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Reject not then what offer'd means; who knows
After the brunt of battle, can as easy But God hath set before us, to return thee
Cause light again within thy eyes to spring, Home to thy country and his sacred house, Wherewith to serve him better than thou hast ; Where thou may'st bring thy offerings, to avert And I persuade me so; why else this strength His further ire, with prayers and vows renew'd ? Miraculous yet remaining in those locks?
Sams. His pardon I implore; but as for life, His might continues in thee not for nought, To what end should I seek it? when in strength
Nor shall his wonderous gifts be frustrate thus. All mortals I excell'd, and great in hopes
Sams. All otherwise to me my thoughts portend, With youthful courage, and magnanimous thoughts, That these dark orbs no more shall treat with light, Of birth from Heaven foretold, and high exploits,
Nor the other light of life continue long, Full of divine instinct, after some proof
But yield to double darkness nigb at hand : Of acts indeed heroic, far beyond
So much I feel my genial spirits droop, The sons of Anak, famous now and blaz'd,
My hopes all flat, Nature within me seems Fearless of danger, like a petty god
In all her functions weary of herself; I walk'd about admir'd of all, and dreaded My race of glory run, and race of shame, On hostile ground, none daring my affront. And I shall shortly be with them that rest. (ceed Then swoll'n with pride into the snare I fell
Man. Believe not these suggestions, which proOf fair fallacious looks, venereal trains,
From anguish of the mind and humours black, Soften'd with pleasure and voluptuous life.
That mingle with thy fancy. I however
To prosecute the means of thy deliverance
By ransom, or how else : meanwhile be calm, Like a tame wether, all my precious fleece, And healing words from these thy friends admit. Then turn’d me out ridiculous, despoil'd,
(Exit.] Shaven, and disarm’d among mine enemies.
Sams. O that torment should not be confin'd
With maladies innumerable
To the inmost mind,
Sams. Wherever fountain or fresh current flow'd | And on her purest spirits prey,
As on entrails, joints, and limbs,
With answerable pains, but more intense,
Chor. O madness, to think use of strongest wines But, finding no redress, ferment and rage ;
Exasperate, exulcerate, and raise Against another object more enticing ?
Dire inflammation, which no cooling herb What boots it at one gate to make defence,
Or med'cinal liquor can assuage, And at another to let in the foe,
Nor breath of vernal air from snowy Alp. Effeminately vanquish'd ? by which means, Sleep hath forsook and given me o'er Now blind, dishearten'd, sham'd, dishonour'd, To death's benumbing opium as my only cure : quell’d,
Thence faintings, swoonings of despair, To what can I be useful, wherein serve
And sense of Heaven's desertion. My nation, and the work from Heaven impos’d, I was his nurseling once, and choice delight, But to sit idle on the household hearth,
His destin'd from the womb, A burdenous drone ; to visitants a gaze,
Promis’d by heavenly message twice descending. Or pitied object, these redundant locks
Under his special eye
Above the nerve of mortal arm,
Against the uncircumcis'd, our enemies : Here rather let me drudge, and earn my bread; But now hath cast me off as never known, Till vermin, or the draff of servile food,
And to those cruel enemies, Consume me, and oft-invocated death
Whom I by his appointment had provok’d, Hasten the welcome end of all my pains.
Left me all helpless, with the irreparable loss Man. Wilt thou then serve the Philistines with Of sight, reserv'd alive to be repeated that gift
The subject of their cruelty or scorn. Which was expressly given thee to annoy them? Nor am I in the list of them that hope ; Better at home lie bed-rid, not only idle,
Hopeless are all my evils, all remediless : Inglorious, unemploy'd, with age outworn. This one prayer yet remains, might I be heard, But God, who caus'd a fountain at thy prayer No long petition, speedy death, From the dry ground to spring. thy thirst to allav The close of all my miseries, and the balm.
Chor. Many are the sayings of the wise, An amber scent of odorous perfume In ancient and in modern books inrollid,
Her harbinger, a damsel train behind; Extolling patience as the truest fortitude ; Some rich Philistian matron she may seem; And to the bearing well of all calamities,
And now at nearer view, no other certain All chances incidents to man's frail life,
Than Dalila thy wife.
