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And number'a down: much rather I shall choose
Chorus. Fathers ale wont to lay up for their son's,
Manoah. It shall be my delight to tend his eyes, And View him sitting in the house, ennobled With all those high exploits by him achiev'd, And on his shoulders waving down those locks That of a nation arm'd the strength contain'd: And I persuade me, God hath not permitted His strength again to grow up with his hair, Garrison'd round about him like a camp Of faithful soldiery, were not his purpose To use him further yet in some great service; Not to sit idle with so great a gift Useless, and thence ridiculous about him. And since his strength with eye-sight was not lost, God will restore him eye-sigħt to his strength. Chorus. Thy hopes are not ill founded, nor seem
Of his delivery, and thy joy thereon
what noise !
Chorus. Noise call you it, or universal groan, As if the whole inhabitation perish'd! Blood, death, and deathful deeds, are in that noise, Ruin, destruction at the utmost point. Manoah. Of ruin indeed methought I heard the
noise : Oh! it continues, they have slain my son. Chorus. Thy son is rather slaying them; that
outcry From slaughter of one foe could not ascend.
Manoah. Some dismal accident it needs must be,
He now be dealing dole among his foes, ; And over heaps of slaughter'd walk his way? Manoah. That were a joy presumptuous to be
thought. Chorus. Yet God hath wrought things as in
credible For his people of old: what hinders now?' Manoah. He can, I know, but doubt to think he
will.; Yet hope would fain subscribe, and tempts belief. A little stay will bring some notice hither. ... Chorus. Of good or bad so great, of bad the
• Enter MESSENGER. Messenger. O whither shall I run, or which
way fly . The sight of this so horrid spectacle, Which erst my eyes beheld, and yet behold? For dire imagination still pursues me. But providence or instinct of nature seems, Or reason though disturb’d, and scarce consulted, To have guided me aright, I know not how, To thee first, reverend Manoah, and to these My countrymen, whom here I knew remaining,
As at some distance from the place of horrour, So in the sad erent too much concern’d. · Manoah. The accident was loud, and here be
fore thee With rueful cry, yet what it was we hear not; No preface needs, thou seest we long to know. Messenger. It would burst forth, but I recover
· breath And sense distract, to know well what I utter. : Manoah. Tell us the sum, the circumstance
defer. Messenger. Gaza yet stands, but all her sons are
fallen, All in a moment overwhelm'd and fallen. Manoah. Sad, but thou know'st to Israelites not
saddest The desolation of a hostile city. Messenger. Feed on that first; there may in grief
That still lessens
Manoah. Suspense in news is torture, speak them.
out. Messenger. Take then the worst in brief, Samson
is dead. Manoah. The worst indeed ! O all my hopes de
feated To free him bence! but death, who sets all free, Hath paid his ransom now and full discharge. What windy joy this day had I conceiv'd Hopeful of his delivery, which now proves Abortive as the first-born bloom of spring Nipt with the lagging rear of winter's frost ! Yet ere I give the reins to grief, say first, How died he; death to life is crown or shame... All by him fell, thou say'st; by whom fell he? What glorious hand gave Samson his death's wound ?
Messenger. Unwounded of his enemies he fell. Manoah. Wearied with slaughter then, or how?
explain. Messenger. By his own hands. Manoah,
Self-violence? what cause Brought him so soon at variance with himself Among his foes ? : · Messenger. . Inevitable cause At once both to destroy, and be destroy'd; The edifice, where all were met to see him, Upon their heads and on his own he pull'd.
Manoak. O lastly over-strong against thyself! A dreadful way thou took’st to thy revenge.