J O H N M I L T O N.
Aristot. Poet. Cap. 6.
Tragwdia mimhsiV praxewV vs daiaV,&c.
Tragdia est imitatio actionis seriæ, &c. per misericordiam et metum
perficiens talium affectuum lustrationem.
Of that sort of Dramatic Poem which is call'd Tragedy.
TRAGEDY, as it was anciently compos'd, bth been ever held the gravest, moralest, and most profitable of all other poems: therefore said by Aristotle to be of pow'r by raising pity and fear, or terror, to purge the mind of those and such like passions, that is, to temper and reduce them to just measure with a kind of delight, stirr'd up by reading or seeing those passions well imitated. Nor is Nature wanting in her own effects to make good his assertion: for so in physic things of melancholic hue and quality are us'd against melancholy, sour against sour, salt to remove salt humors. Hence philosophers and other gravest writers, as Cicero, Plutarch and others, frequently cite out of tragic poets, both to adorn and illustrate their discourse. The Apostle Paul himself thought it not unworthy to insert a verse of Euripides into the text of Holy Scripture, 1 Cor. XV. 33. and Paræus commenting on the Revelation, divides the whole book as a tragedy, into acts distinguish'd each by a chorus of heavenly harpings and song between. Heretofore men in highest dignity have labor'd not a little to be thought able to compose a tragedy. Of that honor Dionysius the elder was no less ambitious, than before of his attaining to the tyranny. Augustus Cæsar also had begun his Ajax, but unable to please his own judgment with what he had begun, left it unfinish'd. Seneca the philosopher is by some thought the author of those tragedies (at least the best of them) that go under that name. Gregory Nazianzen, a Father of the Church, thought it not unbeseeming the sanctity of his person to write a tragedy, which is intitled Christ suffering. This is mention'd to vindicate tragedy from the small esteem, or rather infamy, which in the account of many it undergoes at this day with other common interludes; hap'ning through the poets error of intermixing comic stuff with tragic sadness and gravity; or introducing trivial and vulgar persons, which by all judicious hath been counted absurd; and brought in without discretion, corruptly to gratify the people. And though ancient tragedy use no prologue, yet using sometimes, in case of self-defense, or explanation, that which Martial calls an epistle; in behalf of this tragedy coming forth after the ancient manner, much different from what among us passes for best, thus much before-hand may be epistl'd; that chorus is here introduc'd after the Greek manner, not ancient only but modern, and still in use among the Italians. In the modeling therefore of this p, with good reason, the ancients and Italians are rather follow'd, as of much more authority and fame. The measure of verse us'd in the chorus is of all sorts, call'd by the Greeks Monostrophic, or rather Apolelymenon, without regard had to Strophe, Antistrophe, or Epod, which were a kind of stanza's fram'd only for the music, then us'd with the chorus that sung; not essential to the poem, and therefore not material; or being divided into stanza's or pauses, they may be call'd Allæostropha. Division into act and scene referring chiefly to the stage (to which this work never was intended) is here omitted.
It suffices if the whole drama be found not produc'd beyond the fifth act. Of the stile and unformity, and that commonly call'd the plot, whether intricate or explicit, which is nothing indeed but such conomy, or disposition of the fable as may stand best with versimilitude and decorum; they only will best judge who are not unacquainted with Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the three tragic poets unequal'd yet by any, and the best rule to all who endevor to write tragedy. The circumscription of time, wherein the whole drame begins and ends, is according to ancient rule, and best example, within the space of 24 hours.
Samson made captive, blind, and now in the prison at Gaza, there to labor as in a common work-house, on a festival day, in the general cessation from labor, comes forth into the open air, to a place nigh, somewhat retir'd, there to sit a while and bemoan his condition. Where he happens at length to be visited by certain friends and equals of his tribe, which make the Chorus, who seek to comfort him wht they ca; then by his old father Manoah, who endevors the like, and withal tells him his purpose to procure his liberty by ransome; lastly, that this feast was proclam'd by the Philistines as a day of thanksgiving for their deliverance from the hands of Samson, which yet more troubles him. Manoah then departs to prosecute his endevor with the Philistian lords for Samson's redemption; who in the mean while is visited by other persons; and lastly by a public officer to require his coming to the feast before the lords and people, to play or show his strength in their presence; he at first refuses, dismissing the public officer with absolute denial to come; at length persuaded inwardly that this was from God, he yields to go along with him, who came now the second time with great threatnings to fetch him: the Chorus yet remaining on the place, Manoah returns full of joyful hope, to procure ere long his son's deliverance: in the midst of which discourse an Hebrew comes in haste, confusedly at first, and afterward more distinctly relating the catastrophe, what Samson had done to the Philistines, and by accident to himself; wherewith the tragedy ends.
MANOAH, the Father of Samson.
DALILA, his Wife.
HARAPHA of Gath.
Chorus of Danites.
The SCENE before the Prison in Gaza.
SAMS. A Little onward lend thy guiding hand
To these dark steps, a little further on;
For yonder bank hath choice of sun or shade:
There I am wont to sit, when any chance
Relieves me from my task of servile toil, 5
Daily' in the common prison else injoin'd me,
Where I a prisoner chain'd, scarce freely draw
The air imprison'd also, close and damp,
Unwholesome draught: but here I feel amends,
The breath of Heav'n fresh blowing, pure and sweet, 10
With day-spring born; here leave me to respire.
This day a solemn feast the people hold
To Dagon their sea-idol, and forbid
Laborious works; unwillingly this rest
Their superstition yields me; hence with leave 15
Retiring from the popular noise, I seek
This unfrequented place to find some ease,
Ease to the body some, none to the mind
From restless thoughts, that like a deadly swarm
Of hornets arm'd, no sooner found alone, 20
But rush upon me thronging, and present
Times past, what once I was, and what am now.
O wherefore was my birth from Heav'n foretold
Twice by an Angel, who at last in sight
Of both my parents all in flames ascended 25
From off the altar, where an offering burn'd,
As in a fiery column charioting
His god-like presence, and from some great act
Or benefit reveal'd to Abraham's race?
Why was my breeding order'd and prescrib'd 30
As of a person separate to God,
Design'd for great exploits; if I must die
Betray'd, captív'd, and both my eyes put out,
Made of my enemies the scorn and gaze;
To grind in brazen fetters under task 35
With this Heav'n-gifted strength? O glorious strength
Put to the labor of a beast, debas'd
Lower than bondslave! Promise was that I
Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver;
Ask for this great deliverer now, and find him 40
Eyeless in Gaza at the mill with slaves,
Himself in bonds under Philistian yoke:
Yet stay, let me not rashly call in doubt
Divine prediction; what if all foretold
Had been fulfill'd but through mine own default, 45
Whom have I to complain of but myself:
Who this high gift of strength committed to me,
In what part lodg'd, how easily bereft me,
Under the seal of silence could not keep,
But weakly to a woman must reveal it, 50
O'ercome with importunity and tears.
O impotence of mind, in body strong!
But what is strength without a double share
Of wisdom, vast, unwieldy, burdensome,
Proudly secure, yet liable to fall 55
By weakest subtleties, not made to rule,
But to subserve where wisdom bears command!
God, when he gave me strength, to show withal
How slight the gift was, hung it in my hair.
But peace, I must not quarrel with the will 60
Of highest dispensation, which herein
Haply had ends above my reach to know:
Suffices that to me strength is my bane,
And proves the source of all my miseries;
So many, and so huge, that each apart 65
Would ask a life to wail, but chief of all,
O loss of sight, of thee I most complain!
Blind among enemies, O worse than chains,
Dungeon, or beggery, or decrepit age!
Light the prime work of God to me' is extinct, 70
And all her various objects of delight
Annull'd, which might in part my grief have eas'd,
Inferior to the vilest now become
Of man or worm; the vilest here excel me,
They creep, yet see, I dark in light expos'd 75
To daily fraud, contempt, abuse and wrong,
Within doors, or without, still as a fool,
In pow'r of others, never in my own;
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half.
