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She all in every part; why was the sight
To such a tender ball as the eye confined,
So obvious and so easy to be quench’d?
And not, as feeling, through all parts diffused,
That she might look at will through every pore?
Then had I not been thus exil'd from light
As in the land of darkness, yet in light,
To live a life half dead, a living death,
And buried; but, O yet more miserable!
My self my sepulchre, a moving grave;
Buried, yet not exempt,
By privilege of death and burial,
From worst of other evils, pains and wrongs ;
But made hereby obnoxious more
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 to insult,
Their daily practice to afflict me more.
Cho. This, this is he; softly awhile ;
Let us not break in upon him :
O change beyond report, thought, or belief!
See how he lies at random, carelessly diffused,
With languish'd head unpropp'd,
As one past hope, abandon’d,
And by himself given over ;
In slavish habit, iii-titted weeds
O’erworn and soil'd;
Or do my eyes misrepresent? Can this be he,
That heroick, that renown'd,
Irresistible Samson? whom unarm’d
No strength of man, or fiercest wild beast, could withstand;
Who tore the lion, as the lion tears the kid;
Ran on embattel’d armies clad in iron ;
And, weaponless himself,
Made arms ridiculous liseless the forgery
Of brazen shield and spear, the hammer'd cuirass,
Chalybean temper'd steel, and frock of mail
118. Diffused. This beautiful applica- | And again, tion of diffusel, Milton has taken from There he him found all carelessly displaid the Latin, fusus, and diffusus. No one English word, and hardly any combina- So Akensidetion of words, can express its full, po
-But Waller longs culiar, and luscious meaning, which is,
To spread his careless limbs amid the cool
or plantane shades, &c. as near as I can define it, stretched upon the ground with relaxed and careless limbs. 133. Chalybean. The Chalybes were a Spenser says
people of Pontus, famous for their iron Pour'd out in looseness on the grassy ground, works.
But safest he who stood aloof,
When insupportably his foot advanced,
In scorn of their proud arms and warlike vools,
Spurn’d them to death by troops. The bold Ascalonite
Fled from his lion ramp; old warriours turn'd
Their plated backs under his heel;
Or, grovelling, 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 foreskins fell, the flower of Palestine,
In Ramath-lechi, famous to this day.
Then by main force pull'd up, and on his shoulders bore
The gates of Azza, post, and massy bar,
Up to the hill by Hebron, seat of giants old,
No journey of a sabbath-day, and loaded so ;
Like whom the Gentiles feign to bear up heaven.
Which shall I first bewail,
Thy bondage or lost sight.
Prison within prison
Thou art become (0 worst imprisonment!)
The dungeon of thyself; thy soul,
(Which men enjoying sight oft without cause complain,)
Imprison'd now indeed,
In real darkness of the body dwells,
Shut up from outward light
To incorporate with gloomy night;
For inward light, alas !
Puts forth no visual beam.
O mirrour of our fickle state!
Since man on earth unparallel’d,
The rarer thy example stands,
By how much from the top of wondrous glory,
Strongest of mortal men,
To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fallen.
For him I reckon not in high estate,
Whom long descent of birth,
Or the sphere of fortune raises ;
But thee, whose strength, while virtue was her mate,
Might have subdued the earth,
Universally crown'd with highest praises.
Sams. I hear the sound of words; their sense the air
Dissolves unjointed ere it reach my ear.
Cho. He speaks: let us draw nigh. Matchless in might,
The glory late of Israel, now the grief,
138. Ascalonite: An inhabitant of Ascalon.
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 power to swage
The tumours of a troubled 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 prosperous days
They swarm, but in advérse withdraw their head,
Not to be found, though sought. Ye see, O friends,
How many evils have inclosed me round;
Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me,
Blindness; for had I sight, confused with shame,
How could I once look up, or heave the head,
Who like a foolish pilot, have shipwreck'd
My vessel trusted to me from above,
Gloriously rigg’d; and for a word, a tear,
Fool! have divulged the secret gift of God
To a deceitful woman? tell me, friends,
Am I not sung and proverb'd for a fool
In every street? do they not say, how well
Are come upon him his deserts? yet why?
Immeasurable strength they might behold
In me, of wisdom nothing more than mean:
This with the other should, at least, have pair'd;
These two, proportion’d ill, drove me transverse.
Cho. Tax not divine disposal; wisest men
Have err'd, and by bad women been deceived;
And shall again, pretend they ne'er so wise.
