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But thee whofe ftrength, while virtue was her mate, Might have fubdued the earth,

Univerfally crown'd with highest praises.


SAMS. I hear the found of words, their fense the air Diffolves unjointed ere it reach my ear.

Сно. He speaks, let us draw nigh. The glory late of Ifrael, now the grief;

Matchless in [might,

We come thy friends and neighbours not unknown 180 From Efhtaol and Zora's fruitful vale,

To vifit or bewail thee, or if better,

Counsel or confolation we may bring,

Salve to thy fores; apt words have pow'r to fwage

The tumors of a troubled mind,


And are as balm to fefter'd wounds.

SAMS. Your coming, Friends, revives me, for I

Now of my own experience, not by talk,



How counterfeit a coin they are who friends
Bear in their fuperfcription (of the most
I would be underftood); in profp'rous days
They swarm, but in adverse withdraw their head,
Not to be found, though fought. Ye fee, O Friends,
How many evils have inclos'd me round;

Yet that which was the worst now leaft afflicts me, 195
Blindness, for had I fight, confus'd with fhame,
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,
Fool, have divulg'd the fecret gift of God
To a deceitful woman? 'tell me, Friends,



Am I not fung and proverb'd for a fool
In every ftreet? do they not fay, how well
Are come upon him his deferts? yet why?
Immeasurable ftrength 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.

CHO. Tax not divine difpofal; wifeft men
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 haft of forrow thy full load befides;
Yet truth to say, I oft have heard men wonder
Why thou shouldft wed Philiftian women rather
Than of thine own tribe fairer, or as fair,
At least of thy own nation, and as noble.






SAMS. The firft I faw at Timna, and the pleas'd Me, not my parents, that I fought to wed The daughter of an infidel: they knew not That what I motion'd was of God; I knew From intimate impulfe, and therefore urg'd The marriage on; that by occafion hence I might begin Ifrael's deliverance, The work to which I was divinely call'd. She proving falfe, the next I took to wife (O that I never had! fond wish too late,) Was in the vale of Sorec, Dalila, That fpecious monster, my accomplish'd fnare. I thought it lawful from my former act, And the fame end; ftill watching to opprefs



Ifrael's oppreffors: of what now I fuffer
She was not the prime cause, but I myself,

Who vanquish'd with a peal of words (O weaknefs!) Gave up my fort of filence to a woman.

CHO. In feeking just occasion to provoke

The Philistine, thy country's enemy,

Thou never waft remifs, I bear thee witness:
Yet Ifraël ftill ferves with all his fons.


SAMS. That fault I take not on me, but transfer

On Ifrael's governors, and heads of tribes,

Who seeing thofe great acts, which God had done
Singly by me against their conquerors,
Acknowledg'd not, or not at all confider'd
Deliverance offer'd: I on th' other fide
Us'd no ambition to commend my deeds,



The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the

But they perfifted deaf, and would not seem

To count them things worth notice, till at length 250 Their lords the Philistines with gather'd powers Enter'd Judea feeking me, who then

Safe to the rock of Etham was retir'd,
Not flying, but fore-cafting in what place
To set upon them, what advantag'd best:
Mean while the men of Judah, to prevent


The harrafs of their land, befet me round;

I willingly on fome conditions came

Into their hands, and they as gladly yield me
To the uncircumcis'd a welcome prey,


Bound with two cords; but cords to me were threads Touch'd with the flame: on their whole hoft I flew


Unarm'd, and with a trivial weapon fell'd

Their choiceft youth; they only liv'd who fled.
Had Judah that day join'd, or one whole tribe, 265
They had by this poffefs'd the towers of Gath,

And lorded over them whom now they serve :
But what more oft in nations grown corrupt,
And by their vices brought to fervitude,
Than to love bondage more than liberty,
Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty;
And to defpife, or envy, or suspect

Whom God hath of his fpecial favor rais'd
As their deliverer; if he ought begin,


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Of Madian and her vanquish'd kings:
And how ingrateful Ephraim

Had dealt with Jephtha, who by argument,
Not worse than by his fhield and spear,
Defended Ifrael from the Ammonite,
Had not his prowefs quell'd their pride
In that fore battel when fo many dy'd
Without reprieve adjudg'd to death,

For want of well pronouncing Shibboleth.


SAMS. Of fuch examples add me to the roll, 290 Me easily indeed mine may neglect,

But God's propos'd deliverance not fo.


CHO. Juft are the ways of God,

And justifiable to men;

Unless there be who think not God at all:


If any be, they walk obscure;

For of fuch doctrin never was there fchool,

But the heart of the fool,

And no man therein doctor but himself.

Yet more there be who doubt his ways not juft, 300 As to his own edicts found contradicting, Then give the reins to wandering thought, Regardless of his glory's diminution; Till by their own perplexities involv’d They ravel more, ftill lefs refolv'd,


But never find felf-fatisfying folution.

As if they would confine th' Interminable,

And tie him to his own prefcript,

Who made our laws to bind us, not himself,

And hath full right t' exempt


Whom so it pleases him by choice

From national obftriction, without taint

Of fin, or legal debt;

For with his own laws he can best dispense.

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Down reason then, at least vain reasonings down,

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