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For inward light alas

Puts forth no visual beam.

O mirror of our fickle ftate,

Since man on earth unparallel'd!
The rarer thy example stands,

By how much from the top of wondrous glory,
Strongest of mortal men,

To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fall'n.
For him I reckon not in high estate

Whom long descent of birth

Or the sphere of fortune raises;

But thee whofe ftrength, while virtue was her mate,
Might have subdued the earth,
Universally crown'd with highest praises.


Sams. I hear the found of words, their fenfe the air Diffolves unjointed ere it reach my ear.

Chor. He speaks, let us draw nigh.Matchless in might, The glory late of Ifrael, now the grief;

We come thy friends and neighbours not unknown From Efhtaol and Zora's fruitful vale 181

To vifit or bewail thee, or if better,

Counsel or confolation we may bring,



Salve to thy fores; apt words have pow'r to fwage
The tumors of a troubled mind,


And are as balm to fefter'd wounds.

Sams. Your coming, Friends, revives me, for I learn
Now of my own experience, not by talk,
How counterfeit a coin they are who friends

G 3


Bear in their superscription, (of the most
I would be understood) in profp'rous days

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They fwarm, but in adverse withdraw their head,
Not to be found, though fought. Ye fee, O Friends,
How many evils have inclos'd me round;
Yet that which was the worst now leaft afflicts me, 195
Blindness, for had I fight, confus'd with shame,
How could I once look up, or heave the head,
Who like a foolish pilot have shipwrack'd
My veffel trufted to me from above,
Gloriously rigg'd; and for a word, a tear,
Fool, have divulg'd the fecret gift of God
To a deceitful woman? tell me, Friends,
Am I not fung and proverb'd for a fool
In every street? do they not fay, how well
Are come upon him his deferts? yet why?
Immeasurable strength they might behold
In me, of wisdom nothing more than mean;
This with the other should, at least, have pair'd,
These two proportion'd ill drove me transverse.
Chor. Tax not divine disposal; wisest men
Have err'd, and by bad women been deceiv'd;
And shall again, pretend they ne'er so wife.
Deject not then so overmuch thyself,

Who haft of forrow thy full load befides;

Yet truth to fay, I oft have heard men wonder 215 Why thou shouldst wed Philistian women rather Than of thine own tribe fairer, or as fair,





At least of thy own nation, and as noble.
Sams. The first I faw at Timna, and she pleas'd
Me, not my parents, that I fought to wed
The daughter of an infidel: they knew not
That what I motion'd was of God; I knew
From intimate impulse, and therefore urg'd
The marriage on; that by occasion hence
I might begin Ifrael's deliverance,
The work to which I was divinely call'd.
She proving false, the next I took to wife
(O that I never had! fond wish too late,)
Was in the vale of Sorec, Dalila,



That specious monster, my accomplish'd fnare. 230
I thought it lawful from my former act,
And the fame end; ftill watching to opprefs
Ifrael's oppressors: of what now I fuffer
She was not the prime cause, but I myself,

Who vanquish'd with a peal of words (O weakness!) Gave up my fort of filence to a woman. 235

Chor. In feeking just occasion to provoke
The Philiftine, thy country's enemy,
Thou never waft remiss, I bear thee witness:
Yet Ifraël ftill ferves with all his fons.


Sams. That fault I take not on me, but transfer On Ifrael's governors, and heads of tribes,

Who seeing thofe great acts, which God had done Singly by me against their conquerors, Acknowledg'd not, or not at all confider'd


Deliverance offer'd: I on th' other side

Us'd no ambition to commend my deeds, (doer; The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the But they perfisted deaf, and would not seem 249 To count them things worth notice, till at length Their lords the Philistines with gather'd pow'rs Enter'd Judea feeking me, who then Safe to the rock of Etham was retir'd, Not flying, but fore-cafting in what place To fet upon them, what advantag'd best: Mean while the men of Judah, to prevent The harrafs of their land, beset me round; I willingly on fome conditions came Into their hands, and they as gladly yield me To the uncircumcis'd a welcome prey, 260 Bound with two cords; but cords to me were threds Touch'd with the flame: on their whole host I flew Unarm'd, and with a trivial weapon fell'd Their choiceft youth; they only liv'd who fled. Had Judah that day join'd, or one whole tribe, 265 They had by this poffefs'd the tow'rs of Gath, And lorded over them whom now they serve: But what more oft in nations grown corrupt, And by their vices brought to fervitude, Than to love bondage more than liberty, Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty; And to despise, or envy, or suspect Whom God hath of his special favor rais'd




As their deliverer; if he ought begin,
How frequent to desert him, and at last
To heap ingratitude on worthieft deeds?
Chor. Thy words to my remembrance bring
How Succoth and the fort of Penuel
Their great deliverer contemn'd,
The matchless Gideon in pursuit
Of Madian and her vanquish'd kings:
And how ingrateful Ephraim
Had dealt with Jephtha, who by argument,
Not worse than by his fhield and spear,
Defended Ifrael from the Ammonite,
Had not his prowess quell'd their pride
In that fore battel, when so many dy'd
Without reprieve adjudg'd to death,
For want of well pronouncing Shibboleth.
Sams. Of such examples add me to the roll,
Me easily indeed mine may neglect,

But God's propos'd deliverance not fo.
Chor. Juft are the ways of God,
And justifiable to men;

Unless there be who think not God at all:

If any be, they walk obfcure;

For of fuch doctrin never was their school,

But the heart of the fool,

And no man therein doctor but himself.






Yet more there be who doubt his ways not juft, 300 As to his own edicts found contradicting,


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