Deject not then so overmuch thyself,
Who hast of sorrow thy full load besides:
Yet, truth to say, I oft have heard men wonder
Why thou shouldst wed Philistian women 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 Timna, and she pleased
181. Eshtaol and Zora were two towns dissatisfaction his first wife had conceived of the tribe of Dan-Josh. xix. 41-the at her husband's unsocial and philo latter Samson's birthplace. They were sophical system of life, so different from both in the valley, (Josh. xv. 33,) and the convivial cheerfulness and plenty of
herefore Milton, with his unerring pre- her father's family, it is probable ihat cision in the use of epithets, speaks of the quarrel was owing to party, which their fruitful rale.
also inight operate mutually. But when 184. Salve to thy sores. So Sidney, in Cromwell proved victorious, her father, his Arcadia : “But no outward cherish- who had taken a very forward part in ing could salve the inward sore of her assisting the king, finding his affairs fallmind."
ing into distress, for prudential reasons 219. The first I saw at Timna. None strove to bring about an agreement be of the crities have observed that Milton tween the separated couple. And thus here alludes to some of the particulars the reconcilintion was interested; nor of his first match. To say nothing of the was it effected but by her unsolicited and
Me, not my parents, that I sought to wed
The daughter of an infidel: they knew not
That what I motion'd was of God; I knew
From intimate impúlse, and therefore urged
The marriage on; that by occasion hence
I might begin Israel's deliverance,
The work to which I was divinely call’d.
She proving false, the next I took to wife
(O, that I never had ! fond wish too late !)
Was in the vale of Sorec, Dalila,
That specious monster, my accomplish'd snare.
I thought it lawful from my former act,
And the same end; still watching to oppress
Israel's oppressours: of what now I suffer
She was not the prime cause, but I myself,
Who, vanquish'd with a peal of words, (0, weakness!) 235
Gave up my fort of silence to a woman.
Cuo. In seeking just occasion to provoke
The Philistine, thy country's enemy,
Thou never wast remiss, I bear thee witness:
Yet Israel still serves with all his sons.
Sams. That fault I take not on me, but transfer
On Israel's governours and heads of tribes,
Who, seeing those great acts which God had done
Singly by me against their conquerours,
Acknowledged not, or not at all consider’d,
Deliverance offer'd: I on the other side,
Used no ambition to commend my deeds ;
The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the doer;
But they persisted deaf, and would not seem
To count them things worth notice, till at length
Their lords the Philistines with gather'd powers
Enter'd Judea seeking me, who then
Safe to the rock of Etham was retired;
Not flying, but forecasting in what place
To set upon them, what advantaged best:
Meanwhile the men of Judah, to prevent
The harass of their land, beset me round:
I willingly on some conditions came
Into their hands, and they as gladly yield me
To the uncircumcised a welcome prey,
Bound with two cords; but cords to me were threads
Touch'd with the flame: on their whole host I flew
Unarm’d, and with a trivial weapon fell’d
apparently humble submission, and after “partly from his own generous nature, the most earnest intreaties, which the more inclinable to reconciliation than to husband for some time resisted. And I perseverance in anger and revenge."think it clear, that Milton's own experi- T. WARTON. ence in the course of this marriage, fur- 226. Divinely: Latin, divinitus. nished the substance of the gentiments 230. Accomplish'd snare: Ironical. in another speech of Samsun, lines 750– 217. Ambition, in the sense of the Latin 763. Phillips says that Milton was in ambitio, “a going around to gain favour" elined to pardon his repudiated bride 253. Rock of Etham. Judges xv. 8.
Their choicest youth; they only lived who fled.
Had Judah that day join’d, or one whole tribe,
They had by this possess'd the towers of Gath,
And lorded over them whom now they serve:
But what more oft, in nations grown corrupt
And by their vices brought to servitude,
Than to love bondage more than liberty,
Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty;
And to despise, or envy, or suspect
Whom God hath of his special favour raised
As their deliverer? if he aught begin,
How frequent to desert him,
and at last
To heap ingratitude on worthiest deeds ?
Cho. Thy words to my remembrance bring
How Succoth and the fort of Penuel
Their great deliverer contemn’d,
The matchless Gideon, in pursuit
Of Madian and her vanquish'd kings:
And how ingrateful Ephraim
Had dealt with Jephthah, who by argument,
Not worse than by his shield and
Defended Israel from the Ammonite,
Had not his prowess quell’d their pride
In that sore battel, when so many died
Without reprieve, adjudged to death,
For want of well pronouncing Shibboleth.
Sams. Of such examples add me to the roll;
Me easily indeed mine may neglect,
But God's proposed deliverance not so.
Cho. Just are the ways of God,
And justifiable to men;
Unless there be who think not God at all:
If any be, they walk obscure;
For of such doctrine never was there school,
But the heart of the fool,
And no man therein doctor but himself.
Yet more there be who doubt his ways not just,
As to his own edícts found contradicting,
Then give the reins to wandering thought,
Regardless of his glory's diminution;
Till, by their own perplexities involved,
They ravel more, still less resolved,
But never find self-satisfying solution.
As if they would confine the Interminable,
And tie him to his own prescript,
Who made our laws to bind us, not himself,
And hath full right to exempt
278. Succoth. See Judges viii. +9. this conceit; and it appears the worse, as
282. Ephraim. See Judges xi. 15-27, this speech of the Chorus is of so serious and xi 1-6.
a nature, and filled with so many deep 299. And no man, &c. There is some- and solemn truths.-TUYER. thing rather too quaint and fanciful in