Графични страници
PDF файл


Of fancy, fear'd lest one day thou would'st leave | Was not behind, but ever at my car,

Preaching how meritorious with the gods
As her at Timna, sought by all means therefore it would be to ensnare an irreligious
How to endear, and hold thee to me firmest : Dishonourer of Dagon : what had I
No better way I saw than by impórtuning To oppose against such powerful arguments ?
To learn thy secrets, get into my power

Only my love of thee held long debate,
Thy key of strength and safety : thou wilt say, And combated in silence all these reasons
Why then reveald? I was assur'd by those With hard contést : at length that grounded.
Who tempted me, that nothing was design'd

maxim, Against thee but safe custody, and hold : So rife and celebrated in the mouths That made for me; I knew that liberty

Of wisest men, that to the public good Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises, Private respects must yield, with grave authority While I at home sat full of cares and fears, Took full possession of me, and prevail'd; Wailing thy absence in my widow'd bed; Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty, so enjoining. Here I should still enjoy thee, day and night, Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles Mine and love's prisoner, not the Philistines',

would end ; Whole to myself, unhazarded abroad,

In feign'd religion, smuoth hypocrisy ! Fearless at home of partners in my love. But had thy love, still odiously pretended, [thee These reasons in love's law have past for good, Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught, 'Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps : Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds. And love hath oft, well meaning, wrought much I, before all the daughters of my tribe

And of my nation, chose thee from among Yet always pity or pardon hath obtain'd. My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st; Be not unlike all others, not austere

Too well; unbosom'd all my secrets to thee, As thou art strong, inflexible as steel.

Not out of levity, but over-power'd If thou in strength all mortals dost exceed, By thy request, who could deny thee nothing ; In uncompassionate anger do not so.

Yet now am judgʻd an enemy. Why then Sams. How cunningly the sorceress displays Did'st thou at first receive me for thy husband, Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine ! Then, as since then, thy country's foe profess'd? That malice, not repentance, brought thee hither, Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave By this appears: I gave, thou say'st, the ex- Parents and country ; nor was I their subject, ample,

Nor under their protection but my own, I led the way ; bitter reproach, but true; Thou mine, not theirs : if aught against my life I to myself was false ere thou to me;

Thy country sought of thee, it sought unjustly, Such pardon therefore as I give my folly, Against the law of nature, law of nations ; Take to thy wicked deed; which when thou seest No more thy country, but an impions crew Impartial, self-severe, inexorable,

Of men conspiring to uphold their state Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather By worse than hostile deeds, violating the ends Confess it feign'd : weakness is thy excuse, For which our country is a name so dear; And I believe it; weakness to resist

Not therefore to be obey'd. But zeal mov'd thee; Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,

To please thy gods thou didst it ; gods, unable What murderer, what traitor, parricide,

To acquit themselves and prosecute their foes Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it? But by ungodly deeds, the contradiction All wickedness is weakness : that plea therefore Of their own deity, gods cannot be ; With God or man will gain thee no remission, Less therefore to be pleas'd, obey'd or fear'd. But love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage These false pretexts, and varnish'd colours failTo satisfy thy lust: love seeks to have love;

ing, My love how could'st thou hope, who took'st the Bare in thy guilt, how foul must thou appear? To raise in me inexpiable hate,

(way Dal. In argument with men a woman ever Knowing, as needs i must, by thee betray'd ? Goes by the worse whatever be her cause. In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shamne, Sams. For want of words no doubt, or lack of Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st more.

breath; Dal. Since thou determin'st weakness for no Witness when I was worried with thy peals. plea

[ing, Dal. I was a fool, too rash, and quite mistaken In man or woman, though to thy own condemn- In what I thought would have succeeded best. Hear what assaults I had, what snares besides, Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson; What sieges girt me round, ere I consented; Atford me place to show what recompense Which might have aw'd the best-resolv'd of men, Towards thee I intend for what I have misdone, The constantest, to have yielded without blame. Misguided ; only what remains past cure It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st, Bear not too sensibly, nor still insist That wrought with me : tlou know'st the magis. To afflict thyself in vain : though sight be lost, trates

Life yet bath many solaces, enjoy'd And princes of my country came in person, Where other senses want not their delights Solicited, commanded, threaten’d, urg'd,

At home in leisure and domestic ease, Aljur'd by all the bonds of civil duty

Exempt from many a care and chance, to which And of religion, press'd how just it was,

Eye-sight exposes daily men abroad. How honourable, how glorious, to entrap

I to the lords will intercede, nut doubting A common enemy, who bad destroy'd

Their favourable ear, that I may fetch thee Such numbers of our nation : and the priest From forth this loathsome prison-house to abide