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, 80
Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse
Without all hope of day
O first created Beam, and thou greatWord,
Let there be light, and light was over all;
Why am I thus bereav'd thy prime decree? 85
The sun to me is dark
And silent as the moon,
When she deserts the night
Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.
Since light so necessary is to life, 90
And almost life itself, if it be true
That light is in the soul,
She all in every part; why was the sight
To such a tender ball as th' eye confin'd,
So obvious and so easy to be quench'd? 95
And not as feeling through all parts diffus'd,
That she might look at will through every pore?
Then had I not been thus exil'd from light,
As in the land of darkness yet in light,
To live a life half dead, a living death, 100
And bury'd; but O yet more miserable!
Myself, my sepulchre, a moving grave,
Bury'd yet not exempt
By privilege of death and burial
From worst of other evils, pains and wrongs, 105
But made hereby obnoxious more
To all the miseries of life,
Life in captivity
Among inhuman foes.
But who are these? for with joint pace I hear 110
The tread of many feet steering this way;
Perhaps my enemies who come to stare
At my affliction, and perhaps t' insult,
Their daily practice to afflict me more.
CHOR. This, this is he; softly a while, 115
Let us not break in upon him;
O change beyond report, thought, or belief!
See how he lies at random, carelesly diffus'd,
With languish'd head unpropt,
As one past hope, abandon'd, 120
And by himself given over;
In slavish habit, ill-fitted weeds
O'er-worn and soil'd;
Or do my eyes misrepresent? Can this be he,
That heroic, that renown'd, 125
Irresistible Samson? whom unarm'd
No strength of man, or fiercest wild beast could withstand;
Who tore the lion, as the lion tears the kid,
Ran on imbattel'd armies clad in iron,
And weaponless himself 130
Made arms ridiculous, useless the forgery
Of brazen shield and spear, the hammer'd cuirass,
Chaly´bean temper'd steel, and frock of mail
But safest he who stood aloof, 135
When insupportably his foot advanc'd,
In scorn of their proud arms and warlike tools,
Spurn'd them to death by troops. The bold Ascalonite
Fled from his lion ramp, old warriors turn'd
Their plated backs under his heel; 140
Or grov'ling soil'd their crested helmets in the dust.
Then with what trivial weapon came to hand,
The jaw of a dead ass, his sword of bone,
A thousand fore-skins fell, the flow'r of Palestine,
In Ramath-lechi famous to this day. 145
Then by main force pull'd up, and on his shoulders bore
The gates of Azza, post, and massy bar,
Up to the hill by Hebron, seat of giants old,
No journey of a sabbath-day, and loaded so;
Like whom the Gentiles feign to bear up Heaven. 150
Which shall I first bewail,
Thy bondage or lost sight,
Prison within prison
Thou art become (O worst imprisonment!) 155
The dungeon of thyself; thy soul
(Which men enjoying sight oft without cause complain)
Imprison'd now indeed,
In real darkness of the body dwells,
Shut up from outward light 160
T'incorporate with gloomy night;
For inward light alas
Puts forth no visual beam.
O mirror of our fickle state,
Since man on earth unparallel'd! 165
The rarer thy example stands,
By how much from the top of wondrous glory,
Strongest of mortal men,
To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fall'n.
For him I reckon not in high estate 170
Whom long descent of birth
Or the sphere of fortune raises;
But thee whose strength, while virtue was her mate,
Might have subdued the earth,
Universally crown'd with highest praises. 175
SAMS. I hear the sound of words, their sense the air
Dissolves unjointed ere it reach my ear.
CHOR. He speaks, let us draw nigh. Matchless in might,
The glory late of Israel, now the grief;
We come thy friends and neighbours not unknown 180
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 pow'r to swage
The tumors of a troubled mind, 185
And are as balm to fester'd wounds.
SAMS. Your coming, Friends, revives 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 190
I would be understood) in prosp'rous days
They swarm, but in adverse withdraw their head,
Not to be found, though sought. Ye see, O Friends,
How many evils have inclos'd me round;
Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me, 195
Blindness, for had I sight, confus'd with shame,
How could I once look up, or heave the head,
Who like a foolish pilot have shipwrack'd
My vessel trusted to me from above,
Gloriously rigg'd; and for a word, a tear, 200
Fool, have divulg'd the secret gift of God
To a deceitful woman? tell me, Friends,
Am I not sung and proverb'd for a fool
In every street? do they not say, how well
Are come upon him his deserts? yet why? 205
Immeasurable strength they might behold
In me, of wisdom nothing more than mean;
This with the other should, at least, have pair'd,
These two proportion'd ill drove me transverse.
CHOR. Tax not divine disposal; wisest men 210
Have err'd, and by bad women been deceiv'd;
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 215
Why thou shouldst wed Philistian women 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 pleas'd
Me, not my parents, that I sought to wed 220
The daughter of an infidel: they knew not
That what I motion'd was of God; I knew
From intimate impulse, and therefore urg'd
The marriage on; that by occasion hence
I might begin Israel's deliverance, 225
The work to which I was divinely call'd.
She proving false, the next I took to wife
(O that I never had! fond wish too late,)
Was in the vale of Sorec, Dalila,
That specious monster, my accomplish'd snare. 230
I thought it lawful from my former act,
And the same end; still watching to oppress
Israel's oppressors: of what now I suffer
She was not the prime cause, but I myself,
Who vanquish'd with a peal of words (O weakness!) 235
Gave up my fort of silence to a woman.
CHOR. In seeking just occasion to provoke
The Philistine, thy country's enemy,
Thou never wast remiss, I bear thee witness:
Yet Israël still serves with all his sons. 240
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 done
Singly by me against their conquerors,
Acknowledg'd not, or not at all consider'd 245
Deliverance offer'd: I on th' other side
Us'd no ambition to commend my deeds,
The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the doer;
But they persisted deaf, and would not seem
To count them things worth notice, till at length 250
Their lords the Philistines with gather'd pow'rs
Enter'd Judea seeking me, who then
Safe to the rock of Etham was retir'd,
Not flying, but fore-casting in what place
To set upon them, what advantag'd best: 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 threds
Touch'd with the flame: on their whole host I flew
Unarm'd, and with a trivial weapon fell'd
Their choicest youth; they only liv'd who fled.
Had Judah that day join'd, or one whole tribe, 265
They had by this possess'd the tow'rs of Gath,
And lorded over them whom now they serve:
But what more oft in nations grown corrupt,
And by their vices brought to servitude,
Than to love bondage more than liberty, 270
Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty;
And to despise, or envy, or suspect
Whom God hath of his special favor rais'd
As their deliverer; if he ought begin,
How frequent to desert him, and at last 275
To heap ingratitude on worthiest deeds?
CHOR. Thy words to my remembrance bring
How Succoth and the fort of Penuel
Their great deliverer contemn'd,
The matchless Gideon in pursuit 280
Of Madian and her vanquish'd 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, 285
Had not his prowess quell'd their pride
In that sore 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 so.
CHOR. 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 wand'ring 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-satisfying solution.
As if they would confine th' Interminable,
And tie him to his own prescript,
Who made our laws to bind us, not himself,
And hath full right t'exempt 310
Whom so it pleases him by choice
From national obstriction, without taint
Of sin, or legal debt;
For with his own laws he can best dispense.
He would not else who never wanted means, 315
Nor in respect of th' enemy just cause
To set his people free,
Have prompted this heroic Nazarite,
Against his vow of strictest purity,
To seek in marriage that fallacious bride, 320
Down reason then, at least vain reasonings down,
Though reason here aver
That moral verdict quits her of unclean:
Unchaste was subsequent, her stain not his. 325
But see here comes thy reverend Sire
With careful step, locks white as down,
Old Manoah: advise
Forthwith how thou oughtst to receive him.
SAMS. Ay me, another inward grief awak'd 330
With mention of that name renews th' assault.
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; say if he be here.
