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Though in this uncouth place; if old respect, . As I suppose, towards your once gloried friend, My son, now captive, hither hath inform’d . Your younger feet, while mine cast back with age Came lagging after; say if he be here !
Chorus. As signal now in low dejected state, As erst in highest, behold him where he lies.
Manoah. O miserable change! is this the man, That invincible Samson, far renown'd, The dread of Įsrael's foes, who with a strength Equivalent to Angels walk'd their streets, None offering fight; who single combatant Duell’d their armies rank'd in proud array, 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 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, And such a son as all men hail'd 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 adorn'd ? 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
Ordain'd thy nurture holy, as of a plant
Select, and sacred, glorious for a while,
The miracle of men; then in a hour
Ensnar'd, assaulted, overcome, led bound, 2018 13
Thy foes' derision, captive, poor, and blind, .."
Into a dungeon thrust, to work with slaves ? '..!
Alas ! methinks whom God hath chosen once
To worthiest deeds, if he through frailty err,
He should not so o'erwhelm, and as a thrall
Subject him to so foul indignities, s o I
Be it but for honour's sake of former deeds. 2
· Samson. Appoint not heavenly disposition, Father;
Nothing of all these evils hath befall’n me
But justly; I myself have brought them on, 737
Sole author I, sole cause : If aught seem vile,
As vile hath been my folly, who have profan'
The mystery of God given me under pledge,
Of vow, and have betray'd it to a woman, A.
A Canaanite, my faithless enemy. 1:0!is!
This well I knew, nor was at all surpris'd, !,!12!
But warn’d by oft experience : Did not she !
Of Timna first betray me, and reveals
The secret wrested from me in her highthini
Of nuptial love profess’d, carrying it straight"! ;?
To them who had corrupted her, my spies, 23.17.;
And rivals? In this other was there found n
More faith, who also in her prime of love, ?123!
Spousal embraces, vitiated with gold,
Though offer’d only, by the scent conceiv'd
Her spurious first-born, treason against me?
Thrice she assay'd with flattering prayers and sighs
And amorous reproaches, to win from me : :
My capital secret, in what part my strength } 111
Lay stor’d, in what part summ’d, that she mighty
know; vi e spi sistemi !echt
Thrice I deluded her, and turn'd to sport
Her importunity, each time perceiving
How openly, and with what impudence .
She purpos’d to betray me, and (which was worse
Than undissembled hate) with what contempt
She sought to make mé traitor to myself;
Yet the fourth time, when, mustering all her wiles,
With blandish'd parlies, feminine assaults,
Tongue-batteries, she surceas'd not, day por night;
To storm me over-watch’d, and wearied out, ,
At times when men seek most repose and rest, ::
I yielded, and unlock'd her all my heart,
Who, with a grain of manhood, well resolv’d,
Might easily have shook off all her snares;
But foul effeminacy held me yok'd
Her bond-slave; O indignity, O blot
To honour and religion ! servile mind "
Rewarded 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 serv’d.
Munoah. I cannot praise thy marriage-choices,
Rather approv'd them not; but thou didst plead
Divine impulsion prompting how thou might'st
Find some occasion to infest our foes.
I state not that; this I am sure, our foes .
Found soon occasion thereby to make thee
Their captive, and their triumph; thou the sooner
Temptation found’st, or over-potent charms,
To violate the sacred trust of silence
Deposited within thee; which to have kept
Tacit, was in thy power : true; and thou bear'st .
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 sacrifice, and praises loud, si
To Dagon, as their God. who hath deliver'd : 9
Thee, Samson, bound and blind into their hands,
Them out of thine, who slew'st them many a slain.
So Dagon shall be magnified, and God,
Besides whom is no God, compar'd with idols,
Disglorified, blasphem’d, 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.
Samson. Father, I do acknowledge and confess
That I this honour, I this pomp, have brought
To Dagon, and advanc'd his praises high
Among the Heathen round; to God have brought
Dishonour, obloquy, and op'd 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 contést is now
"Twixt God and Dagon ; Dagon hath presum'd,
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 provok'd,
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,