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None off'ring fight; who single combatant
Duell'd their Armies rank'd in proud array,
Himself an Army; now unequal match
To save himself against a coward arm'd
At one spear's length: O ever-failing trust
In mortal Arength! and oh! what not in man
Deceivable and vain? Nay, what thing good
Pray'd for, but often proves our woe, our bane?
I pray'd for Children, and thought barrenness
In wedlock a reproach; I gain'd a Son,
Such a Son, as all men hail'd me happy ;
Who would be now a Father in my stead ?
O wherefore did God grant me my request,
And as a blessing with such pomp

Why are his gifts desirable, to tempt
Our earnest Pray’rs, then giv'n with solemn hand
As Grąces, 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
Enfnar'd, aflaulted, overcome, led bound,
Thy Foes derifion, Captive, Poor and Blind,
Into a Dungeon thrust, to work with Slaves ?
Alas! methinks whom God hath chosen once
To worthiest deeds, if he through frailty err,
He should not so o'erwhelm, and as a thrall
Subject him to so foul indignities,
Be it but for honour's fake of former deeds.




375 :

Sams. Appoint not heav'nly difpofition, Father ;
Nothing of all these evils hath befall’n me
But justly: I my felf have brought them on,
Sole Author I, sole cause : if aught seem vile,
As vile hath been my folly, who have prufan'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 surpriz’d,
But warn'd by oft experience ; did not the
Of Timna first betray me, and reveal
The secret wrested from me in her height
Of Nuptial love profest, carrying it streight 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 spurious first born, Treason against me?
Thrice fe assay'd with Aatt’ring 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;
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 thought to make me Traitor to my self; Yet the fourth time, when muftring all her wiles, With blandisht parleys, feminine assaults, Tongue-batteries, the furceas'd not day nor night To storm me over-watch'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 resolvid, Might easily have shook off all her snares : But foul effeminacy held me yok'd Her bond-slave; O indignity! O blot To Honour and Religion! servile mind Rewarded well with servile punishment! The base degree to which I now am fall’n, 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 degen’rately I serv’d.

Man. I cannot praise thy Marriage-choices, Son, 420 Rather approv'd them not ; but thou didst plead Divine impulfion prompting how thou might'it Find some occasion to infest our Foes. I ftate not that; this I am sure, our Foes Found foon occasion thereby to make thee 423 Their Captive, and their Triumph ; thou the fooner Temptation found'ft, 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 burthen of that fault; Bitterly hast thou paid, and still art paying That rigid score. A worse thing yet remains ! This day the Philistins a pop'lar Feast Here celebrate in Gaza ; and proclaim

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 Nain. 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 honour, I this pomp have brought
To Dagon, and advanc'd his praises high
Among the Heathen round; to God have brought
Dishonour, obloquy, and op'd the mouths
Of Idolists, and Atheists ; have brought scandal
To Ifrael, diffidence of God, and doubt



In feeble hearts propense enough before
To waver, or fall off and join with Idols ;
Which is my chief affliction, shame and forrow,
The anguish of my Soul, that suffers not
Mire eye to harbour sleep, or thoughts to reft.
This only hope relieves me, that the strife
With me hath end; all the contest is now
'Twixt God and Dagon: Dagon hath presum'd,
Me overthrown, to enter lists with God,
His Deity comparing and preferring
Before the God of Abraham. He, be sure,
Will not connive, or linger, thus provok'd;
But will arise and his great name assert :
Dagon must stoop, and fhall ere long receive
Such a discomfit as shall quite despoil him
Of all these boafted Trophies won on me,
And with confusion blank his Worshippers.



Man. With cause this hope relieves thee, and these I as a Prophecy receive ; for God,

(words Nothing more certain, will not long defer To vindicate the glory of his Name

475 Againit all competition ; nor will long Endure it doubtful, whether God be Lord, Or Dagon. But for thee what shall be cone? Thou must not in the mean while here forgot Lie in this miserable loathsome plight Neglected. I already have made way To fome Philiftian Lords, with whom to treat About thy ransom : well they may by this Have fatisfy'd their utmost of revenge By pains and sav'ries, worse than death, infliated 485 On thee, who now no more canit do them harm.


Sams. Spare that proposal, Father, spare the trouble Of thit sollicitation ; let me here, As I deserve, pay on my punishment ; And expiate, if possible, my crime,

490 3


Shameful garrulity. To have reveal'd
Secrets of men, the secrets of a friend,
How heinous had the fact been, how deserving
Contempt and scorn of all, to be excluded
All friendship, and avoided as a blab,
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,
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 fin, but if the punishment
Thou canst avoid, self-preservation bids :
Or th' execution leave to high disposal,
And let another hand, not taine, exact
Thy penal forfeit from thy self. Perhaps
God will relent, and quit thee all his debt';
Who ever more approves, and more accepts
(Belt pleas'd with humble and filial submission)
Him, who imploring mercy fues for life,
Than who sell-rigorous chuses death as due ;
Which argues over-juft

, and self displeas'd
For self-offence, more than for God offended.
Reject not then what offer'd means ; who knows
But God hath set before us, to return thee
Home to thy Country and his facred House,
Where thou may'it bring thy offerings, to avert
His farther ire, with pray’rs and vows renew'd ?



Sams. His pardon I implore ; but as for life,
To what end Thould 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,
Full of divine inftinet, after some proof




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