As earst 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 Israel's foes, who with a strength
Equivalent to Angels walk'd their streets,
None offering fight; who single 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'd 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,
And such a son as all men hail'd me happy;
Who would be now a father in my stead? 355
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 pray'rs, then giv'n with solemn hand
As graces, draw a scorpion's tail behind? 360
For this did th' 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 an hour
Insnar'd, assaulted, overcome, led bound, 365
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 370
Subject him to so foul indignities,
Be it but for honor'd sake of former deeds.
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. 380
This well I knew, nor was at all surpris'd,
But warn'd by oft experience: did not she
Of Timna first betray me, and reveal
The secret wrested from me in her highth
Of nuptial love profess'd, carrying it strait 385
To them who had corrupted her, my spies,
And rivals? In this other was there found
More faith, who also in her prime of love,
Spousal embraces, vitiated with gold,
Though offer'd only, by the sent conceiv'd 390
Her spurious first-born, treason against me?
Thrice she assay'd with flattering pray'rs and sighs,
And amorous reproaches, to win from me
My capital secret, in what part my strength
Lay stor'd, in what part summ'd, that she might know; 395
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 400
She sought to make me traitor to myself;
Yet the fourth time, when must'ring all her wiles,
With blandish'd parlies, feminine assaults,
Tongue-batteries, she surceas'd not day nor night
To storm me overwatch'd, and weary'd out, 405
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 410
Her bond-slave; O indignity, O blot
To honor and religion! servile mind
Rewarded well with servile punishment!
The base degree to which I now am fall'n,
These rags, this grinding is not yet so base 415
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.
MAN. I cannot praise thy marraige choices, Son, 420
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 425
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 pow'r: true; and thou bear'st 430
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 proclame 435
Great pomp, and sacrifice, and praises loud
To Dagon, as their God who hath deliver'd
Thee, Samson, bound and blind into their hands,
Them out of thine, who slew'st them many a slain.
So Dagon shall be magnify'd, and God, 440
Besides whom is not God, compar'd with idols,
Disglorify'd, 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, 445
Of all reproach the most with shame that ever
Could have befall'n thee and thy father's house.
SAMS. Father, I do acknowledge and confess
That I this honor, I this pomp have brought
To Dagon, and advanc'd his praises high 450
Among the Heathen round; to God have brought
Dishonor, 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 455
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 460
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, 465
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, 470
And with confusion 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 475
Against all competition, nor will long
Indure it doubtful whether God be Lord,
Or Dagon. But for thee what shall be done?
Thou must not in the mean while here forgot
Lie in this miserable loathsome plight 480
Neglected. I already have made way
To some Philistian lords, with whom to treat
About thy ransome: well they may by this
Have satisfy'd their utmost of revenge
By pains and slaveries, worse than death inflicted 485
On thee, who now no more canst do them harm.
SAMS. Spare that proposal, Father, spare the trouble
Of that solicitation; let me here,
As I deserve, pay on my punishment;
And expiate, if possible, my crime, 490
Shameful garrulity. To have reveal'd
Secrets of men, the secrets of a friend,
How hainous had the fact been, how deserving
Contempt, and scorn of all, to be excluded
All friendship, and avoided as a blab, 495
The mark of fool set on his front?
But I God's counsel have not kept, his holy secret
Presumptuously have publish'd, impiously,
Weakly at least, and shamefully: a sin
That Gentiles in their parables condemn 500
To their abyss and horrid pains confin'd.
MAN. Be penitent and for thy fault contrite,
But act not in thy own affliction, Son;
Repent the sin, but if the punishment
Thou canst avoid, self-preservation bids; 505
Or th' execution leave to high disposal,
And let another hand, not thine, exact
Thy penal forfeit from thyself; perhaps
God will relent, and quit thee all his debt;
Who ever more approves and more accepts 510
(Best pleas'd with humble' and filial submission)
Him who imploring mercy sues for life,
Than who self-rigorous chooses death as due;
Which argues over-just, and self-displeas'd
For self-offense, more than for God offended. 515
Reject not then what offer'd means; who knows
But God hath set before us, to return thee
Home to thy country and his sacred house,
Where thou may'st bring thy offerings, to avert
His further ire, with pray'rs and vows renew'd? 520
SAMS. His pardon I implore; but as for life,
To what end should I seek it? when in strength
All mortals I excell'd, and great in hopes
With youthful courage and magnanimous thoughts
Of birth from Heav'n foretold and high exploits, 525
Full of divine instinct, after some proof
Of acts indeed heroic, far beyond
The sons of Anak, famous now and blaz'd,
Fearless of danger, like a petty God
I walk'd about admir'd of all and dreaded 530
On hostile ground, none daring my affront.
The swoll'n with pride into the snare I fell
Of fair fallacious looks, venereal trains,
Soften'd with pleasure and voluptuous life;
At length to lay my head and hallow'd pledge 535
Of all my strength in the lascivious lap
Of a deceitful concubine, who shore me
Like a tame weather, all my precious fleece,
Then turn'd me out ridiculous, despoil'd,
Shav'n, and disarm'd among mine enemies. 540
CHOR. Desire of wine and all delicious drinks,
Which many a famous warrior overturns,
Thou couldst repress, nor did the dancing ruby
Sparkling, out-pour'd, the flavor, or the smell,
Or taste that chears the heart of Gods and men, 545
Allure thee from the cool crystallin stream.
SAMS. Wherever fountain or fresh current flow'd
Against the eastern ray, translucent, pure
With touch ethereal of Heav'n's fiery rod,
I drank, from the clear mildy juce allaying 550
Thirst, and refresh'd; nor envy'd them the grape
Whose heads that turbulent liquor fills with fumes
CHOR. O madness, to think use of strongest wines
And strongest drinks our chief support of health,
When God with these forbidd'n made choice to rear 555
His mighty champion, strong above compare,
Whose drink was only from the liquid brook.
SAMS. But what avail'd this temp'rance, not complete Against another object more enticing?
What boots it at one gate to make defense, 560
And at another to let in the foe,
Effeminately vanquish'd? by which means,
Now blind, dishearten'd, sham'd, dishonor'd, quell'd,
To what can I be useful, wherein serve
My nation, and the work from Heav'n impos'd, 565
But to sit idle on the houshold hearth,
A burd'nous drone; to visitants a gaze,
Or pity'd object, these redundant locks
Robustious to no purpose clustring down,
Vain monument of strength; till length of years 570
And sedentary numness craze my 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 575
Hasten the welcome end of all my pains.
Which was expresly giv'n thee to annoy them?
Better at home lie bed-rid, not only idle,
Inglorious, unemploy'd, with age out-worn. 580
But God who caus'd a fountain at thy prayer
From the dry ground to spring, they thirst t'allay
After the brunt of battel, can as easy
Cause light again within thy eyes to spring,
Wherewith to serve him better than thou hast; 585
And I persuade me so; why else this strength
Miraculous yet remaining in those locks?
His might continues in thee not for nought,
Nor shall his wondrous gifts be frustrate thus.
SAMS. All otherwise to me my thoughts portend, 590
That these dark orbs no more shall treat with light,
Nor th' other light of life continue long,
But yield to double darkness nigh at hand:
So much I feel my genial spirits droop,
My hopes all flat, nature within me seems 595
In all her functions weary of herself,
My race of glory run, and race of shame,
And I shall shortly be with them that rest.
MAN. Believe not these suggestions which proceed
From anguish of the mind and humors black, 600
That mingle with thy fancy. I however
Must not omit a father's timely care
To prosecute the means of thy deliverance
By ransome, or how else: mean while be calm,
And healing words from these thy friends admit. 605
SAMS. O that torment should not be confin'd
To the body's wounds and sores,
With maladies innumerable
In heart, head, breast and reins;
But must secret passage find 610
To th' inmost mind,
There exercise all his fierce accidents,
And on her purest spirits prey,
As on entrails, joints, and limbs,
With answerable pains, but more intense, 615
Though void of corporal sense.
My griefs not only pain me
As a lingring disease,
But finding no redress, ferment and rage,
Nor less than wounds immedicable, 620
Rankle, and fester, and gangrene,
To black mortification.