With me, where my redoubled love and care With odours visited and annual flowers ;
With nursing diligence, to me glad office, Not less renown'd than in mount Ephraim
May ever tend about thee to old age, [plied, Jael, who with hospitable guile
With all things grateful cheer'd, and so sup- Smote Sisera sleeping, through the temples Dail'd
That, what by me thou hast lost, thou least shalt Nor shall I count it heinous to enjoy

The public marks of honour and reward,
Sams. No, no; of my condition take no care; Conferr'd upon me, for the piety
It fits not ; thou and I long since are twain : Which to my country I was judg'd to have shown.
Nor think me so unwary or accurs'd,

At this whoever envies or repines, To bring my feet again into the snare

I leave him to his lot, and like my own. [Exil.) Where once I have been caught: I know thy Chor. She's gone, a manifest serpent by her trains,

sting Though dearly to my cost, thy gins, and toils; Discover'd in the end, till now conceald. Thy fair enchanted cup, and warbling charms, Sams. So let her go ; God sent her to debase No more on me have power; their force is nulld; And aggravate my folly, who committed [me, So much of adder's wisdom I have learn'd, To such a viper his most sacred trust To fence my ear against thy sorceries.

Of secresy, my safety, and my life. If in my flower of youth and strength, when all Chor. Yet beauty, though injurious, bath

(hate me

strange power,
Loy'd, honour'd, feard me, thou alone could'st After offence returning, to regain
Thy husband, slight me, sell me, and forego me; Love once possess'd, nor can be easily
How wouldst thou use me now, blind, and thereby Repuls’d, without much inward passion felt
Deceivable, in most things as a child

And secret sting of amorous remorse.
Helpless, thence easily contemn'd and scorn'd, Sams. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord
And last neglected ? how would'st thou insult, Not wedlock-treachery endangering life. [end,
When I must live uxorious to thy will

Chor. It is not virtue, wisdom, valour, vit,
In perfect thraldom, how again betray me, Strength, comeliness of shape, or amplest merit,
Bearing my words and doings to the lords That woman's love can win, or long inherit;
To gloss upon, and, censuring, frown or smile? But what it is, hard is to say,
This jail I count the house of liberty

Harder to hit,
To thine, whose doors my feet shall never enter. (Which way soever men refer it)
Dal. Let me approach at least, and-touch thy Much like thy riddle, Samson, in one day

Or seven, though one should musing sit. Sams. Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance If any of these, or all, the Timnian bride wake

Had not so soon preferr'd
My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint. Thy paranymph, worthless to thee compard,
At distance I forgive thee; go with that ; Successor in thy bed,
Bewail thy falsehood, and the pious works Nor both so loosely disallied
It hath brought forth to make thee memorable Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherous
Among illustrious women, faithful wives!

Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
Cherish thy hasten'd widowhood with the gold Is it for that such outward ornament
Of matrimonial treason ! so farewell.

Was lavish'd on their sex, that inward gifts
Dal. I see thou art implacable, more deaf Were left for haste unfinisb’d, judgment scant,
To prayers, than winds and seas ; yet winds to Capacity not rais'd to apprehend
Are reconcil'd at length, and sea to shore : (seas Or value what is best
Thy anger, unappeasable, still rages,

In choice, but oftest to affect the wrong?
Eternal tempest, never to be calm’d.

Or was too much of self-love mixd,
Why do I humble thus myself, and, suing Of cunstancy no root infix'd,
For peace, reap nothing but repulse and hate? That either they love nothing, or not long?
Bid go with evil omen, and the brand

Whate'er it be, to wisest men and best
Of infamy upon my name denounc'd ?

Seemning at first all heavenly under virgin reil, To mix with thy concernments Idesist

Soft, modest, meek, demure,
Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own. Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn
Fame, if not double-fac'd, is double-mouth'd, Intestine, far within defensive arms
And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds; A clearing mischief, in his way to virtue
On both his wings, one black, the other white, Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms
Bears greatest names in his wild aery flight. Draws him awry enslar'd
My name perhaps among the circumcis'd With dotage, and his sense deprar'd
In Dan, ip Judah, and the bordering tribes, To folly and shameful deeds which ruin ends.
To all posterity may stand defam'd,

What pilot so expert but needs must wreck
With malediction mention'd, and the blot

Imbark'd with such a steers-mate at the helm? Of falsehood most unconjugal traduc'd..

