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In pow'r 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? 85
The fun to me is dark
And silent as the moon,
When she deserts the night
Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.
Since light so necessary is to life,
And almost life itself, if it be true
That light is in the soul,
She all in every part; why was the fight
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 póre? 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, my fepulchre, a moving grave, Bury'd, yet not exempt By privilege of death and burial From worst of other evils, pains and wrongs, 105



100 110

But made hereby obnoxious more
To all the miseries of life,
Life in captivity
Among inhuman foes.
But who are these? for with joint pace I hear
The tread of many feet steering this way;
Perhaps my enemies who come to stare
At my affliction, and perhaps t'insult,
Their daily practice to afflict me more.
Chor. This, this is he; softly a while,

Let us not break in upon him;
O change beyond report, thought, or belief!
See how he lies at random, carelesly diffus'd,
With languish'd head unpropt,
As one past hope, abandon'd,
And by himself given over;
In slavish habit, ill-fitted weeds
O’er-worn and soil'd;
Or do my eyes misrepresent? Can this be he,
That heroic, that renown'd,

125 Irresistible Samson? whom unarm'd No strength of man, or fiercest wild beast could withWho tore the lion, as the lion tears the kid, (stand; Ran on imbattel'd armies clad in iron, And weaponless himself,

130 Made arms ridiculous, useless the forgery Of brazen shield and spear, the hammer'd cuirass, Chaly bean temper'd steel, and frock of mail


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Adamantean proof;
But safest he who stood aloof,

When insupportably his foot advanc'd,
In scorn of their proud arms and warlike tools,
Spurn’d them to death by troops. The bold Ascalo-
Fled from his lion ramp, old warriors turn'd

(nite Their plated backs under his heel;

140 Or grov'ling foil'd their crested helmets in the dust. Then with what trivial weapon came to hand, The jaw of his dead ass, his sword of bone, A thousand fore-skins fell, the flow'r of Palestine, In Ramath-lechi famous to this day.

145 Then by main force pulld up, and on his shoulders The gates of Azza, poft, and massy bar, (bore Up to the hill by Hebron, seat of giants old, No journey of a sabbath-day, and loaded so; Like whom the Gentiles feign to bear up Heaven. 150 Which shall I first bewail, Thy bondage or loft sight, Prison within prison Inseparably dark? Thou art become (0 worst imprisonment!) 155 The dungeon of thyself; thy soul (Which men enjoying light oft without cause comImprison'd now indeed,

plain) In real darkness of the body dwells, Shut up from outward light

160 T'incorporate with gloomy night;


For inward light alas
Puts forth no visual beam.
O mirror of our fickle state,
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

170 Whom long descent of birth Or the sphere of fortune raises; But thee whose strength, while virtue was her mate, Might have subdued the earth, Universally crown' with highest praises. 175

Sams. I hear the sound of words, their sense the air Dissolves unjointed ere it reach my ear.

Chor. He speaks,let us draw nigh.Matchlessin might, The glory late of Israel, now the grief; We come thy friends and neighbours not unknown From Eshtaol and Zora's fruitful vale

181 To visit or bewail thee, or if better, Counsel or consolation we may bring, Salve to thy sores; apt words have pow'r to swage The tumors of a troubled mind,

185 And are as balm to fester'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


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Bear in their superscription, (of the most 190
I would be understood) in prosp'rous days
They swarm, but in adverse withdraw their head,
Not to be found, though sought. Ye see, O Friends,
How many evils have inclos'd me round;
Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me, 195
Blindness, for had I sight, confus’d with shame,
How could I once look up, or heave the head,
Who like a foolish pilot have shipwrack'd
My vessel trusted to me from above,
Gloriously rigg'd; and for a word, a tear,
Fool, have divulg’d the secret gift of God
To a deceitful woman? tell me, Friends,
Am I not sung and proverb'd for a fool

street? do they not say, how well
Are come upon him his deserts? yet why? 205
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; wiseft men Have err'd, and by bad women been deceiv'd; And shall again, pretend they ne'er so wise. Deject not then so overmuch thyself, Who haft of sorrow thy full load besides; Yet truth to say, I oft have heard men wonder 215 Why thou shouldst wed Philistian women rather Than of thine own tribe fairer, or as fair,


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