Thoughts my tormentors arm'd with deadly stings
Mangle my apprehensive tenderest parts,
Exasperate, exulcerate, and raise 625
Dire inflammation, which no cooling herb
Or medicinal liquor can asswage,
Nor breath of vernal air from snowy Alp.
Sleep hath forsook and giv'n me o'er
To death's benumming opium as my only cure: 630
Thence faintings, swoonings of despair,
And sense of Heav'n's desertion.
I was his nursling once and choice delight,
His destin'd from the womb,
Promis'd by heav'nly message twice descending. 635
Under his special eye
Abstemious I grew up and thriv'd amain;
He led me on to mightiest deeds
Above the nerve of mortal arm
Against th' uncircumcis'd, our enemies: 640
But now hath cast me off as never known,
And to those cruel enemies,
Whom I by his appointment had provok'd,
Left me all helpless with th' irreparable loss
Of sight, reserv'd alive to be repeated 645
The subject of their cruelty or scorn.
Nor am I in the list of them that hope;
Hopeless are all my evils, all remediless;
This one prayer yet remains, might I be heard,
No long petition, speedy death, 650
The close of all my miseries, and the balm.
CHOR. Many are the sayings of the wise
In ancient and in modern books inroll'd,
Extolling patience as the truest fortitude;
And to the bearing well of all calamities, 655
All chances incident to man's frail life,
And study'd argument, and much persuasion sought
Lenient of grief and anxious thought:
But with th' afflicted in his pangs their sound 660
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,
Secret refreshings, that repair his strength, 665
And fainting spirits uphold.
God of our fathers, what is man!
That thou tow'ards him with hand so various,
Or might I say contrarious,
Temper'st thy providence through his short course, 670
Not ev'nly, as thou rul'st
Th' angelic orders, and inferior creatures mute,
Irrational and brute.
Nor do I name of men the common rout,
That wand'ring loose about 675
Grow up and perish, as the summer flie,
Heads without name no more remember'd,
But such as thou hast solemnly elected,
With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd
To some great work, thy glory, 680
And people's safety, which in part they' effect:
Yet toward these thus dignify'd, thou oft
Amidst their highth of noon
Changest thy count'nance, and thy hand with no regard
Of highest favors past 685
From thee on them, or them to thee of service.
Nor only dost degrade them, or remit
To life obscur'd, which were a fair dismission,
But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt them high,
Unseemly falls in human eye, 690
Too grievous for the trespass or omission;
Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword
Of Heathen and profane, their carcases
To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captív'd;
Or to th' unjust tribunals, under change of times, 695
And condemnation of th' ingrateful multitude.
If these they scape, perhaps in poverty
With sickness and disease thou bow'st them down,
Painful diseases and deform'd,
In crude old age; 700
Though not disordinate, yet causless suff'ring
The punisment of dissolute days: in fine,
Just or unjust alike seem miserable,
For oft alike both come to evil end.
So deal not with this once thy glorious champion, 705
The image of thy strength, and mighty minister.
What do I beg? how hast thou dealt already?
Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn
His labors, for thou canst, to peaceful end.
But who is this, what thing of sea or land? 710
Female of sex it seems,
That so bedeck'd, ornate, and gay,
Comes this way sailing
Like a stately ship
Of Tarsus, bound for th' iles 715
Of Javan or Gadire
With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
Sails fill'd, and streamers waving,
Courted by all the winds that hold them play,
An amber sent of odorous perfume 720
Her harbinger, a damsel train behind;
Some rich Philistian matron she may seem,
And now at nearer view, no other certain
Than Dalila thy Wife.
SAMS. My Wife, my Trait'ress, let her not come near me.725
CHOR. Yet on she moves, now stands and eyes thee fix'd,
About t'have spoke, but now, with head declin'd
Like a fair flow'r surcharg'd with dew, she weeps,
And words address'd seem into tears dissolv'd,
Wetting the borders of he silken veil: 730
But now again she makes address to speak.
DAL. With doubtful feet and wavering resolution
I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson,
Which to have merited, without excuse,
I cannot but acknowledge; yet if tears 735
May expiate (though the fact more evil drew
In the perverse event than I foresaw)
My penance hath not slacken'd, though my pardon
No way assur'd. But conjugal affection
Prevailing over fear, and timorous doubt, 740
Hath led me on desirous to behold
Once more thy face, and know of thy estate,
If ought in my ability may serve
To lighten what thou suffer'st, and appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my power, 745
Though late, yet in some part to recompense
My rash but more unfortunate misdeed.
SAMS. Out, out Hyæna; these are thy wonted arts,
And arts of every woman false like thee,
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray, 750
Then as repentant to submit, beseech,
And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse,
Confess, and promise wonders in her change,
Not truly penitent, but chief to try
Her husband, how far urg'd his patience bears, 755
His virtue or weakness which way to assail:
Then with more cautious and instructed skill
Again transgresses, and again submits;
That wisest and best men full oft beguil'd,
With goodness principled not to reject 760
The penitent, but ever to forgive,
Are drawn to wear out miserable days,
Intangled with a pois'nous bosom snake,
If not by quick destruction soon cut off
As I by thee, to ages an example. 765
DAL. Yet hear me, Samson; not that I endevor
To lessen or extenuate my offense,
But that on th' other side if it be weigh'd
By' itself, with aggravations not surcharg'd,
Or else with just allowance counterpois'd, 770
I may, if possible, thy pardon find
The easier towards me, or thy hatred less.
First granting, as I do, it was a weakness
In me, but incident to all our sex,
Curiosity, inquisitive, importune 775
Of secrets, then with like infirmity
To publish them, both common female faults:
Was it not weakness also to make known
For importunity, that is for nought,
Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety? 780
To what I did thou showd'st me first the way.
But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not:
Nor should'st thou have trusted that to woman's frailty:
Ere I to thee, thou to thyself wast cruel.
Let weakness then with weakness come to parle 785
So near related, or the same of kind,
Thine forgive mine; that men may censure thine
The gentler, if severely thou exact not
More strength from me, than in thyself was found.
And what if love, which thou interpret'st hate, 790
The jealousy of love, pow'rful of sway
In human hearts, nor less in mine tow'rds thee,
Caus'd what I did? I saw thee mutable
Of fancy, fear'd lest one day thou would'st leave me
As her at Timna, sought by all means therefore 795
How to indear, and hold thee to me firmest:
No better way I saw then by impórtuning
To learn thy secrets, get into my power
Thy key of strength and safety: thou wilt say,
Why then reveal'd? I was assur'd by those 800
Who tempted me, that nothing was design'd
Against thee but safe custody, and hold:
That made for me; I knew that liberty
Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises,
While I at home sat full of cares and fears, 805
Wailing thy absence in my widow'd bed;
Here I should still enjoy thee day and night
Mine and love'd prisoner, not the Philistines,
Whole to myself, unhazarded abroad,
Fearless at home of partners in my love. 810
These reasons in love's law have past for good,
Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps;
And love hath oft, well meaning, wrought much woe,
Yet always pity' or pardon hath obtain'd.
Be not unlike all others, not austere 815
As thou art strong, inflexible as steel.
If thou in strength all mortals dost exceed,
In uncompassionate anger do not so.
SAMS. How cunningly the soreceress displays
Her own transgression, to upbraid me mine? 820
That malice not repentance brought thee hither,
By this appears: I gave, thous say'st, th' example,
I led the way; bitter reproach, but true;
I to myself was false ere thou to me;
Such pardon therefore as I give my folly, 825
Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou seest
Impartial, self-severe, inexorable,
Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather
Confess it feign'd: weakness is thy excuse,
And I believe it, weakness to resist 830
Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,
What murderer, what traitor, parricide,
Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it?
All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore
With God or Man will gain thee no remission. 835
But love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage
To satisfy thy lust: love seeks to' have love;
My love how could'st thou hope, who took'st the way
To raise in me inexpiable hate,
Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd? 840
In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame,
Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st more.
