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Full of divine instinct, after some proof
Of acts indeed heroic, far beyond

The sons of Anack, famous now and blaz'd,
Fearless of danger, like a petty God


I walk'd about, admir'd of all and dreaded,
On hostile ground, none daring my affront.
Then swoll'n with pride into the snare I fell
Of fair fallacious looks, venereal trains,
Soften'd with pleasure and voluptuous life;
At length to lay my head and hallow'd pledge 535
Of all my strength in the lascivious lap
Of a deceitful concubine, who shore me,
Like a tame wether, all my precious fleece,
Then turn'd me out ridiculous, despoil'd,
Shav'n, and disarm'd, among mine enemies.


CHOR. Desire of wine and all delicious drinks, Which many a famous warrior overturns, Thou could'st repress, nor did the dancing ruby Sparkling, out-pour'd, the flavour, or the smell, Or taste that cheers the heart of gods and men, Allure thee from the cool crystalline stream. SAMS. Wherever fountain or fresh current flow'd Against the eastern ray, translucent, pure, With touch etherial of heaven's fiery rod,

535 lay my head] Spens. F. Q. ii. vi. 14.

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545 cheers] Judges ix. 13. 'Wine which cheereth God and


549 touch] Lucr. iv. 409. 'Contingens fervidus igne.' Hor. Od. iii. xiii. 9. 'Aura canicula nescit tangere.' Sid. Apoll. xxiii. 94. 'fulminei tactus.'

I drank, from the clear milky juice allaying


Thirst, and refresh'd; nor envied them the grape, Whose heads that turbulent liquor fills with fumes. CHOR. O madness, to think use of strongest


And strongest drinks our chief support of health, When God with these forbidden made choice to rear His mighty champion, strong above compare, 556 Whose drink was only from the liquid brook.

SAMS. But what avail'd this temperance, not complete

Against another object more enticing?
What boots it at one gate to make defence,
And at another to let in the foe,

Effeminately vanquish'd? by which means, Now blind, dishearten'd, sham'd, dishonour'd, quell'd,

To what can I be useful, wherein serve


My nation, and the work from heav'n impos'd, 565
But to sit idle on the household hearth,
A burd'nous drone; to visitants a gaze,
Or pitied object, these redundant locks
Robustious to no purpose clust'ring down,
Vain monument of strength, till length of years 570
And sedentary numbness craze my limbs

To a contemptible old age obscure?

Here rather let me drudge and earn my bread, Till vermin or the draff of servile food

569 Robustious] Drayton's Baron's Warrs, 1627. c. v. st. 85. 'Cast from my seat, in some robustious course.' Todd.


Consume me, and oft invocated death
Hasten the welcome end of all my pains. [that gift


MAN. Wilt thou then serve the Philistines with
Which was expressly giv'n thee to annoy them?
Better at home lie bedrid, not only idle,
Inglorious, unemploy'd, with age outworn.
But God, who caus'd a fountain at thy prayer
From the dry ground to spring, thy thirst to allay
After the brunt of battle, can as easy

Cause light again within thy eyes to spring,
Wherewith to serve him better than thou hast; 585
And I persuade me so; why else this strength
Miraculous yet remaining in those locks?
His might continues in thee not for nought,
Nor shall his wondrous gifts be frustrate thus.

SAMS. All otherwise to me my thoughts portend,
That these dark orbs no more shall treat with light,
Nor th' other light of life continue long,
But yield to double darkness nigh at hand:
So much I feel my genial spirits droop;
My hopes all flat, nature within me seems
In all her functions weary of herself,
My race of glory run, and race of shame,
And I shall shortly be with them that rest.
MAN. Believe not these suggestions, which


From anguish of the mind and humours black, 600

597 race] May's Cleopatra, p. 48.

'My race of life, and glory is not run.'

That mingle with thy fancy. I however
Must not omit a father's timely care

To prosecute the means of thy deliverance
By ransom or how else: meanwhile be calm, 604
And healing words from these thy friends admit.
SAMS. O that torment should not be confin'd
To the body's wounds and sores,

With maladies innumerable

In heart, head, breast, and reins;
But must secret passage find

To th' inmost mind,

There exercise all his fierce accidents,
And on her purest spirits prey,

As on entrails, joints, and limbs,

With answerable pains, but more intense,
Though void of corporal sense.

My griefs not only pain me

As a ling'ring disease,

But, finding no redress, ferment and rage,

Nor less than wounds immedicable

Rankle, and fester, and gangrene,

To black mortification.





Thoughts my tormentors, arm'd with deadly

Mangle my apprehensive tenderest parts,
Exasperate, exulcerate, and raise

Dire inflammation, which no cooling herb,
Or medicinal liquor can asswage,

695 healing] Eurip. Hippol. v. 478.

Εἰσὶν δ' ἐπὼδαι, καὶ λόγοι θελκτήριοι.


627 Medicinal] Milton always spells this word 'Medcinal.'


Nor breath of vernal air from snowy Alp.
Sleep hath forsook and given me o'er

To death's benumbing opium as my only cure: 630 Thence faintings, swoonings of despair,

And sense of heav'n's desertion.

I was his nursling once, and choice delight,

His destin'd from the womb,

Promis'd by heavenly message twice descending:

Under his special eye

Abstemious I grew up, and thriv'd amain;

He led me on to mightiest deeds,

Above the nerve of mortal arm,

Against the uncircumcised, our enemies :
But now hath cast me off as never known,
And to those cruel enemies,

Whom I by his appointment had provok'd,
Left me all helpless with th' irreparable loss
Of sight, reserv'd alive to be repeated
The subject of their cruelty and scorn.
Nor am I in the list of them that hope;
Hopeless are all my evils, all remediless;
This one prayer yet remains, might I be heard,
No long petition, speedy death,

The close of all my miseries, and the balm.
CHOR. Many are the sayings of the wise,
In ancient and in modern books enroll'd,
Extolling patience as the truest fortitude;
And to the bearing well of all calamities,
All chances incident to man's frail life,
Consolatories writ






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