Favour'd of Heaven, who finds But in my country, where I most desire,

One virtuous, rarely found, In Ecron, Gaza, Asdod, and in Gath,

That in domestic good combines : I shall be nam'd among the famousest

Happy that house ! his way to peace is smooth: Of women, sung at solemn festivals,

But virtue, which breaks through all opposition, Living and dead recorded, who, to save

And all temptation can remove,
Her country from a fierce destroyer, chose Most shines, and most is acceptable above.
Above the faith of wedlock-bands; my tomb Therefore God's universal lav

[ocr errors]

Gave to the man despotic power

Nor in the house with chamber-ambushes Over his female in due awe,

Close-banded durst attack me, no, not sleeping, Nor from that right to part an hour,

Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold Smile she or lour:

Breaking her marriage-faith to circumvent me. So shall he least cunfusion draw

Therefore, without feign'd shifts, let be assign'd On his whole life, not sway'd

Some narrow place enclos'd, where sight may By female usurpation, or dismay'd.

give thee, But had we best retire ? I see a storm. Or rather flight, no great advantage on me; Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind and Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet rain.

And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon, Chor. But this another kind of tempest brings. Vant-brace and greves, and gauntlet, add thy Sams. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are

spear, past.

A weaver's beam, and seven-times-folded shield; Chor. Look now for no enchanting voice, nor I only with an oaken staff will meet thee, fear

And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron, The bait of bonied words ; 'a rougher tongne Which long shall not withhold me from thy Draws hitherward; I know him by his stride,

head, The giant Harapha of Gath, his look

That in a little time, while breath remains thee, Haughty, as is his pile high-built and proud. Thou oft shalt wish thyself at Gath to boast Comes he in peace ? what wind hath blown him again in safety what thou would'st have done I less conjecture than when first I saw [hither To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more. The sumptuous Dalila floating this way:

Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.

arms, Sams. Or peace, or not, alike to me he comes. Which greatest heroes have in battle worn, Chor. His fraught we soon shall know, he now Their ornament and safety, had not spells arrives.

And black enchantments, some magician's art, (Enter) Harapha.

Arm'd thee or charm'd thee strong, which thou

from Heaven Bar. I come not, Samson, to condole thy Peign'dst at thy birth, was given thee in thy hair, chance,

Where strength can least abide, though all thy As these perbaps, yet wish it had not been,

hairs Though for no friendly intent. I am of Gath ; Were bristles rang'd like those that ridge the back Men call me Harapba, of stock renown'd

Of chaf'd wild boars, or ruffled porcupines. As Og, or Anak, and the Emims old

Sams. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts; That Kiriathaim held ; thou know'st me now My trust is in the living God, who gave me If thou at all art known. Much I have heard At my nativity this strength, diffus'd Of thy prodigious might and feats perform’d, No less through all my sinews, joints, and bones, Incredible to me, in this displeas'd,

Than thine, while I preserv'd these locks unshorn, That I was never present on the place

The pledge of my unviolated vow.
Of those encounters, where we might have tried For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy god,
Each other's force in camp or listed field; Go to his temple, invocate his aid
And now am come to see of whom such noise With solemnest devotion, spread before him
Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey, How highly it concerns his glory now
If thy appearance answer loud report.

To frustrate and dissolve these magic spells, Sans. The way to know were not to see but Which I to be the power of Israel's God taste.

Arow, and challenge Dagon to the test, Har. Dost thou already single me? I thought Offering to combat thee his chainpion bold, Gyres and the mill had tam'd thee. O that fortune with the utmost of his Godhead seconded : Had brought me to the field, where thou art Then thou shalt see, or rather, to thy sorrow, fam'd

Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine. To bave wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw ! Har. Presume not on thy God, whatc'er he be ; I should have forc'd thee soon with other arms, Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off Or left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown: Quite from his people, and deliver'd up So had the glory of prowess been recover'd Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them To Palestine, won by a Philistine,

To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee From the unforeskin'd race, of whom thou bear'st Into the common prison, there to grind The highest name for valiant acts; that honour, Among the slaves and asses thy comrades, Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee, As good for nothing else; no better service I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.

With those thy boisterous locks, no worthy match Sams. Boast not of what thou would'st hare For valour to assail, nor by the sword done, but do

Of noble warrior, so to stain his honour, What then thou would'st; thou seest it in thy But by the barber's razor best subdued. hand.

