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The measure of verfe used in the chorus is of all sorts, called by the Greeks Monostrophic, for rather Apolclymenon, without regard had to Strophe, Antistrophe, or Epod, which were a kind of stanzas framed only for the mufic, then used with the chorus that fung; not clential to be foem, and therefore not material ; or being
divided into stanzas ! pauses, they may be called Allæostropha. Division into aet and cene, referring chiefly to the stage ( to wbich this work never was intended ) is here omitted. It juffices if the whole drama be found not produced beyond the
fifth oct. Of the style and uniformity, and that commonly called the plot, avhether intricate or explicit, which is nothing indeed but such economy er disposition of the fable as may stand best with verfimilitude and decorum; they only will best judge, who are nop unacquainted with Elblus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the three tragic poets unequalled vet by any, and the best rule to all who endeavour to write tragedy. The circumscription of time, wherein the wbole drama begins and end's, i according to ancient rule and best example, within the space of 'wenty-four hours.
The Scene before the Prison in Gaza.
The argument. SAMSON made captive, blind, and now in the prison at Gaza, there to lahour as in a common work hours, on a festival day, in the general ceffation from labour, ccines forth into the open air, to a place nigh, somewhat re. tir'd, there to fit a while and bemoan his condition. Where he happens at length to be visited by certain friends and equals of his "Tribe, which make tie Chorus, who feek to comfort him what they can, then by his old father Manoan, who endeavours the like, and withal tells him his purpote to procure his liberty by ransom: luftly, that this feast was proclaim'd by the Philistines as a day of thanksgiving for their deliverance from the hands of Sainton, which yet more troubles him. Manoah then departs to prosecute his enderrous with the Piulitine lords of Simion's redemption; who in the mean while is vifired by other persons ; and 12ftly by a public officer, to require his coming to the feast before the lords and people, to play, or show his strength in their presence: he at first refuses, difmifing the public oficer with abfolute denial to come; at length perluded inwardly that this was froin God, he yields to go along with hiin, who came now the second time with great threatnings to fetch him: the Chorus yet remaing on the place, Manoah returns full of joyful hope, to procure ere long his fon's deliverance, in the midst of which discourse an Hebrew comes in haite, conturedly at first, and afterwards more diftinctly, relating the catastrophe, wha: 'Samfun had done to the Philitines, and by accident to himseif wherewith the tragedy ends.
To these dark steps, a little further on; For yonder bank hath choice of sun or shade; There I ain wont to fit, when any chance Relieves me from my task of servile toil,
5. Daily in the common prison elle enjoin'd me, Where I a prisoner chain'd, fcarce freely draw The air, imprison'd also, close and damp, Unwholesome draught : but here I feel amends, The breath of heav'n fresh blowing, pure and sweet, With day-spring born; here leave me to respire. This day a folemn feast the people hold To dagon their sea-idol, and forbid Laborious works; unwillingly this rest Their superstition yields me; hence with leave Retiring from the popular noise, I feek This unfrequented place to find some ease, Eale to the body fome, none to the mind From restless thoughts, that, like a deadly swarm Of hornets arm’d, no fogner found alone, But rush upon me thronging, and present Times past, what once I was, and what am now.
wherefore was my birth from heav'n foretold
Twice by an angel, who at last in fight
And proves the source of all my miseries;
the vileit here excell me;
of others, never in my own; Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half. O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, 80 Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse Without all hope of day! O first created beam, and thou great word, Let there be light, and light was over all; Why am I thus bereav'd thy prime decree ? The sun to me is dark And silent as the moon, When the deserts the night, Hid in her vacant interlunar cave. Since light so necessary is to life,
90 And almost life itself, if it be true That light is in the soul, She all in every part; why was the right To such a tender ball as th' eye confin'd, So obvious and so easy to be quench'd ?
95 And not as feeling, through all parts diffus'd, That she might look at will through every pore? Then had I not been thus exil'd from light, As in the land of darkness yet in light, To live a life half dead, a living death, And bury'd: but yet more miserable! Myself niy fepulchre, a moving grave, Bury'd, yet not exempt,
By privilege of death and burial,
Chor. This, this is he: softly a while ; I15
Who tore the lion, as the lion tear's the kid;