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When to their sports they turn'd. Immediately 1615
Was Samson as a public servant brought,
In their state livery clad; before him pipes
And timbrels, on each side went armed guards,
Both horse and foot, before him and behind
Archers, and slingers, cataphracts and spears. 1620
At sight of him the people with a shout
Rifted the air, clamoring their God with praise,
Who' had made their dreadful enemy their thrall.
He patient but undaunted where they led him,
Came to the place, and what was set before him,
Which without help of eye might be assay'd, 1625
To heave, pull, draw, or break, he still perform'd
All with incredible, stupendious force,
None daring to appear antagonist.
At length for intermission fake they led him 1630
Between the pillars; he his guide requested
(For so from such as nearer stood we heard)
As over-tir'd to let him lean a while
With both his arms on those two massy pillars,
That to the arched roof gave main support. 1635
He unsuspicious led him; which when Samson
Felt in his arms, with head a while inclin'd,
And
eyes

fast fix'd he stood, as one who pray'd,
Or some great matter in his mind revolv’d:
At last with head erect thus cry'd aloud, 1640
Hitherto, Lords, what your commands impos’d
I have perform’d, as reason was, obeying,

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Not without wonder or delight beheld:
Now of my own accord such other trial
I I mean to show you of my strength, yet greater; 1645
As with amaze shall strike all who behold.
This utter'd, ftraining all his nerves he bow'd,
As with the force of winds and waters pent,
When mountains tremble, those two masly pillars
With horrible convulsion to and fro,

1650
He tugg’d, he shook, till down they came and drew
The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder
Upon the heads of all who sat beneath,
Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors, or priests,
Their choice nobility and flow'r, not only 1635
Of this but each Philiftian city round
Met from all parts to solemnize this feast.
Samson with these immix’d, inevitably
Pull’d down the fame destruction on himself;
The vulgar only scap'd who stood without. 1661

Chor. O dearly-bought revenge, yet glorious!
Living or dying thou hast fulfill'd
The work for which thou wast foretold
To Israel, and now ly'st victorious
Among thy slain self-kill'd

1665
Not willingly, but tangled in the fold
Of dire necessity, whose law in death conjoin'd
Thee with thy slaughter'd foes in number more
Than all thy life had slain before.

(lime, Semichor. While their hearts were jocond and sub

Drunk

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Drunk with idolatry, drunk with wine, 1671
And fat regorg'd of bulls and goats,
Chaunting their idol, and preferring
Before our living Dread who dwells
In Silo his bright sanctuary:

1675
Among them he a spirit of phrenzy sent,
Who hurt their minds,
And urg'd them on with mad desire
To call in haste for their destroyer;
They only set on sport and play

1680
Unweetingly importun'd
Their own destruction to come speedy upon them.
So fond are mortal men
Fall'n into wrath divine,
As their own ruin on themselves t'invite, 1685
Insensate left, or to sense reprobate,
And with blindness internal struck.

Semichor. But he though blind of fight,
Despis'd and thought extinguish'd quite,
With inward eyes illuminated,

1690
His fiery virtue rous’d
From under ashes into sudden flame,
And as an evening dragon came,
Assailant on the perched roofts,
And nests in order rang'd

1695
Of tame villatic fowl; but as an eagle
His cloudless thunder bolted on their heads.
So virtue giv'n for loft,

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Depress’d, and overthrown, as seem’d,
Like that self-begotten bird

1700
In the Arabian woods imbost,
That no second knows nor third,
And lay ere while a holocaust,
From out her ashy womb now teem'd,
Revives, reflorishes, then vigorous most

1705 When most unactive deem'd, And though her body die, her fame furvives A fecular bird

ages

of lives. Man. Come, come, no time for lamentation now, Nor much more cause; Samson hath quit himself Like Samson, and heroicly hath finish'd 1710 A life heroic, on his enemies Fully reveng’d, hath left them years of mourning, And lamentation to the sons of Caphtor Through all Philistian bounds; to Israel Honor hath left, and freedom, let but them 1715 Find courage to lay hold on this occasion; To' himself and father's house eternal fame; And which is best and happiest yet, all this With God not parted from him, as was fear’d, But favoring and assisting to the end.

1720 Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail Or knock the breast, no weakness, no contempt, Dispraise, or blame, nothing but well and fair, And what may quiet us in a death so noble. Let us go find the body where it lies

1725 Sok'd

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Sok'd in his enemies blood, and from the stream
With lavers pure and cleansing herbs wash off
The clotted gore.

I with what speed the while
(Gaza is not in plight to say us nay)

1730
Will send for all my kindred, all my friends,
To fetch him hence, and solemnly attend
With silent obsequy and funeral train
Home to his father's house: there will I build him
A monument, and plant it round with shade

1735
Of laurel ever green, and branching palm,
With all his trophies hung, and acts inroll'd
In copious legend, or sweet lyric song.
Thither shall all the valiant youth resort,
And from his memory inflame their breasts

1740
To matchless valor, and adventures high:
The virgins also shall on feastful days
Visit his tomb with flow'rs, only bewailing
His lot unfortunate in nuptial choice,
From whence captivity and loss of eyes.

1745
Chor. All is best, though we oft doubt,
What th’ unsearchable dispose
Of highest wisdom brings about,
And ever best found in the close.
Oft he seems to hide his face,

1750
But unexpectedly returns,
And to his faithful champion hath in place
Bore witness gloriously; whence Gaza mourns
And all that band them to resist

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