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And celestial vigor arm'd,
Their armories and magazines contemns,
With winged expedition
Swift as the lightning glance he executes
That tyranny or fortune can inflict.
More than the working day thy hands.
And yet perhaps more trouble is behind,
Some other tending, in his hand
Samfon, with might indued
Above the fons of men; but fight bereav'd
Whom patience finally muft crown.
This idol's day hath been to thee no day of rest, Laboring thy mind
Off. Hebrews, the pris'ner Samfon here I seek. Chor. His manacles remark him, there he fits. Off. Samfon, to thee our lords thus bid me say; This day to Dagon is a folemn feast, 1311 With facrifices, triumph, pomp, and games; Thy ftrength they know surpassing human rate, And now fome public proof thereof require To honor this great feast, and great assembly; 1315 Rife therefore with all speed and come along, Where I will fee thee hearten'd and fresh clad To' appear as fits before th'illuftrious lords. (them, Sams. Thou know'st I am an Hebrew, therefore tell Our Law forbids at their religious rites 1320 My presence; for that cause I cannot come. Off. This answer, be assur'd, will not content them. Sams. Have they not sword-players, and every fort Of gymnic artists, wrestlers, riders, runners, Juglers and dancers, antics, mummers, mimics, 1325 But they must pick me out with fhackles tir'd, And over-labor'd at their public mill, To make them sport with blind activity? Do they not feek occasion of new quarrels On my refufal to distress me more, Or make a game of my calamities? Return the way thou cam'ft, I will not come. Off. Regard thyfelf, this will offend them highly. Sams. Myfelf? my confcience and internal peace. Can they think me so broken, so debas'd
With corporal fervitude, that my mind ever
To fhow them feats, and play before their God, 1340
Idolatrous, uncircumcis'd, unclean.
Sams. Not in their idol-worship, but by labor 1365 Honeft and lawful to deserve my food Of those who have me in their civil power. Chor. Where the heart joins not, outward acts defile Sams. Where outward force conftrains, the sentence But who conftrains me to the temple' of Dagon, (holds. Not dragging? the Philistian lords command. 1371 Commands are no conftraints. If I obey them, I do it freely, vent'ring to displease God for the fear of Man, and Man prefer, Set God behind: which in his jealousy Shall never, unrepented, find forgiveness. Yet that he may dispense with me or thee Present in temples at idolatrous rites For fome important cause, thou need'ft not doubt. Chor. How thou wilt here come off furmounts my reach. Sams. Be of good courage, I begin to feel Some rousing motions in me which dispose To fomething extraordinary my thoughts. I with this messenger will go along, Nothing to do, be sure, that may dishonor Our law, or flain my vow of Nazarite. If there be ought of presage in the mind, This day will be remarkable in life my By fome great act, or of my days the last. 1390 Chor. In time thou hast resolv'd, the man returns. Off. Samson, this fecond message from our lords
To thee I am bid fay. Art thou our slave,
Sams. I could be well content to try their art,
Masters commands come with a pow'r resistless
So dreaded once, may now exasperate them
I know not: lords are lordlieft in their wine;
Off. I praise thy resolution: doff these links: 1410 By this compliance thou wilt win the lords To favor, and perhaps to set thee free.
Sams. Brethren farewel; your company along
I will not wish, left it perhaps offend them
To fee me girt with friends; and how the fight 1415 Of me as of a common enemy,