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Though reason here aver
That moral verdiet quits her of unclean :
Unchaste was subsequent, her stain not his.
But see here comes thy reverend Sire
With careful step, locks white as down,
Old Manoah : advise
Forthwith how thou oughtft 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
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; fay if he be here.
Cho. As signal now in low dejected state, As erst 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 armid At one spear's length. O ever-failing trust In mortal strength! and oh what not in man Deceivable and vain? Nay what thing good 350 Pray'd for, but often proves our woe, our bane? I pray'd for children, and thought barrenness
In wedlock a reproach; I gaind a son,
And such a son as all men haild me happy;
Who would be now a father in my stead? 333
O wherefore did God grant me my request,
And as a blessing with such pomp adornd?
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?
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 flaves ?
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's sake of former deeds.
SAMS. Appoint not heav'nly difpofition, 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. This well I knew, nor was at all surprisid, But warn’d by oft' experience: did not the
Of Timna first betray me, and reveal
The secret wrefted from me in her highth
Of nuptial love profess'd, carrying it ftrait 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 scent conceiv'd
Her fpurious first-born, treason against me?
Thrice she affay'd with flattering prayers and fighs,
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;
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 fought to make me traitor to myself;
Yet the fourth time, when mustering all her wiles,
With blandish'd parlies, feminine assaults,
Tongue-batteries, the surceas'd not day nor night
To'storm me over-watch'd, and wearied 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 resolvd
Might easily have shook off all her snares :
But foul effeminacy held me yok'd
Her bond-llave; O indignity, O blot
To honor and religion! servile mind
Rewarded well with servile punishment!
The base degree to which I now am fallin,
These rags, this grinding is not yet fo 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 marriage choices, Son,
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'ft, or over-potent charms
To violate the sacred trust of filence
Deposited within thee; which to have kept
Tacit, was in thy power : true; and thou bear'st 430
more, the burden of that fault;
Bitterly halt 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
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 lain.
So Dagon shall be magnify'd; and God,
440 Besides whom is no 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
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 With me hath end; all the contést is now 'Twixt God and Dagon; Dagon hath presum'd, Me overthrown, to enter lifts 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 worshipers. [words
Man. With cause this hope relieves thee, and these