« ZurückWeiter »
Chor. His giantship is gone somewhat crest-fallen,
Sams. I dread him not, nor all his giant brood,
Chor. He will directly to the lords, I fear,
Sams. He must allege some cause, and offered fight
They cannot well impose, nor I sustain,
If they intend advantage of my labours,
But come what will; my deadliest foe will prove
Chor. O, how comely it is, and how reviving
To quell the mighty of the earth, the oppressor,
Hardy and industrious to support
Tyrannic power, but raging to pursue
The righteous, and all such as honour truth!
And feats of war defeats,
With plain heroic magnitude of mind
Their armouries and magazines contemns,
With winged expedition
Swift as the lightning glance he executes
That tyranny or fortune can inflict.
Either of these is in thy lot,
Samson, with might endued
Above the sons of men; but sight bereaved
May chance to number thee with those
Whom patience finally must crown.
This Idol's day hath been to thee no day of rest,
Labouring thy mind
More than the working day thy hands.
And yet, perhaps, more trouble is behind ;
For I descry this way
Some other tending; in his hand
A public officer, and now at hand.
Off. Ebrews, the prisoner Samson here I seek.
Off. Samson, to thee our lords thus bid me say: This day to Dagon is a solemn feast,
With sacrifices, triumph, pomp, and games;
Sams. Thou know'st I am an Ebrew; therefore tell them
My presence; for that cause I cannot come.
Off. This answer, be assured, will not content then.
To make them sport with blind activity?
Do they not seek occasion of new quarrels,
Or make a game of my calamities?
Off. My message was imposed on me with speed,
Sams. So take it with what speed thy message needs.
Off. I am sorry what this stoutness will produce. Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sorrow indeed. Consider, Samson; matters now are strained. Up to the highth, whether to hold or break.
He's gone, and who knows how he may report
Vaunting my strength in honour to their Dagon?
Sams. Not in their idol-worship, but by labour
Honest and lawful to deserve my food
What act more execrably unclean, profane?
Chor. Yet with this strength thou serv'st the Philistines, Idolatrous, uncircumcised, unclean.
Of those who have me in their civil power.
Chor. Where the heart joins not, outward acts defile not. Sams. Where outward force constrains, the sentence holds: But who constrains me to the temple of Dagon, Not dragging? The Philistian lords command: Commands are no constraints. If I obey them, I do it freely, venturing to displease God for the fear of man, and man prefer, Set God behind; which, in his jealousy, Shall never, unrepented, find forgiveness. Yet that he may dispense with me, or thee, Present in temples at idolatrous rites
For some important cause, thou need'st not doubt.
Chor. How thou wilt here come off surmounts my reach. Sams. Be of good courage; I begin to feel Some rousing motions in me, which dispose To something extraordinary my thoughts. I with this messenger will go along— Nothing to do, be sure, that may dishonour Our Law, or stain my vow of Nazarite. If there be aught of presage in the mind, This day will be remarkable in my life By some great act, or of my days the last. Chor. In time thou hast resolved:
Off. Samson, this second message from our lords
Sams. I could be well content to try their art,
Masters' commands come with a power resistless
Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply
Off. I praise thy resolution. Doff these links: