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Thoughts my tormentors arm’d with deadly stings
Mangle my apprehensive tenderest parts,
Exasperate, exulcerate, and raise
Dire infiammation, which no cooling herb
Or medicinal liquor can afswage,
Nor breath of vernal air from fnowy Alp.
Sleep hath forsook and giv’n me o'er
To death's benumming opium as my only cure :
Thence faintings, swoonings of despair,
And sense of Heav'n's defertion.
I was his nursling once and choice delight,
His deftin'd from the womb,
Promis'd by heav'nly message twice descending.
Under his special eye
Abstemious 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 cast 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 loss
Of sight, reserv'd alive to be repeated
The subject of their cruelty or scorn.
Nor am I in the list of them that hope;
Hopeless are all my evils, all remediless;
This one prayer yet remains, might I be heard,
No long petition, speedy death,
The close of all my miseries, and the balı,
Cho. Many are the sayings of the wise
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,
With study'd argument, and much persuasion fought
Lenient of grief and anxious thought :
But with th' afflicted in his pangs their sound 660
Little prevails, or rather seems a tune
Harsh, and of dissonant mood from his complaint;
Unless he feel within
Some source of confolation from above,
Secret refreshings, that repair his strength,
And fainting spirits uphold.
God of our fathers, what is man!
That thou tow'ards him with hand so various,
Or might I say contrarious,
Temper'st thy providence through his short course, 670
Not ev'nly, as thou rul'st
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 summer flie,
Heads without name no more remember'd,
But such as thou hast solemnly elected,
With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd
Tw some great work, thy glory,
And people's safety, which in part they' effect:
Yet toward these thus dignify'd, thou oft
Amidst their highth of noon
Changest thy count'nance, and thy hand with no regard
Of highest favors past
685 From thee on them, or them to thee of service.
Nor only dost degrade them, or remit To life obscur'd, which were a fair dismission, But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt them high, Unseemly falls in human eye,
690 Too grievous for the trespass or omission; Oft leay'st them to the hostile sword Of Heathen and profane, their carcases 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'st them down, Painful diseases and deform'd, In crude old-age;
700 Though not disordinate, yet causeless suffering The punishment of diffolute days: in fine, Just or unjust alike seem miserable, 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 hast thou dealt already? Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn His labors, for thou canst, to peaceful end.
But who is this, what thing of sea or land? 210 Female of sex it seems, That so bedeck’d, ornate, and gay,
Comes this way sailing
Like a stately ship
Of Tarsus, bound for th' iles
Of Javan or Gadire
With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
Sails fill'd, and streamers waving,
Courted by all the winds that hold them play,
An amber sent of odorous perfume
Her harbinger, a damsel train behind;
Some rich Philiftian matron she may seem,
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 the moves, now stands, and
About to have spoke, but now, with head declin'd
Like a fair flower surcharg’d with dew, she weeps,
And words addrefs'd seem into tears disfoly'd,
Wetting the borders of her filken veil :
730 But now again the makes address to speak.
DAL. With doubtful feet and wavering resolution I came, Atill dreading thy difpleasure, Samfon, Which to have merited, without excuse, I cannot but acknowledge; yet if tears
735 May expiate (though the fact more evil drew In the perverse event than I foresaw) My penance hath not Nacken'd, though my pardon No way assurd. But conjugal affection, Prevailing over fear and timorous doubt, Hath led me on desirous to behold
Once more thy face, and know of thy estate,
If ought in my ability may serve
To lighten what thou suffer’st, and appease
Thy mind with what amends is in my power, 745
Though late, yet in some part to recompense
My rash but more unfortunate misdeed.
SAMs. Out, out, Hyæna ; these are thy wonted arts,
And arts of every woman false like thee,
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray, 750
Then as repentant to submit, beseech,
And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse,
Confess, and promise wonders in her change,
Not truly penitent, but chief to try
Her husband, how far urg'd his patience bears, 755
His virtue or weakness which way to assail:
Then with more cautious and instructed skill
Again 'transgresses, and again submits;
That wisest and best men full oft beguild
With goodness principled not to reject
760 The penitent, but ever to forgive, Are drawn to wear out miserable days, Intangled with a pois’nous bosom snake, If not by quick destruction soon cut off As I by thee, to ages an example.
765 DAL. Yet hear me, Samson; not that I endevor To lessen or extenuate my offense, But that on th’ other side if it be weigh'd By' itself, with aggravations not surcharg'd, Or else with just allowance counterpois'd, 770 I may, if pollible, thy pardon find