Page images

Dishonorer of Dagon: what had I
T' oppose against such pow'rful arguments?
Only my love of thee held long debate,
And combated in silence all these reasons
With hard contest: at length that grounded maxim
So rife and celebrated in the mouths 866

Of wisest men, that to the public good
Private respects must yield, with grave authority
Took full possession of me and prevail'd;
Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty soinjoining. 870
Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles would
In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy. (end;

But had thy love, still odiousty pretended,
Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught thee
Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds.
I before all the daughters of my tribe 876

And of my nation chose thee from among
My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st,
Too well, unbosom'd all my secrets to thee,
Not out of levity, but over-power'd 880

By thy request, who could deny thee nothing;
Yet now am judg'd an enemy. Why then
Didst thou at sirst receive me for thy husband,
Then, as since then, thy country's foe profess'd?
Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave 885
Parents and country; nor was I their subject,
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, 890
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; 894
Not therefore to be' obey'd. But zeal mov'd thee;
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. goo
These false pretexts and varnish'd colors failing,
Bare in thy guilt how foul must thou appear?

Dal. In argument with men a woman ever
Goes by the worse, whatever be her cause. 904

Sams. For want of words no doubt, or lack of Witness when I was worried with thy peals, (breath;

Dal. 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 recompense gio Towards 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 915

Where other fenses 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 920

Their favorable ears, 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 chear'd, and so supply'd,

That what by me thou' hast lost thou least shalt miss.

Sams. No, no, of my condition take no care;
It fits not; thou and I long since are twain;
Nor think me so unwary oraccurs'd, 930

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 null'd,
So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd 936
To fence my ear against thy sorceries.
If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men
Lov'd, honor'd, fear'dme, thoualonecould'sthateme
Thy husband, flight me, fell me, and forgo me;
How wouldst thou use me now, blind, and thereby
Deceivable, in most things as a child 942

Helpless, thence easily contemn'd, and fcorn'd,
And last neglected? How wouldst thou insult,

When When I must live luxurious to thy will 945

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 999

To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter.

Dal. Let me approach atleast, and touch thy hand.

Sams. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint, (wake At distance I forgive thee, go with that; Bewail thy falshood, and the pious works 955 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.

Dal. I see thou art implacable, more deaf 960
vTo pray'rs, than winds and seas, yet winds to seas
Are reconcild at length, and sea to shore:
Thy anger, unappeasable, still rages,
Eternal tempest never to be calm'd.
Why do I humble thus myself, and suing 965

For peace, reap nothing but repulse and hate?
Bid go 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. 970
Fame if not double-fac'd is double-mouth'd,
And with contrary blast proclames 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 975

In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering tribes,

To all posterity may stand defam'd,

With malediction mentioned, and the blot

Of falstiood most unconjugal traducd.

But in my country where I most desire, 980

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 odors visited and annual flowers;

Not less renown'd than in mount Ephraim

Jael, who with inhospitable guile

Smote Sifera fleeping through the temples nail'd.

Nor shall I count it hainous to enjoy 991

The public marks of honor 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.

Chor. She's gone, a manifest serpent by her sting Discover'd in the end, till now conceal'd.

Sams. So let her go, God sent her to debase me, And aggravate my folly, who committed 1000


« PreviousContinue »