DAL. Since thou determin'st weakness for no plea
In man or woman, though to thy own condemning,
Hear what assaults I had, what snares besides, 845
What sieges girt me round, ere I consented;
Which might have aw'd the best resolv'd of men,
The constantest, to' have yielded without blame.
It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st,
That wrought with me: thou know'st the magistrates 850
And princes of my country came in person,
Solicited, commanded, threaten'd, urg'd,
Adjur'd by all the bonds of civil duty
And of religion, press'd how just it was,
How honorable, how glorious to intrap 855
A common enemy, who had destroy'd
Such numbers of our nation: and the priest
Was not behind, but ever at my ear,
Preaching how meritorious with the Gods
It would be to insnare an irreligious 860
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 865
So rife and celebrated in the mouths
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 so injoining. 870
SAMS. I thought where all thy circling wiles would end;
In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy.
But had thy love, still odiously pretended,
Been as it ought, sincere, it would have taught thee
Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds. 875
I before all the daughters of my tribe
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 first 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;
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 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.
SAMS. For want of words no doubt, or lack of breath;905
Witness when I was worried with thy peals.
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 910
Tow'ards 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 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 920
Their favorable 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 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 or accurs'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, 935
So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd
To fence my ear against thy sorceries.
If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men
Lov'd, honor'd, fear'd me, thou alone could'st hate me
Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forgo me; 940
How wouldst 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 wouldst thou insult,
When I must live uxorious 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
To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter. 950
DAL. Let me approach at least, and touch thy hand.
SAMS. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance wake
My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint.
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
To pray'rs, than winds and seas, yet winds to seas
Are reconcil'd at length, and sea to shore:
Thy anger, unappeasable, still rages,
Eternal tempest never to be calm'd.
Why do I humble 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 while
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 mention'd, and the blot
Of falshood most unconjugal traduc'd.
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 Sisera sleeping through the temples nail'd. 990
Nor shall I count it hainous to enjoy
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
To such a viper his most sacred trust
Of secresy, my safety, and my life.
CHOR. Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange power,
After offense returning, to regain
Love once possess'd, nor can be easily 1005
Repuls'd, without much inward passion felt
And secret sting of amorous remorse.
SAMS. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord end,
Not wedlock-treachery indang'ring life.
CHOR. It is not virtue, wisdom, valor, wit, 1010
Strength, comeliness of shape, or amplest merit
That woman's love can win or long inherit;
But what it is, hard is to say,
Harder to hit,
(Which way soever men refer it) 1015
Much like thy riddle, Samson, in one day
Or sev'n, though one should musing sit.
If any of these or all, the Timnian bride
Had not so soon preferr'd
Thy paranymph, worthless to thee compar'd, 1020
Successor in thy bed,
Nor both so loosly disally'd
Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherously
Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
Is it for that such outward ornament 1025
Was lavish'd on their sex, that inward gifts
Were left for haste unfinish'd, judgment scant,
Capacity not rais'd to apprehend
Or value what is best
In choice, but oftest to affect the wrong? 1030
Or was too much of self-love mix'd,
Of constancy no root infix'd,
That either they love nothing, or not long?
Whate'er it be, to wisest men and best
Seeming at first all heav'nly under virgin veil, 1035
Soft, modest, meek, demure,
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn
Intestin, far within defensive arms
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue
Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms 1040
Draws him awry inslav'd
With dotage, and his sense deprav'd
To folly' and shameful deeds which ruin ends.
What pilot so expert but needs must wreck
Imbark'd with such a steers-mate at the helm? 1045
Favor'd of Heav'n who finds
One virtuous rarely found,
That in domestic good combines:
Happy that house! his way to peace is smooth:
But virtue which breaks through all opposition, 1050
And all temptation can remove,
Most shines and most is acceptable above.
Therefore God's universal law
Gave to the man despotic power
Over his female in due awe, 1055
Nor from that right to part an hour,
Smile she or lour:
So shall he least confusion draw
On his whole life, not sway'd
By female usurpation, or dismay'd. 1060
But had we best retire, I see a storm?
SAMS. Fair days have oft contracted wind and rain.
CHOR. But this another kind of tempest brings.
SAMS. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are past.
CHOR. Look now for no inchanting voice, nor fear 1065
The bait of honied words; a rougher tongue
Draws hitherward, I know him by his stride,
The giant Harapha of Gath, his look
Haughty as is his pile high-built and proud.
Comes he in peace? what wind hath blown him hither 1070
I less conjecture than when first I saw
The sumptuous Dalila floting this way:
His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.
SAMS. Or peace or not, alike to me he comes.
CHOR. His fraught we soon shall know, he now arrives.1075
HAR. I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance,
As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been,
Though for no friendly' intent. I am of Gath,
Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd
As Og or Anak and the Emims old 1080
That Kiriathaim held, thou know'st me now
If thou at all art known. Much I have heard
Of thy prodigious might and feats perform'd
Incredible to me, in this displeas'd,
That I was never present on the place 1085
Of those encounters, where we might have try'd
Each other's force in camp or listed field:
And now am come to see of whom such noise
Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey,
If thy appearance answer loud report. 1090
SAMS. The way to know were not to see but taste.
HAR. Dost thou already single me? I thought
Gyves and the mill had tam'd thee. O that fortune
Had brought me to the field, where thou are fam'd
To' have wrought such wonders with an asses jaw; 1095
I should have forc'd thee soon wish other arms,
Or left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown:
So had the glory' of prowess been recover'd
To Palestine, won by a Philistine
From the unforeskin'd race, of whom thou bear'st 1100
The highest name for valiant acts; that honor
Certain to' have won by mortal duel from thee,
I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.
SAMS. Boast not of what thou wouldst have done, but do
What then thou wouldst, thou seest it in thy hand. 1105
HAR. To combat with a blind man I disdain,
And thou hast need much washing to be touch'd.
SAMS. Such usage as your honorable lords
Afford me' assassinated and betray'd,
Who durst not with their whole united powers 1110
In fight withstand me single and unarm'd,
Nor in the house with chamber ambushes
Close-banded durst attack me, no not sleeping,
Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold
Breaking her marriage faith to circumvent me. 1115
Therefore without feign'd shifts let be assign'd
Some narrow place inclos'd, where sight may give thee,
Or rather flight, no great advantage on me;
Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet
And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon, 1120
Vant-brass and greves, and gauntlet, add thy spear,
A weaver's beam, and sev'n-times-folded shield,
I only with an oaken-staff will meet thee,
And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron,
Which long shall not withhold me from thy head, 1125
That in a little time while breath remains thee,
Thou oft shalt wish thyself at Gath to boast
Again in safety what thou wouldst have done
To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more.
HAR. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious arms, 1130
Which greatest heroes have in battel worn,
Their ornament and safety, had not spells
And black inchantments, some magician's art,
Arm'd thee or charm'd thee strong, which thou from Heaven
Feign'dst at thy birth was giv'n thee in thy hair, 1135
Where strength can least abide, though all thy hairs
Were bristles rang'd like those that ridge the back
Of chaf'd wild boars, or ruffled porcupines.
SAMS. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts;
My trust is in the living God, who gave me 1140
At my nativity this strength, diffus'd
No less through all my sinews, joints and bones.
Than thine, while I preserv'd these locks unshorn,
The pledge of my unviolated vow.
For proof hereof, if Dagon by thy God, 1145
Go to his temple, invocate his aid
With solemnest devotion, spread before him
How highly it concerns his glory now
To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells,
Which I to be the power of Israel's God 1150
Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test,
Offering to combat thee his champion bold,
With th' utmost of his Godhead seconded:
Then thou shalt see, or rather to thy sorrow
Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine. 1155
HAR. Presume not on thy God, whate'er he be,
Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off
Quite from his people, and deliver'd up
Into thy enemies hand, permitted them
To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee 1160
Into the common prison,there to grind
Among the slaves and asses thy comrádes,
As good for nothing else, no better service
With those thy boist'rous locks, no worthy match
For valor to assail, not by the sword 1165
Of noble warrior, so to stain his honor,
But by the barber's razor best subdued.