(near me Consolatories writ
Sams. My wife! my traitress: let her not com With studied argument, and much persuasion sought Chor. Yet on she moves, now stands and es Lenient of grief and anxious thought :
thee fix'd, But with the afflicted in his pangs their sound Ábout to have spoke; but now, with head declis'i Little prevails, or rather seems a tune
Like a fair flower surcharg'd with dew, she weeps Harsh, and of dissonant mood from his complaint; And words address'd seem into tears dissold, Unless he feel within
Wetting the borders of her silken veil : Some source of consolation from above,
But now again she makes address to speak. Secret refreshings, that repair his strength,
[Enter Dalila And fainting spirits uphold. God of our fathers, what is man!
Dal. With doubtful feet and wavering resoluta That thou towards him with hand so various, I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson, Or might I say contrarious,
Which to have merited, without excuse, Temper’st thy providence through his short course, I cannot but acknowledge ; yet, if tears Not evenly, as thou rul'st
May expiate, (though the fact more evil drev The angelic orders, and inferior creatures mute, In the perverse event than I foresaw,) Irrational and brute.
My penance hath not slacken'd, though my parke Nor do I name of men the common rout,
No way assur'd. But conjugal affection, That, wandering loose about,
Prevailing over fear and timorous doubt, Grow up and perish, as the summer-fly,
Hath led me on, desirous to behold Heads without name no more remember'd;
Once more thy face, and know of thy estate, But such as thou hast solemnly elected,
If aught in my ability may serve With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd,
To lighten what thou suffer'st, and appease To some great work, thy glory,
Thy mind with what amends is in my power, And people's safety, which in part they effect : Though late, yet in some part to recompense Yet toward these thus dignified, thou oft,
My rash, but more unfortunate, misdeed. Amidst their height of noon,
Sams. Out, out, hyæna! these are thy wonted as Changest thy countenance, and thy hand, with no And arts of every woman false like thee, regard
To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray, Of highest favours past
Then as repentant to submit, beseech, From thee on them, or them to thee of service. And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse, Nor only dost degrade them, or remit
Confess, and promise wonders in her change; To life obscur'd, which were a fair dismission, Not truly penitent, but chief to try But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt thern Her husband, how far urg'd his patience bears, high,
His virtue or weakness which way to assail : Unseemly falls in human eye,
Then with more cautious and instructed skill Too grievous for the trespass or omission; Again transgresses, and again submits ; Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword
That wisest and best men, full oft beguild,
With goodness principled not to reject
If not by quick destruction soon cut oft;
Dal. Yet hear me, Samson ; not that I endeavos In crude old age;
To lessen or extenuate my offence,
Or else with just allowance counterpois d,
I may, if possible, thy pardon find
But who is this, what thing of sea or land ? To publish them, both common female faults: Female of sex it seems,
Was it not weakness also to make known That so bedeck’d, ornate, and gay,
For importunity, that is, for nought, Comes this way sailing
Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety? Like a stately ship
To what I did thou show'd'st me first the way. Of Tarsus, bound for the isles
But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not : Of Javan or Gadire
Nor should'st thou have trusted that to woman's With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
frailty : Sails fill’d, and streamers waving,
Ere I to thee, thou to thyself wast cruel. Courted by all the winds that hold them play, Let weakness then with weakness come to marle,
So near related, or the same of kind.
A common enemy, who had destroy'd
Was not behind, but ever at my ear,
Dishonourer of Dagon : what had I
Only my love of thee held long debate, Of fancy, fear'd lest one day thou would'st leave me And combated in silence all these reasons As her at Timna, sought by all means therefore With hard contést : at length that grounded maxim, How to endear, and hold thee to me firmest : So rife and celebrated in the mouths No better way I saw than by impórtuning Of wisest men, that to the public good To learn thy secrets, get into my power
Private respects must yield, with grave authority Thy key of strength and safety : thou wilt say, Took full possession of me, and prevail'd; Why then reveala? I was assur’d by those Virtue, as I thought, truth, duty, so enjoining. Who tempted me, that nothing was design’d
Sams. I thought where all thy circling wiles Against thee but safe custody, and hold:
would end; l'hat made for me; I knew that liberty
In feign'd religion, smooth hypocrisy ! Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises, But had thy love, still odiously pretended, [thee While I at home sat full of cares and fears, Been, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught Wailing thy absence in my widow'd bed ;
Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds. (lere I should still enjoy thee, day and night, I, before all the daughters of my tribe Tine and love's prisoner, not the Philistines', And of my nation, chose thee from among ithole to myself, unhazarded abroad,
My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st; Fearless at home of partners in my love.
