, how deserving

Contempt, and scorn of all, to be excluded

AU friendship, and avoided us a blab,

The mark of fool set on his front i

But I God's counsel have not kept, his holy seeret

Presumptuously have published, impiously,

Weakly at least, and shamefully; a sin'

That Gentiles in their parables condemn

To their abyss and horrid pains confined.

Man. Be penitent, and for thy fault contrit But act not in thy own affliction, son: Repent the sin; but, if the punishment Thou canst avoid, self preservation bids; Or the execution leave to high disposal, And let another hand, not thine, exact Thy penal forfeit from thyself: perhaps God will relent, and quit tlu-c all his debt; Who ever more approves, and more aecepts, (Best pleased with humble and filial submission,) Him, who, imploring merey, sues for life, Than who, self-rigorous, chooses death as due; Which argues overjust, and self-displeased, For self oftence, more than for God offended. Reject not then what offered means, who knows But God hath set before us, to return thee Home to thy country and hia saered house, Where thou may'st bring thy offerings, to avert His further ire, with prayers and vows renewed?

Sams. His pardon I implore; but as for life Tit what end should I seek it? when in strength Al l mortals I excelled, and great in hopes With youthful courage, and magnanimous thoughts Of birth from Heaven foretold, and high exploits, Full of divine instinct, after some proof Of acts indeed heroie, far beyond The sons of Anak, famous now and blazed Fearless of danger, like a petty god I walked about admired of all and dreaded On hostile ground, none daring my affront.s Then swollen with pride into the snare I fell Of fair fallacious looks, venereal trains, Softened with pleasure and voluptuous life; At length to lay my head and hallowed pledge Of all my strength in the lascivious lap Of a deceitful concubine, who shore me Like a tame wether, all my precious fleece, Then turned me out ridiculous, despoiled, Shaven, and disarmed mine enemies. • C/ior. Desire of wine and all delicious drinks, Which many a famous warrior overturns, Thou could st repress; nor did the dancing ruby

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Sparkling, outpoured, the flavour or the smell.
Or taste that cheers Hie heart of gods and men,
Allure theo from the cool erystalline stream.
Sams. Wherever fountain or fresh current


Against the eastern ray, translucent, pure,
With touch ethereal of Heaven's fierv rod,
I drank, from the clear milky juice allaying
Thirst, and refreshed: nor envied them the grape
Whose heads that turbulent liquor fills with

fumes. Chor. O madness, to think use of strongest


And strongest drinks, our chief suppert of health, When God with these forbidden made choice tu


His mighty champion, strong above compare, Whose drink was only from the liquid brook. Sams. But what availed this temperance, not


Against another object more enticing?
What boots it at one gate to make defence,
And at another to let in the foe,
Effeminately vanquished? by which means,
Now blind, disheartened, shamed, dishonoured,


To what can I be useful, wherein serve
My nation, and the work from Heaven imposed,
But to sit idle on the household hearth,
A burdenous drone; to visitants a gaze,
Or pitied object, these redundant locks
Robustious to no purpose clustering down,
Vain monument of strength; till length of yean
And sedentary numbness eraze thy limbs
To a contemptible old age obscure?
Here rather let me drudge and earn my bread;
Till vermin or the draff of servile food,
Consume me, and oft invocated death
Hasten the weleome end of all my pains.
Man. Wilt thou .then serve the Philistines with

that gift

Which was expressly given thee to annoy tncml
Better at home lie bedrid, not only idle,
Inglorious, unemployed, with age outworn.
But God, who caused a fountain at thy prayer
From the dry ground to spring, thy thirst to allar
After the brunt of battle, can as easy
Cause light again within thy eyes to spring,
Wherewith to serve him better than tbou host,
And I persuade mo so; why else this strength
Miraculous yet remaining in those locks?
Hia might continues in thoe not for naught,
Nor shall his wondrous gifts lie frustrate thus.
Sams. All otherwise to mo my thoughts por-
That these dark orbs no more shall treat witn


Nor the other light of life continue long,
But yield to double darkness mgh at h.m>i:
R> much I feel my genial spirits droop,
My hopes all flat, nature within me seetng
In all her functions weary of herself;
My race of glory run, and race of shame,
Ainl I shall shortly be with them that rest.

Man. Believe not these suggestions, which proceed

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


Sams. O that torment should not be confined To the body's wounds and sores, With maladies innumerable In heart, head, breast, and reins; But must seeret passage find To the inmost mind, There exercise all his fierce aceidents, And on her purest spirits prey, As on entrails, joints, and limbs, With answerable pains, but mote intense, Though void of corporal sense.

My griefs not only pain me As a lingering disease, But, finding no redress, ferment and rage; Nor less than wounds immedicable Rankle, and fester, and gangrene, To black mortification. Tbtughts, my tormentors, armed with deadly


Mangle my apprehensive tenderest parts,
Exasperate, exuleerate, and raise
Dire inflammation, which no cooling herb
Or medicinal liquor can assuage,
Nor breath of vernal air from snowy Alp.
Sleep hath forsook and given me o'er
To death's benumbing opium as my only cure;
Thence faintings, swoonings of despair,
And sense of Heaven's desertion.

I was his nursling once, and choice delight,
His destined from the womb,
Promised by heavenly message twice descending.
Under his special eye

Abstemious I grew up, and thrived amain;
He led me on to mightiest deeds,
Above the nerve of mortal arm,
Against the uncircumeised, our enemies:
But now hath cast me offas never known,
And to those eruel enemies:
Whom I by his appointment had provoked,
Left me all helpless with the irreparable loss
Of sight, reserved alive to be repeated,
The subject of their eruelty or scorn.
Nor am I in the list of them that hope;
Hopeless are all my evils, all remediless:
This once prayer yet remains, might I be heard,

No long petition, speedy death,

The close of all my miseries, and the balm.

Char. Many are the sayings of the wise, In ancient and in modern books enrolled, Extolling patience as the truest fortitude; And to the bearing well of all calamities, All chances incident to man's frail life, Consolatories writ With studied 'argument, and much persuasion


Lenient of grief and anxious thought:
But with the afflicted in his pangs their sound
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,
Seeret refreshings, that repair his strength
Aml fainting spirits uphold.

God of our fathers, what is man!
Thar thou towards him with hand so various

Or myht I say contrarious,

Temperest thy providence through his short course

Not evenly, as thou rulest

The angelic orders, and inferior ereatures mute,

Irrational and brute.

Nor do I name of men the common rout,

That wandering loose about

Grow up and perish as the summer fly

Heads without name no more remembered;

But such as thou hast solemnly elected,

With gifts and graces eminently adorned,

To some great work, thy glory,

And people's safety, which in part they eflect:

Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft,

Amidst their height of noon,

Changest thy countenance, and thy hand, with no


Of highest favours past
From thce on them, or them to thec of service.

Nor only dost degrade them, or remit
To life obscured, which were a fair dismission,
But throwest them lower than thou didst exalt

them high;

Unseemly falls in human eye,
Too grievous for the trespass or omission;
Oft leavest them to the hostile sword
Of heathen and profane, their carcasses
To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captived;
Or to the unjust tribunals, under change of times,
And condemnation of the ingrateful multitude.
If these they 'scape, perhaps in poverty
With sickness and disease thou bow'st them liown,
Painful diseases and deformed
In erude old age;

Though not disordinate. yet causeless suffenng
The punishment nf dissolute days: in finn
Just or unjust alike seem miserable,
For oft alike both come to evil end.
So deal not with this once thy glortous ;hamptnn

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