SAMS. All these indignities, for such they are
From thine, these evils I deserve and more,
Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me 1170
Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon
Whose ear is ever open, and his eye
Gracious to re-admit the suppliant;
In confidence whereof I once again
Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight, 1175
By combat to decide whose God is God,
Thine or whom I with Israel's sons adore.
HAR. Fair honor that thou dost thy God, intrusting
He will accept thee to defend his cause,
A Murderer, a Revolter, and a Robber. 1180
SAMS. Tongue-doughty Giant, how dost thou prove me these?
HAR. Is not thy nation subject to our lords?
Their magistrates confess'd it, when they took thee
As a league-breaker and deliver'd bound
Into our hands: for hadst thou not committed 1185
Notorious murder on those thirty men
As Ascalon, who never did thee harm,
Then like a robber stripp'dst them of their robes?
The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the league,
Went up with armed pow'rs thee only seeking, 1190
To others did no violence nor spoil.
SAMS. Among the daughters of the Philistines
I chose a wife, which argues me no foe;
And in your city held my nuptial feast:
But your ill-meaning politician lords, 1195
Under pretence of bridal friends and guests,
Appointed to await me thirty spies,
Who threatning cruel death constrain'd the bride
To wring from me and tell to them my secret,
That solv'd the riddle which I had propos'd. 1200
When I perceiv'd all set on enmity,
As on my enemies, wherever chanc'd,
I us'd hostility, and took their spoil
To pay my underminers in their coin.
My nation was subjected to your lords. 1205
It was the force of conquest; force with force
Is well ejected when the conquer'd can.
But I a private person, whom my country
As a league-breaker gave up bound, presum'd
Single rebellion and did hostile acts. 1210
I was no private but a person rais'd
With strength sufficient and command from Heaven
To free my country; if their servile minds
Me their deliverer sent would not receive,
But to their masters gave me up for nought, 1215
Th' unworthier they; whence to this day they serve.
I was to do my part from Heav'n assign'd,
And had perform'd it, if my known offense
Had not disabled me, not all your force:
These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant 1220
Though by his blindness maim'd for high attempts,
Who now defies thee thrice to single fight,
As a petty enterprise of small enforce.
HAR. With thee a man condemn'd, a slave inroll'd,
Due by the law to capital punishment? 1225
To fight with thee no man of arms will deign.
SAMS. Cam'st thou for this, vain boaster, to survey me,
To descant on my strength, and give thy verdict?
Come nearer, part not hence so slight inform'd;
But take good heed my hand survey not thee. 1230
HAR. O Baal-zebub! can my ears unus'd
Hear these dishonors, and not render death?
SAMS. No man withholds thee, nothing from thy hand
Fear I incurable; bring up thy van,
My heels are fetter'd, but my fist is free. 1235
HAR. This insolence other kind of answer fits.
SAMS. Go baffled coward, lest I run upon thee,
Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast,
And with one buffet lay thy structure low,
Or swing thee in the air, then dash thee down 1240
To th' hazard of thy brains and shatter'd sides.
HAR. By Astaroth ere long thou shalt lament
These braveries in irons loaden on thee.
CHOR. His giantship is gone somewhat crest-fall'n,
Stalking with less unconscionable strides, 1245
And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe.
SAMS. I dread him not, nor all his giant-brood,
Though fame divulge him father of five sons,
All of gigantic size, Goliah chief.
CHOR. He will directly to the lords, I fear, 1250
And with malicious counsel stir them up
Some way or other yet further to afflict thee.
SAMS. He must allege some cause, and offer'd fight
Will not dare mention, lest a question rise
Whether he durst accept the' offer or not, 1255
And that he durst not plain enough appear'd.
Much more affliction than already felt
They cannot well impose, nor I sustain;
If they intend advantage of my labors,
The work of many hands, which earns my keeping 1260
With no small profit daily to my owners.
But come what will, my deadliest foe will prove
My speediest friend, by death to rid me hence,
The worst that he can give, to me the best.
Yet so it may fell out, because their end 1265
Is hate, not help to me, it may with mine
Drawn their own ruin who attempt the deed.
CHOR. Oh how comely it is, and how reviving
To the spirits of just men long oppress'd!
When God into the hands of their deliverer 1270
Puts invincible might
To quell the mighty of the earth, th' oppressor,
The brute and boist'rous force of violent men
Hardy and industrious to support
Tyrannic pow'r, but raging to pursue 1275
The righteous and all such as honor truth;
He all their ammunition
And feats of war defeats
With plain heroic magnitude of mind
And celestial vigor arm'd, 1280
Their armories and magazines contemns,
Renders them useless, while
With winged expedition
Swift as the lightning glance he executed
His errand on the wicked, who surpris'd 1285
Lose their defense distracted and amaz'd.
But patience is more oft the exercise
Of saints, the trial of their fortitude,
Making them each his own deliverer,
And victor over all 1290
That tyranny or fortune can inflict.
Either of these is in thy lot,
Samson, with might indued
Above the sons of men; but sight bereav'd
May chance to number thee with those 1295
Whom patience finally must crown.
This idol's day hath been to thee no day of rest,
Laboring thy mind
More than the working day thy hands.
And yet perhaps more trouble is behind, 1300
For I descry this way
Some other tending, in his hand
A scepter or quaint staff he bears,
Comes on amain, speed in his look.
By his habit I discern him now 1305
A public Officer, and now at hand.
His message will be short and voluble.
OFF. Hebrews, the pris'ner Samson here I seek.
CHOR. His manacles remark him, there he sits
OFF. Samson, to thee our lords thus bid me say; 1310
This day to Dagon is a solemn feast,
With sacrifices, triumph, pomp, and games;
Thy strength they know surpassing human rate,
And now some public proof thereof require
To honor this great feast, and great assembly; 1315
Rise therefore with all speed and come along,
Where I will see thee hearten'd and fresh clad
To' appear as fits before th' illustrious lords.
SAMS. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew, therefore tell them,
Our Law forbids at their religious rites 1320
My presence; for that cause I cannot come.
OFF. This answer, be assur'd, will not content them.
SAMS. Have they not sword-players, and every sort
Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners,
Juglers and dancers, antics, mummers, mimics, 1325
But they must pick me out with shackles tir'd,
And over-labor'd at their public mill,
To make them sport with blind activity?
Do they not seek occasion of new quarrels
On my refusal to distress me more, 1330
Or make a game of my calamities?
Return the way thou cam'st, I will not come.
OFF. Regard thyself, this will offend them highly.
SAMS. Myself? my conscience and internal peace.
Can they think me so broken, so debas'd 1335
With corporal servitude, that my mindever
Will condescend to such absurd commands?
Although their drudge, to be their fool or jester,
And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief
To show them feats, and play before their God, 1340
The worst of all indignities, yet on me
Join'd with extreme contempt? I will not come.
OFF. My message was impos'd on me with speed,
Brooks no delay: is this thy resolution?
SAMS. So take it with what speed thy message needs. 1345
OFF. I am sorry what this stoutness will produce.
SAMS. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sorrow' indeed.
CHOR. Consider, Samson; matters now are strain'd
Up to the highth, whether to hold or break;
He's gone, and who knows how he may report 1350
Thy words by adding fuel to the flame?
Expect another message more imperious,
More lordly thund'ring than thou well wilt bear.
SAMS. Shall I abuse this consecrated gift
Of strength, again returning with my hair 1355
After my great transgression, so requite
Favor renew'd, and add a greater sin
By prostituting holy things to idols;
A Nazarite in place abominable
Vaunting my strength in honor to their Dagon? 1360
Besides how vile, contemptible, ridiculous,
What act more execrably unclean, profane?
CHOR. Yet with this strength thou serv'st the Philistines,
Idolatrous, uncircumcis'd, unclean.
SAMS. Not in their idol-worship, but by labor 1365
Honest and lawful to deserve my food
Of those who have me in their civil power.
