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More than enough we know; but while things yet
Are in confufion, give us if thou canst,
Eye-witness of what first or last was done,
Relation more particular and distinct.
Meff. Occasions drew me early to this City,
And as the gates I enter'd with Sun-rise,
The morning Trumpets Festival proclaim'd
Through each high street: little had I dispatch'd,
When all abroad was rumour'd that this day
Samson should be brought forth to shew the people
Proof of his mighty strength in feats and games ;
I forrow'd at his captive ftate, but minded
Not to be abfent at that spectacle.
The building was a spacious Theatre
Half-round on two main Pillars vaulted high,
With seats where all the Lords and each degree
Of fort, might fit in order to behold,
The other side was op'n, where the throng
On banks and scaffolds under Skie might ftand,
I among those aloof obscurely stood. ...
The Feaft and noon grew high, and Sacrifice
Had filled their hearts with mirth,high chearandwines
When co their sports they turn'd.. Immediately is
Was Samson as a publick servant broughty
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.
At sight of him the people with a shout
Rifted the Air clamouring 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,
To heave, pull, draw, and break he still perform'd
All with incredible, stupendious force,
None daring to appear Antagonist.
At length for intermission fake they led him
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
Wich both his arms on those two maslie Pillars
That to the arched roof gave main support,
He unsuspicious led him; which when Samson
Felt in his arms, with head a while inclin'd,
And eyes fast fixt he stood as one who pray’d,
great matter in his mind revoly'd.
At last with Head erect thus cry'd aloud,
Hitherto, Lords, what your commands impos'd
I have perform’d, as reason was, obeying,
Nor without wonder or delight beheld.
Now of my own accord such other tryal
I mean to shew you of my strength, yet greater;
As with amazc shall strike all who behold.
This utter'd, straining all his nerves he bow'd,
As with the force of winds and waters pent,
When Mountains tremble, those two massie Pillars
With horrible confusion to and fro,
He tuggʻd, he took, 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, Councellors, or Priests,
Their choice Nobility and flower, not only
Of this but each Philistian City round
Met from all parts to folemnize this Feaft.
Samson with these immixt, inevitably
Pull'd down the same destruction on himself;
The' vulgar only scap'd who stood withaut.
Chor. O dearly-bought revenge, yet glorious!
Living or dying thou hast fulfilled
The work for which thou waft foretold
To Israel, and now ly'st victorious
Among thy slain self-kill'd
Not willingly, but tangl'd 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.
Semichór. While their hearts were jocond and Drunk with Idolatry, drunk with Wine,
[sublime, And fat regorgʻd of Bulls and Goats, Chaunting their Idol, and preferring Before our living Dread who dwells In Silo his bright Sanctuary: Among them he a spirit of phrenzie 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 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 invite,
Insensate left, or to sense reprobate,
And with blindness internal struck.
Semichor. But he though blind of sight,
Despis’d and thought extinguish'd quite,
With inward eyes illuminated
His fiery virtue rouz’d
From under ashes into sudden flame,
And as ey’ning Dragon came,
Assailant on the perched roosts,
And nefts in order rang'd
Of tame villatick Fowl; but as an Eagle
His cloudless thunder bolted on their heads.
So virtue giv'n for loft,
Deprest, and overthrown, as seem'd,
Like that self-begott'n Bird
In the Arabian woods embost,
That no second knows nor third,
And lay e'er while a Holocauft,
From out her ashie womb now teem'd,
Revives, reflourishes, then vigorous most
When most unactive deem'd,