Sams. All these indignities, for such they are Har. To combat with a blind man I disdain, From thine, these evils I deserve, and more, And thou hast need much washing to be touch'd. Acknowledge them from God infiicted on me

Sams. Such usage as your honourable lords Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon, Afford me, assassinated and betray'd,

Whose ear is ever open, and his eye Who durst not with their whole united powers Gracious to re-admit the suppliant : la figbt withstand me single and unarm'd, In confidence whereof I once again

Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight,

Har. This insolence other kind of answer fits. By combat to decide whose God is God,

Sams. Go, baffled coward ! lest I run upora Thine, or whom I with Israel's sons adore.

thee, Har. Fair honour that thou dost thy God, in Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast; trusting

And with one buffet lay thy structure low, He will accept thee to defend this cause, Or swing thee in the air, then dashi thee down A murderer, a revolter, and a robber!

To the hazard of thy brains and shatter'd sides. Sams. Tongue-doughty giant, how dost thou Har. By Astaroth, ere long thou shalt lament prove me these?

These braveries, in irons loaden on thee: [Eril.] Har. Is not thy nation subject to our lords? Chor. His giantship is gone somewbral crests Their magistrates confess'd it when they took

fallen, thee

Stalking with less unconscionable strides, As a league-breaker, and deliver'd bound And lower looks, but in a sultry chafe. Into our hands : for hadst thou not committed Sams. I dread him nor, not all bis giant-brood, Notorious murder on those thirty men

Though fame divulge him father of five sons, At Ascalon, who never did thee harm,

All of gigantic size, Goliah chief. Then like a robber stripp'dst them of their robes ? Chor. He will directly to the lords, I fear, The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the And with malicious counsel stir them up league,

Some way or other yet further to afflict thee. Went up with armed powers thee only seeking, Sams. He must allege' some cause, and offer'd To others did no violence nor spoil.

fight Sams. Among the daughters of the Philistines Will not dare mention, lest a question rise I chose a wife, which argued me no foe; Whether he durst accept the offer or not ; And in your city held my nuptial feast : And, that he durst not, plain enough appear'd. But your ill-meaning politician lords,

Much more afiliction than already felt Under pretence of bridal friends and guests, They cannot well impose, nor I sustain; Appointed to await me thirty spies, (bride If they intend advantage of my labours, Who, threatening cruel death, constraind the The work of many hands, which earns my To wring from me, and tell to them, my secret,

keeping That solv'd the riddle which I had propos'd.

With no small profit daily to my owners. When I perceiv'd all set on enmity,

But come what will, my deadliest foe will prove As on my enemies, wherever chanc'd,

My speediest friend, by death to rid me hence ; I us'd hostility, and took their spoil,

The worst that he can give to me the best. To pay my underminers in their coin.

Yet so it may fall out, because their end My nation was subjected to your lords ;

Is bate, not help to me, it may with mine It was the force of conquest; force with force Draw their own ruin who attempt the deed. Is well ejected when the conquer'd can.

Chor. Oh how comely it is, and how reviving But I a private person, whom my country To the spirits of just men long oppress'd! As a league-breaker gave up bound, presum'd When God into the hands of their deliverer Single rebellion, and did hostile acts.

Puts invincible might
I was no private, but a person rais'd [Heaven, To quell the mighty of the Earth, the oppressor,
With strength sufficient, and cominand from The brute and boisterous force of violent men,
To free my country; if their servile minds Hardy and industrious to support
Me, their deliverer sent, would not receive, Tyrannic power, but raging to pursue
But to their masters gave me up for nought, The righteous and all such as honour truth;
The unworthier they; whence to this day they He all their ammunition

And feats of war defeats,
I was to do my part from Heaven assign’d, With plain heroie magnitude of mind
And had perform'd it, if my known offence And celestial vigour arm'd;
Had not disabled me, not all your force :

Their armouries and magazines contemns,
These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant, Renders them useless; while
Though by his blindness maim'a for high at- With winged expedition,

Swift as the lightning glance, he executes
Wbo pow defies thee thrice to single fight, His errand on the wicked, who, surpris'd,
As a petty enterprise of small enforce.

Lose their defence, distracted and amaz'd.
Har. With thee! a man condemn'd, a slave But patience is more oft the exercise

Of saints, the trial of their fortitude,
Due by the law to capital punishment ! Making them each his own deliverer,
To fight with thee no man of arms will deign. And victor over all
Sams. Cam'st thou for this, vain boaster, to That tyranny or fortune can inflict.
survey me,

Either of these is in thy lot,
To descant on my strength, and yive thy verdict? Samson, with might ended
Come nearer ; part nut hence so slight informid; Above the sons of men ; but sight bereavd
But take good heed my hand survey not thee. May chance to number thee with those
Har. O Baal-zebub ! can my ears un:s'd

Whom patience finally must crown. Hear these dishonours, and not render death? This idol's day hath been to thee neday of rest, Sams. No man withholds thee, nothing from Labouring thy mind, thy hand

More than the working day thy hands. Fear I incurable ; bring up thy van,

And yet perbaps more trouble is behind, My heels are setter'd, but my fist is free. „For 1 descry this way


Some other tending ; in bis hand

After my great transgression, so requite A sceptre or quaint staff he bears,

Favour renew'd, and add a greater sin Comes on amain, speed in his look.