Too well; unbosom'd all my secrets to thee, These reasons in love's law have past for good, Not out of levity, but overpower'd Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps : By thy request, who could deny thee nothing: Ind love hath oft, well meaning, wrought much woe, Yet now am judg’d an enemy. Why then et always pity or pardon hath obtain'd.
Did'st thou at first receive me for thy husband, Ze not unlike all others, not austere,
Then, as since then, thy country's foe profess'd ? Is thou art strong, inflexible as steel.
Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave f thou in strength all mortals dost exceed, Parents and country; nor was I their subject, o uncompassionate anger do not so.
Nor under their protection but my own, Sams. How cunningly the sorceress displays Thou mine, not theirs ; if aught against my life Ier own transgressions, to upbraid me mine! Thy country sought of thee, it sought unjustly, hat malice, not repentance, brought thee hither, Against the law of nature, law of nations ; By this appears : I gave, thou say'st
, the example, No more thy country, but an impious crew led the way: bitter reproach, but true;
Of men conspiring to uphold their state to myself was fàlse ere thou to me;
By worse than hostile deeds, violating the ends uch pardon therefore as I give my folly,
For which our country is a name so dear ; 'ake to thy wicked deed; which when thou seest Not therefore to be obey'd. But zeal moved thee; mpartial, self-severe, inexorable,
To please thy gods thou didst it; gods, unable Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather To acquit themselves and prosecute their foes onfess it feign'd: weakness is thy excuse, But by ungodly deeds, the contradiction Ind I believe it; weakness to resist
Of their own deity, gods cannot be ; Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,
Less therefore to be pleas'd, obey'd or fear'd. Vhat murderer, what traitor, parricide,
These false pretexts, and varnish'd colours failing, ncestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it ? Bare in thy guilt, how foul must thou appear? Ill wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore Dal. In argument with men a woman ever Vith God or man will gain thee no remission. Goes by the worse whatever be her cause. (breatlı ; But love constrain'd thee ; call it furious rage Sams. For want of words no doubt, or lack of o satisfy thy lust: love seeks to have love; Witness when I was worried with thy peals. Iy love how could'st thou hope, who took'st the way Dal. I was a fool, too rash, and quite mistaken To raise in me inexpiable hate,
In what I thought would have succeeded best. (nowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd ? Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson ;
a vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame, Afford me place to show what recompense Or by evasions thy crime uncover'st more.
Towards thee I intend for what I have misdone, Dal. Since thou determin'st weakness for no plea Misguided ; only what remains past cure in man or woman, though to thy own condemning, Bear not too sensibly, nor still insist lear what assaults I had, what snares besides, To afflict thyself in vain : though sight be lost, What sieges girt me round, ere I consented; Life yet hath many solaces, enjoy’d. Which might have aw'd the best resolv'd of men, Where other senses want not their delights I'he constantest, to have yielded without blame At home in leisure and domestic ease, It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st, Exempt from many a care and chance, to which That wrought with me: thou know'st the magistrates Eye-sight exposes daily men abroad. And princes of my country came in person, I to the lords will intercede, not doubting Solicited, commanded, threaten'd, urg'd,
Their favourable ear, that I may fetch thee Adjur’d by all the bonds of civil duty
From forth this loathsome prison-house to abide And of religion, press'd how just it was,
With me, where my redoubled love and care How honourable, how glorious, to entrap
With nursing diligence, to me glad office,
May ever tend about thee to old age,
The public marks of honour and reward,
At this whoever envies or repines,
Discover'd in the end, till now conceal'd.
Love once possess'd, nor can be easily
Sams. Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concorded
Strength, comeliness of shape, or amplest merit,
Harder to hit,
(Which way soever men refer it)
If any of these, or all, the Timnian bride
(wake Successor in thy bed,
Their nuptials, nor this last so treacherous
Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
Is it for that such outward ornament
Were left for haste unfinish'd, judgment scant,
Or value what is best
That either they love nothing, or not long?
Whate'er it be, to wisest men and best
Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn
Intestine, far within defensive arms
A cleaving mischief, in his way to virtue
Imbark'd with such a steers-mate at the helm?
Favour'd of Heaven, who finds
One virtuous, rarely found,
That in domestic good combines :
Happy that house! his way to peace is smooth:
But virtue, which breaks through all opposition,
And all temptation can remove,
Most shines, and most is accceptable above.