CHOR. Where the heart joins not, outward acts defile not.
SAMS. Where outward force constrains, the sentence holds.
But who constrains me to the temple' of Dagon, 1370
Not dragging? the Philistian lords command.
Commands are no constraints. If I obey them,
I do it freely, vent'ring to displease
God for the fear of Man, and Man prefer,
Set God behind: which in his jealousy 1375
Shall never,unrepented, find forgiveness.
Yet that he may dispense with me or thee
Present in the temples at idolatrous rites
For some important cause, thou need'st not doubt.
CHOR. How thou wilt here come off surmounts my reach.1380
SAMS. Be of good courage, I begin to feel
Some rousing motions in me which dispose
To something extraordinary my thoughts.
I with this messenger will go along,
Nothing to do, be sure, that may dishonor 1385
Our Law, or stain my vow of Nazarite.
If there be ought of presage in the mind,
This day will be remarkable in my life
By some great act, or of my days the last.
CHOR. In time thou hast resolv'd, the man returns. 1390
OFF. Samson, this second message from our lords
To thee I am bid say. Art thou our slave,
Our captive, at the public mill our drudge,
And dar'st thou at our sending and command
Dispute thy coming? come without delay; 1395
Or we shall find such engins to assail
And hamper thee, as thou shalt come of force,
Though thou wert firmlier fasten'd than a rock.
SAMS. I could be well content to try their art,
Which to no few of them would prove pernicious. 1400
Yet knowing their advantages too many,
Because they shall not trail me through their streets
Like a wild beast, I am content to go.
Masters commands come with a pow'r resistless
To such as own them absolute subjection; 1405
And for a life who will not change his purpose?
(So mutable are all the ways of men)
Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply
Scandalous or forbidden in our Law.
OFF. I praise thy resolution: doff these links: 1410
By this compliance thou wilt win the lords
To favor, and perhaps to set thee free.
SAMS. Brethren farewel; your company along
I will not wish, lest it perhaps offend them
To see me girt with friends; and how the sight 1415
Of me as of a common enemy,
So dreaded once, may now exasperate them
I know not; lords are lordliest in their wine;
And the well-feasted priest then soonest fir'd
With zeal, if ought religion seem concern'd; 1420
No less the people on their holy-days
Impetuous, insolent, unquenchable:
Happen what may, of me expect to hear
Nothing dishonorable, impure, unworthy
Our God, our Law, my Nation, or myself, 1425
The last of me or no I cannot warrant.
CHOR. Go, and the Holy One
Of Israel be thy guide
To what may serve his glory best, and spread his name
Great among the Heathen round; 1430
Send thee the Angel of thy birth, to stand
Fast by thy side, who from thy father's field
Rode up in flames after his message told
Of thy conception, and be now a shield
Of fire; that Spirit that first rush'd on thee 1435
In the camp of Dan
Be efficacious in thee now at need.
For never was from Heav'n imparted
Measure of strength so great to mortal seed,
As in thy wondrous actions hath been seen. 1440
But wherefore comes old Manoah in such haste
With youthful steps? much livelier than ere while
He seems: supposing here to find his son,
Or of him bringing to us some glad news?
MAN. Peace with you, Brethren; my inducement hither1445
Was not at present here to find my son,
By order of the lords new parted hence
To come and play before them at their feast.
I heard all as I came, the city rings,
And numbers thither flock, I had no will, 1450
Lest I should see him forc'd to things unseemly.
But that which mov'd my coming now, was chiefly
To give ye part with me what hope I have
With good success to work his liberty.
CHOR. That hope would much rejoice us to partake 1455
With thee; say, reverend Sire, we thirst to hear.
MAN. I have attempted one by one the lords
Either at home, or through the high street passing,
With supplication prone and father's tears,
T'accept of ransome for my son their pris'ner. 1460
Some much averse I found and wondrous harsh,
Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite;
That part most reverenc'd Dagon and his priests:
Others more moderate seeming, but their aim
Private reward, for which both God and State 1465
They easily would set to sale: a third
More generous far and civil, who confess'd
They had enough reveng'd, having reduc'd
Their foe to misery beneath their fears,
The rest was magnanimity to remit, 1470
If some convenient ransome were propos'd.
What noise or shout was that? it tore the sky.
CHOR. Doubtless the people shouting to behold
Their once great dread, captive, and blind before them,
Or at some proof of strength before them shown. 1475
MAN. His ransome, if my whole inheritance
My compass it, shall willingly be paid
And number'd down: much rather I shall choose
To live the poorest in my tribe, than richest,
And he in that calamitous prison left. 1480
No, I am fix'd not to part hence without him.
For his redemption all my patrimony,
If need be, I am ready to forgo
And quit: not wanting him, I shall want nothing.
CHOR. Fathers are wont to lay up for their sons, 1485
Thou for thy son art bent to lay out all;
Sons wont to nurse their parents in old age,
Thou in old age car'st how to nurse thy son
Made older than thy age through eye-sight lost.
MAN. It shall be my delight to tend his eyes, 1490
And view him sitting in the house, ennobled
With all those high exploits by him achiev'd,
And on his shoulders waving down those locks,
That of a nation arm'd the strength contain'd:
And I persuade me God had not permitted 1495
His strength again to grow up with his hair
Garrison'd round about him like a camp
Of faithful soldiery, were not his purpose
To use him further yet in some great service,
Not to sit idle with so great a gift 1500
Useless, and thence ridiculous about him.
And since his strength with eye-sight was not lost,
God will restore him eye-sight to his strength.
CHOR. Thy hopes are not ill founded nor seem vain
Of his delivery, and thy joy thereon 1505
Conceiv'd, agreeable to a father's love,
In both which we, as next, participate.
MAN. I know your friendly minds and --- O what noise!
Mercy of Heav'n, what hideous noise was that!
Horribly loud, unlike the former shout. 1510
CHOR. Noise call you it or universal groan,
As if the whole inhabitation perish'd!
Blood, death, and deathful deeds are in that noise,
Ruin, destruction at the utmost point.
MAN. Of ruin indeed methought Iheard the noise: 1515
Oh it continues, they have slain my son.
CHOR. Thy son is rather slaying them, that outcry
From slaughter of one foe could not ascend.
MAN. Some dismal accident it needs must be;
What shall we do, stay here or run and see? 1520
CHOR. Best keep together here, lest running thither
We unawares run into danger's mouth.
This evil on the Philistines is fall'n;
From whom could else a general cry be heard?
The sufferers then will scarce molest us here, 1525
From other hands we need not much to fear.
What if his eye-sight (for to Israel's God
Nothing is hard) by miracle restor'd,
He now be dealing dole among his foes,
And over heaps of slaughter'd walk his way? 1530
MAN. That were a joy presumptuous to be thought.
CHOR. Yet God hath wrought things as incredible
For his people of old; what hinders now?
MAN. He can I know, but doubt to think he will;
Yet hope would fain subscribe, and tempts belief. 1535
A little stay will bring some notice hither.
CHOR. Of good or bad so great, of bad the sooner;
For evil news rides post, while good news baits.
And to our wish I see one hither speeding,
An Hebrew, as I guess, and of our tribe. 1540
MESS. O whither shall I run, or which way fly
The sight of this so horrid spectacle,
Which erst my eyes beheld and yet behold?
For dire imagination still pursues me.
But providence or instinct of nature seems, 1545
Or reason though disturb'd, and scarce consulted,
To' have guided me aright, I know not how,
To thee first reverend Manoah, and to these
My countrymen, whom here I knew remaining,
As at some distance from the place of horror, 1550
So in the sad event too much concern'd.
MAN. The accident was loud, and here before thee
With rueful cry, yet what it was we hear not;
No preface needs, thou seest we long to know.
MESS. It would burst forth, but I recover breath 1555
And sense distract, to know well what I utter.
MAN. Tell us the sum, the circumstance defer.
MESS. Gaza yet stands, but all her sons are fall'n,
All in a moment overwhelm'd and fall'n.