By prostituting holy things to idols ? By his habit I discem him now

A Nazarite in place abominable A public officer, and now at hand;

Vaunting my strength in honour to their Dagon! His message will be short and voluble.

Besides, how vile, contemptible, ridiculous,

What act more execrably unclean, prophane ? [Enter] Officer.

Chor. Yet with this strength thou serv'st the Off. Hebrews, the prisoner Samson here I

Philistines, seek.

Idolatrous, uncircumcis'd, unclean. Chor. His manacles remark him, there he Sams. Not in their idol-worship, but by labour sits.

Honest and lawful to deserve my food Off. Samson, to thee our lords thus bid me Of those who have me in their civil power. This day to Dagon is a solemn feast, (say; Chur. Where the heart joins not, outward acts With sacrifices, triumph, pomp, and games :

defile not. Thy strength they know surpassing human rate, Sams. Where outward force constrains, the And now some public proof thereof require

sentence holds. To honour this great feast, and great assembly : | But who coustrains me to the temple of Dagon, Rise therefore with all speed, and come along, Not dragging? the Philistian lords command. Where I will see thee hearten'd, and fresh clad, Commands are no constraints. If I obey them, To appear as fits before the illustrious lords. I do it freely, venturing to displease Sams. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew, there. God for the fear of man, and man prefer, fore tell them,

Set God behind: which in his jealousy Our law forbids at their religiov cites

Shall never, unrepented, find forgiveness. My presence; for that cause cannot come. Yet that he may dispense with me, or thee, Of. This answer, be assurd, will not content Present in temples at idolatrous rites them.

For some important cause, thou need'st not doubt. Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every Chor. How thou wilt here come off surmounts sort

my reach. Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, Sams. Be of good courage; I begin to feel Juglers, and dancers, antics, mummers, mi-Some rousing motions in me, which dispose mics,

To soinething extraordinary my thoughts.
But they must pick me out, with shackles tird, I with this messenger will go along,
And over-labour'd at their public mill,

Nothing to do, be sure, that may dishonour To make them sport with blind activity?

Our law, or stain my vow of Nazarite.
Do they not seek occasion of new quarrels If there be aught of presage in the mind,
On my refusal to distress me more,

This day will be remarkable in my life
Ox make a game of my calamities?

By some great act, or of my days the last. Return the way thou cam'st, I will not come. Chor. In time thou hast resolv'd, the man reOff. Regard thyself; this will offend them

turns. highly.

Off. Samson, this second message from our Sams. Myself? my conscience, and internal

lords peace.

To thee I am bid say. Art thou our slave, Can they think me so broken, so debas'd Our captive at the public mill, our drudge, With corporal servitude, that my mind ever And dar'st thou at our sending and command Will condescend to such absurd commands? Dispute thy coming ? come without delay; Although their drudge, to be their fool or jester, Or we shall find such engines to assail And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief And hamper thee, as thou shalt come of force, To show them feats, and play before their god, Though thou wert firmlier fasten'd than a rock The worst of all indignities, yet on me

Sams. I could be well content to try their art,, Join'd with extreme contempt? I will not come. Which to no few of them would prove pernicious. Off. My message was impos'd on me with Yet, knowing their advantages too many, speed,

Because they shall not trail me through their Brooks no delay: is this thy resolution ?

streets Sams. So take it with what speed thy message Like a wild beast, I am content to go. needs.

Masters' commands come with a power resistless Off. I am sorry what this stoutness will pro- To such as owe them absolute subjection, duce. (Erit.]

And for a life who will not change his purpose ? Sams. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sor- (So mutable are all the ways of men ;) row indeed,

Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply Chor. Consider, Samson; matters now are Scandalous or forbidden in our law. strain'd

Off. I praise thy resolution : doff these links : l'p to the height, whether to hold or break : By this compliance thou wilt win the lords He's gone, and who knows how he may report To favour, and perhaps to set thee free. Thy words by adding fuel to the flame

Sams. Brethren, farewell; your company Expect another message more imperious,

along More lordly thundering than thou well wilt bear. I will not wish, lest it perhaps offend them

Sams. Shall I abuse this consecrated gift To see me girt with friends, and how the sight Of strength, again returning with my hair Of ine,as of a common enemy,



« ПредишнаНапред »