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And fenfe of Heav'n's defertion.

I was his nurfling once and choice delight, His deftin'd from the womb,

Promis'd by heav'nly meffage twice defcending. 635 Under his fpecial eye

Abftemious 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:
But now hath caft 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 lofs

Of fight, referv'd alive to be repeated


The fubject of their cruelty or fcorn.

Nor am I in the lift of them that hope;

Hopeless are all my evils, all remedilefs;

This one prayer yet remains, might I be heard,
No long petition, speedy death,


The clofe of all my miferies, and the balm.

CHO. Many are the sayings of the wife


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In ancient and in modern books inroll'd,
Extolling patience as the trueft fortitude:
And to the bearing well of all calamities,
All chances incident to man's frail life,
Confolotaries writ


With study'd argument, and much persuasion fought
Lenient of grief and anxious thought:

But with th' afflicted in his pangs their found

Little prevails, or rather feems a tune

Harsh, and of diffonant mood from his complaint;
Unless he feel within

Some fource of confolation from above,

Secret refreshings, that repair his ftrength,

And fainting fpirits uphold.

God of our fathers, what is man!

That thou tow'ards him with hand fo various,

Or might I fay contrarious,



Temper'ft thy providence through his fhort courfe, 670
Not ev'nly, as thou rulˇst

Th' angelic orders and inferior creatures mute,
Irrational and brute.

Nor do I name of men the common rout,
That wandering loose about

Grow up and perish, as the fummer flie,
Heads without name no more remember'd,
But fuch as thou haft folemnly elected,
With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd
To fome great work, thy glory,

And people's fafety, which in part they' effect:
Yet toward these thus dignify'd, thou oft



Amidft their highth of noon

Changest thy count'nance, and thy hand with no regard

Of highest favors past

From thee on them, or them to thee of fervice.

Nor only doft degrade them, or remit

To life obfcur'd, which were a fair dismission,


But throw'ft them lower than thou didst exalt them high, Unfeemly falls in human eye,

Too grievous for the trespass or omiffion;

Oft leav'ft them to the hoftile fword
Of Heathen and profane, their carcafes

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 fickness and disease thou bow'ft them down,
Painful diseases and deform'd,

In crude old-age;

Though not difordinate, yet causeless fuffering
The punishment of diffolute days: in fine,
Juft or unjust alike feem miferable,

For oft alike both come to evil end.


So deal not with this once thy glorious champion,
The image of thy ftrength, and mighty minifter.
What do I beg? how haft thou dealt already?
Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn
His labors, for thou canft, to peaceful end.
But who is this, what thing of fea or land?

Female of fex it seems,

That fo bedeck'd, ornate, and gay,



Comes this way failing

Like a stately ship

Of Tarfus, bound for th' iles


Of Javan or Gadire

With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,

Sails fill'd, and ftreamers waving,

Courted by all the winds that hold them play,
An amber fent of odorous perfume


Her harbinger, a damfel train behind;
Some rich Philiftian matron fhe may feem,
And now at nearer view, no other certain
Than Dalila thy wife.

[near me.

SAMS. My Wife, my Traitress, let her not come CHO. Yet on fhe moves, now ftands, and eyes thee


About t' have spoke, but now, with head declin'd
Like a fair flower furcharg'd with dew, the weeps,
And words addrefs'd feem into tears diffolv'd,
Wetting the borders of her filken veil :

But now again she makes address to speak.


DAL. With doubtful feet and wavering refolution I came, ftill dreading thy displeasure, Samfon, Which to have merited, without excuse, I cannot but acknowledge; yet if tears May expiate (though the fact more evil drew In the perverse event than I forefaw)

My penance hath not flacken'd, though my pardon way affur'd. But conjugal affection,


Prevailing over fear and timorous doubt,

Hath led me on defirous to behold




Once more thy face, and know of thy estate,
If ought in my ability may ferve

To lighten what thou fuffer'ft, and appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my power,
Though late, yet in fome part to recompenfe
My rash but more unfortunate misdeed.


SAMS. Out, out, Hyæna; thefe are thy wonted arts, And arts of every woman falfe like thee,


To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray,
Then as repentant to fubmit, befeech,

And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse,
Confefs, and promife wonders in her change,
Not truly penitent, but chief to try

Her husband, how far urg'd his patience bears,
His virtue or weaknefs which way to affail:


Then with more cautious and inftructed skill
Again tranfgreffes, and again fubmits;
That wifeft and beft men full oft beguil'd
With goodness principled not to reject
The penitent, but ever to forgive,


Are drawn to wear out miserable days,
Intangled with a pois'nous bosom fnake,
If not by quick destruction foon cut off
As I by thee, to ages an example.


DAL. Yet hear me, Samfon; not that I endevor

To leffen or extenuate my offenfe,

But that on th' other fide if it be weigh'd

By' itself, with aggravations not furcharg'd,
Or else with just allowance counterpois'd,
I may, if poffible, thy pardon find



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