MAN. Sad, but thou know'st to Israelites not saddest 1560
The desolation of a hostile city.
MESS. Feed on that first, there may in grief be surfeit.
MAN. Relate by whom. MESS. By Samson.
MAN. That still lessens the sorrow, and converts it nigh to joy.
MESS. Ah Manoah, I refrain, too suddenly 1565
To utter what will come at last too soon;
Lest evil tidings with too rude irruption
Hitting thy aged ear should pierce too deep.
MAN. Suspense in news is torture, speak them out.
MESS. Take then the worst in brief, Samson is dead. 1570
MAN. The worst indeed, O all my hope's defeated
To free him hence! but death who sets all free
Hath paid his ransome now and full discharge.
What windy joy this day had I conceiv'd
Hopeful of his delivery, which now proves 1575
Abortive as the first-born bloom of spring
Nipt with the lagging rear of winter's frost!
Yet ere I give the reins to grief, say first,
How dy'd he; death to life is crown or shame.
All by him fell thou say'st, by whom fell he, 1580
What glorious hand gave Samson his death's wound?
MESS. Unwounded of his enemies he fell.
MAN. Wearied with slaughter then or how? explain.
MESS. By his own hands. MAN. Self-violence? what cause
Brought him so soon at variance with himself 1585
Among his foes? MESS. Inevitable cause
At once both to destroy and be destroy'd;
The edifice, where all were met to see him,
Upon their heads and on his own he pull'd.
MAN. O lastly over-strong against thyself! 1590
A dreadful way thou took'st to thy revenge.
More than enough we know; but while things yet
Are in confusion, give us if thou canst,
Eye-witness of what first or last was done,
Relation more particular and distinct. 1595
MESS. Occasions drew me early to this city,
And as the gates I enter'd with sun-rise,
The morning trumpets festival proclam'd
Through each high street: little I had dispatch'd,
When all abroad was rumor'd that this day 1600
Samson should be brought forth, to show the people
Proof of his mighty strength in feats and games;
I sorrow'd at his captive state, but minded
Not to be absent at that spectacle.
The building was a spacious theatre 1605
Half-round on two main pillars vaulted high,
With seats where all the lords and each degree
Of sort, might sit in order to behold;
The other side was open, where the throng
On banks and scaffolds under sky might stand; 1610
I among these aloof obscurely stood.
The feast and noon grew high, and sacrifice
Had fill'd their hearts with mirth, high chear, and wine,
When to their sports they turn'd. Immediately
Was Samson as a public servant brought, 1615
In their state livery clad; before him pipes
And timbrels, on each side went armed guards,
Both horse and foot, before him and behind
Archers, and slingers, cataphracts and spears.
At sight of him the people with a shout 1620
Rifted the air, clamoring their God with praise,
Who' had made their dreadul enemy their thrall.
He patient but undaunted where they led him,
Came to the place, and what was set before him,
Which without help of eye might be assay'd, 1625
To heave, pull, draw, or break, he still perform'd
All with incredible, stupendious force,
None daring to appear antagonist.
At length for intermission sake they led him
Between the pillars; he his guide requested 1630
(For so from such as nearer stood we heard)
As over-tir'd to let him lean a while
With both his arms on those two massy pillars,
That to the arched roof gave main support.
He unsuspicious led him; which when Samson 1635
Felt in his arms, with head a while inclin'd,
And eyes fast fix'd he stood, as one who pray'd,
Or some great matter in his mind revolv'd:
At last with head erect thus cry'd aloud,
Hitherto, Lords, what your commands impos'd 1640
I have perform'd, as reason was, obeying,
Not without wonder or delight beheld:
Now of my own accord such other trial
I mean to show you of my strength, yet greater;
As with amaze shall strike all who behold. 1645
This utter'd, straining all his nerves he bow'd,
As with the force of winds and waters pent,
When mountains tremble, those two massy pillars
With horrible convulsion to and fro,
He tugg'd, he shook, till down they came and drew 1650
The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder
Upon the heads of all who sat beneath,
Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors, or priests,
Their choice nobility and flow'r, not only
Of this but each Philistian city round 1655
Met from all parts to solemnize this feast.
Samson with these immix'd, inevitably
Pull'd down the same destruction on himself;
The vulgar only scap'd who stood without.
CHOR. O dearly-bought revenge, yet glorious! 1660
Living or dying thou hast fulfill'd
The work for which thou wast foretold
To Israel, and now ly'st victorious
Among thy slain self-kill'd
Not willingly, but tangled in the fold 1665
Of dire necessity, whose law in death conjoin'd
Thee with thy slaughter'd foes in number more
Than all thy life had slain before.
SEMICHOR. While their hearts were jocond and sublime,
Drunk with idolatry, drunk with wine 1670
And fat regorg'd of bulls and goats,
Chaunting their idol, and preferring
Before our living Dread who dwells
In Silo his bright sanctuary:
Among them he a spi'rit of phrenzy sent, 1675
Who hunt their minds,
And urg'd them on with mad desire
To call in haste for their destroyer;
They only set on sport and play
Unweetingly importun'd 1680
Their own destruction to come speedy upon them.
So fond are mortal men
Fall'n into wrath divine,
As their own ruin on themselves t'invite,
Insensate left, or to sense reprobate, 1685
And with blindness internal struck.
SEMICHOR. But he though blind of sight,
Despis'd and thought extinguish'd quite,
With inward eyes illuminated,
His fiery virtue rous'd 1690
From under ashes into sudden flame,
And as an evening dragon came,
Assailant on the perched roosts,
And nests in order rang'd
Of tame villatic fowl' but as an eagle 1695
His cloudless thunder bolted on their heads.
So virtue giv'n for lost,
Depress'd, and overthrown, as seem'd,
Like that self-begotten bird
In the Arabian woods imbost, 1700
That no second knows nor third,
And lay ere while a holocaust,
From out her ashy womb now teem'd,
Revives, reflorishes, then vigorous most
When most unactive deem'd, 1705
And though her body die, he fame survives
A secular bird ages of lives.
MAN. Come, come, no time for lamentation now,
Nor much more cause; Samson hath quit himself
Like Samson, and heroicly hath finish'd 1710
A life heroic, on his enemies
Fully reveng'd, hath left them years of mourning,
And lamentation to the sons of Caphtor
Through all Philistian bounds; to Israel
Honor hath left, and freedom, let but them 1715
Find courage to lay hold on this occasion;
To' himself and father's house eternal fame;
And which is best and happiest yet, all this
With God not parted from him, as was fear'd,
But favoring and assisting to the end. 1720
Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail
Or knock the breast, no weakness, no contempt,
Dispraise, or blame, nothing but well and fair,
And what may quiet us in a death so noble.
Let us go find the body where it lies 1725
Sok'd in his enemies blood, and from the stream
With lavers pure and cleansing herbs wash off
The clotted gore. I with what speed the while
(Gaza is not in plight to say us nay)
Will send for all my kindred, all my friends, 1730
To fetch him hence, and solemnly attend
With silent obsequy and funeral train
Home to his father's house: there will I build him
A monument, and plant it round with shade
Of laurel ever green, and branching palm, 1735
With all his trophies hung, and acts inroll'd
In copious legend, or sweet lyric song.
Thither shall all the valiant youth resort,
And from his memory inflame their breasts
To matchless valor, and adventures high: 1740
The virgins also shall on feastful days
Visit his tomb with flow'rs, only bewailing
His lot unfortunate in nuptial choice,
From whence captivity and loss of eyes.
CHOR. All is best, though we oft doubt, 1745
What th' unsearchable dispose
Of highest wisdom brings about,
And ever best found in the close.
Oft he seems to hide his face,
But unexpectedly returns, 1750
And to his faithful champion hath in place
Bore witness gloriously; whence Gaza mourns
And all that band them to resist
His uncontrollable intent;
His servants he with new acquist 1755
Of true experience from this great event
With peace and consolation hath dismist,
And calm of mind all passion spent.