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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, j
Their daily practice to afflict me more.
Chor. This, this is hej softly a while,
Let us not break in upon him}
O change beyond report, thought or belief!
See how he lies at random, carelefly disfus'd,
With languish'd head unpropt,
And one past hope, abandon'd,
And by himself given over } v .
In slavish habit, ill-fitted weeds
O'er-worn and soil'd }
Or do my eyes misrepresent? Can this be he,
That Heroick, that Renown'd,
Irresistible Samson? whomunarm'd [withstand-
No strength of man, or fiercest wild beast could
Who tore the Lion, *s the Lion tears the Kid,
Ran on imbattl'd Annies clad in Iron,
And weaponless himself,
Made Arms ridiculous, useless the forgery
r Of brazen Shield and Spear, the hammer'd Cuirass,
Qhalybean temper'd steel, and frock of mail
But safest he who stood aloof,
When insupportably his foot. advane'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 \J**e
Their plated backs under his heel j ,; .
Or grov'ling soil'd their crested helmets in the dust.
Then with what trivial weapon came to hand,
The Jaw of a dead Ass, his sword of bone,
A thousand fore-skins fell* the flow'r oiTalestm
In Ramath-lechi famous to this day:
Then by main force puU'd up.and on hisshoulders, bore
The Gates of Azza} Post, and mastie Bar
Up to the Hill by Hebron^ feat of Giants old,
No journey of a Sabbath-day, and loaded so } ., , y
Like whom the Gentile&fejgn to bear, up Heay'n.
Which mail I first bewail, _\, ;;i ,•;..:
Thy Bondage or lost Sight, ,.- .'n. . .V .-; •-: }
Prison within Prison
Thou arc become (O worst imprisonment!)
The Dungeon of thy self j thy Soul [plain'dj
(Which Men enjoying sight oft without cause com*
Imprison'd now indeed*
In real darkness of the body dwells*
Shut up from outward light ,
T'incorporate with gloomy night j
For inward light alas
Puts forth no visual bearh.
O mirror of our fickle state,
Since man on earth unparallel'd?
The rarer thy example stands,
By how much from the top of wond'rous 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 sphear of fortune raises}
But thee whose strength, while virtue was her mate5/
Might have subdu'd the Earth,
Universally crown'd with highest praises. .
Sams. I here the sound of words, their sense the' air Dillblves unjointed e'er it reach my ear. * Chor. He spake, let us draw nrgh.Matchless in might* The glory late of Israeli now the grief, We come thy friends and neighbours not unknown From Eshtaol and Zora's fruitful Vale 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 tumours of a troubl'd mind, 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 Bear in their Superscription (of the most 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 enclos'd me round } Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me, 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 flripwreck'd
My Vessel trusted to me from above,
Gloriously rigg'dj and for a word, a tear,
Fool, have divulg'd the secret gift of God
To a deceitful Woman y tell me, Friends,
Am I not fung and proverb'd for a Fool
In cv^y street,' do they not fay, how well
Are come upon him his deserts? yet why?
Immeasurable strength they might behold
In me, of wisdom nothing more than mean j
This with the other should, at least, havepair'd*
These two proportions ill drove me transverse.
Chor. Tax not divine disposal: wisest Men
Haveerr'd, and by bad Women beendeceiv'd j
And shall again, pretend they ne'er so wise.
Deject not then so overmuch thy self,
Who hast of sorrow thy full load besides 3
Yet truth to fay, I oft have heard men wonder
Why thou shouldst wed Thilijiian Woman rather
Than of thine own Tribe fairer, or as fair,
At least of thy own Nation, and as noble.
Sams. The first I saw at 7/w#<ar, and she pleas'd Me, not my Parents, that I sought to wed, . The daughter of an Infidel} they knew not