Therefore God's universal law
Gave to the man despotic power
Over his female in due awe,
Smile she or lour:
So shall he least confusion draw
Op his whole life, not sway'd
But had we best retire? I see a storm.
Sams. Fair days have oft contracted wind and And raise such outcries on thy clatter'd iron, rain.
Which long shall not withhold me from thy head, Chor. But this another kind of tempest brings. That in a little time, while breath remains thee, Sams. Be less abstruse, my riddling days are Thou oft shalt wish thyself at Gath to boast past.
Again in safety what thou would'st have done Chor. Look now for no enchanting voice, nor fear To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more. The bait of honied words; a rougher tongue
Har. Thou durst not thus disparage glorious Draws hitherward; I know him by his stride,
arms, The giant Harapha of Gath, his look
Which greatest heroes have in battle worn, Haughty, as is his pile high-built and proud. Their ornament and safety, had not spells Comes he in peace? what wind hath blown him | And black enchantments, some magician's art, hither
Arm'd thee or charm’d thee strong, which thou I less conjecture than when first I saw
from Heaven The sumptuous Dalila floating this way :
Feign'dst at thy birth, was given thee in thy hair, His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.
Where strength can least abide, though all thy hairs Sams. Or peace, or not, alike to me he comes. Were bristles rang'd like those that ridge the back Chor. His fraught we soon shall know, he now Of chaf'd wild boars, or ruffled porcupines. arrives.
Sams. I know no spells, use no forbidden arts; [Enter HARAPHA.]
My trust is in the living God, who gave me
At my nativity this strength, diffus'd Har. I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance, No less through all my sinews, joints, and bones, As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been,
Than thine, while I preserv’d these locks unshorn, Though for no friendly intent. I am of Gath; The pledge of my unviolated vow. Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd
For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy god,
Go to his temple, invocate his aid
Which I to be the power of Israel's God
Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test, Of those encounters, where we might have tried Offering to combat thee his champion bold, Each other's force in camp or listed field;
With the utmost of his Godhead seconded : And now am come to see of whom such noise Then thou shalt see, or rather, to thy sorrow, Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey, Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine. If thy appearance answer loud report.
Har. Presume not on thy God, whate'er he be ; Sams. The way to know were not to see but taste. Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off
Har. Dost thou already single me? I thought Quite from his people, and deliver'd up Gyves and the mill had tamed thee. O that fortune Into thy enemies' hand, permitted them Had brought me to the field, where thou art fam'd To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee To have wrought such wonders with an ass's jaw! Into the common prison, there to grind I should have forc'd thee soon with other arins, Among the slaves and asses thy comrades, Or left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown: As good for nothing else; no better service So had the glory of prowess been recover'd With those thy boisterous locks, no worthy match To Palestine, won by a Philistine,
For valour to assail, nor by the sword From the unforeskinn'd race, of whom thou bear'st Of noble warrior, so to stain his honour, The highest name for valiant acts; that honour, But by the barber's razor best subdued. Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee, Sams. All these indignities, for such they are I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.
From thine, these evils I deserve, and more, Sams. Boast not of what thou would'st have done, Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me but do
Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon, What then thou would'st; thou seest it in thy hand. | Whose ear is ever open, and his eye
Har. To combat with a blind man I disdain, Gracious to re-admit the suppliant:
Sams. Such usage as your honourable lords Defy thee to the trial of mortal fight,
By combat to decide whose God is God,
Har. Fair honour that thou dost thy God, in Nor in the house with chamber-ambushes
trusting Close-banded durst attack me, no, not sleeping, He will accept thee to defend this cause, Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold A murderer, a revolter, and a robber! Breaking her marriage-faith to circumvent me. Sams. Tongue-doughty giant, how dost thou Therefore, without feign'd shifts, let be assign'd Some narrow place enclos’d, where sight may give Har. Is not thy nation subject to our lords? thee,
Their magistrates confess'd it when they took thee Or rather flight, no great advantage on me; As a league-breaker, and deliver'd bound Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy helmet Into our hands : for hadst thou not committed And brigandine of brass, thy broad habergeon, Notorious murder on those thirty men Vant-brace and greves, and gauntlet, add thy spear, At Ascalon, who never did thee harm, A weaver's beam, and seven-times-folded shield; Then like a robber stripp'dst them of their robes ? I only with an oaken staff will meet thee,
The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the league,
prove me these?