« PreviousContinue »
Israel's oppressors : of what now I suffer
Cho. In seeking juft occafion to provoke
245 Deliverance offer'd: I on th' other side Us'd no ambition to commend my deeds, [doer ; The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the But they perfifted deaf, and would not seem To count them things worth notice, till at length 250 Their lords the Philiftines with gather'd powers Enter'd Judea seeking me, who then Safe to the rock of Etham was retir'd, Not Aying, but fore-casting in what place To set upon them, what advantag'd beft: 255 Mean while the men of Judah, to prevent The harrass of their land, beset me round; I willingly on some conditions came Into their hands, and they as gladly yield me To the uncircumcis'd a welcome prey,
260 Bound with two cords; but cords to me were threads Touch'd with the flame: on their whole hoft I flew
Unarm'd, and with a trivial weapon fell’d
275 To heap ingratitude on worthiest deeds ?
Cho. Thy words to my remembrance bring
285 Had not his prowess quell'd their pride In that fore battel when so many dy'd Without reprieve adjudg'd to death, For want of well pronouncing Shibboleth.
Sams. Of such examples add me to the roll, 290 Me easily indeed mine may neglect, But God's propos'd deliverance not fo.
Cho. 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 of such 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, 300 As to his own edicts found contradicting, Then give the reins to wandering 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-fatisfying solution.
As if they would confine th' Interminable,
He would not else who never wanted means,
320 Unclean, unchalte. Down reason then, at least vain reasonings down,
Though reason here aver
But see here comes thy reverend Sire
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; fay if he be here.
Cho. As fignal now in low dejected state, As erst in high'est, behold him where he lies.
Man. O miserable change! is this the man, 340 That invincible Samson, far renown'd, The dread of Ifrael's foes, who with a strength Equivalent to Angels walk’d their streets, None offering fight; who fingle combatant Duel'd their armies rank'd in proud array, 345 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,
Sams. Appoint not heav'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 : 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 This well I knew, nor was at all surpris'd, But warn'd by oft' experience : did not the