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But what avail'd this temp’rance, 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, quelld,
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
Consume me, and oft-invocated death

575 Hasten the welcome end of all my pains.

MANOAH. Wilt thou then serve the Philistines with that gift shave his head. See Numb. vi. 569. -clust'ring] See the notes Amos ii. 12. Richardson.

on Par. Lost, iv. 303. E. 566. But to sit idle on the 571. -craze my limbs] He household hearth, &c.] It is sup- uses the word crare much in posed, with probability enough, the same manner as in the Parathat Milton chose Samson for his dise Lost, xii. 210. where see the subject, because he was fellow- note; and I would always resufferer with him in the loss of commend it to the reader, when his eyes; however one may ven- an uncommon word especially ture to say, that the similitude of occurs in two or more different their circumstances in this respect places, to compare the places has enriched the poem with seve- together for the better underral very pathetic descriptions of standing of our author. the misery of blindness. Thyer.



Which was expressly giv'n thee to annoy them?
Better at home lie bed-rid, 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 tallay
After the brunt of battle, can as easy
Cause light again within thy eyes to spring,
Wherewith to serve him better than thou hast ;
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.

All otherwise to me my thoughts portend, 590
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,

581. But God who caus'd a jaw: but Milton says that God

fountain at thy prayer caused a fountain from the dry From the dry ground to spring, ground to spring: and herein he &c.]

follows the Chaldee paraphrast Judges xv. 18, 19. And he was and the best commentators, who sore athirst, and called on the understand it that God made a Lord, and said, Thou hast given cleft in some part of the ground this great deliverance into the hand or rock, in the place called Lehi, of thy servant, and now shall I Lehi signifying both a jaw and a die for thirst, and fall into the place so called. hund of the uncircumcised ? But 588. His might continues &c.] God clave an hollow place that A fine preparative, which raises was in the jaw, and there came our expectation of some great water thereout; and when he had event to be produced by his drunk, his spirit came again, and strength. Warburton. he revived. We see that Milton 594. So much I feel my genial differs from our translation. Our spirits droop, &c.] Here Milton translation says that God clave in the person of Samson describes an hollow place that was in the exactly his own case, what he

My hopes all flat, nature within me seems

595 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.

MANOAH. Believe not these suggestions which proceed From anguish of the mind and humours black, 600 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: mean while be calm, And healing words from these thy friends admit.

605 SAMSON. O that torment should not be confin'd To the body's wounds and sores, With maladies innumerable In heart, head, breast, and reins ; felt, and what he thought in duces Satan in the shape of a some of his melancholy hours. toad at the ear of Eve. iv. 804. He could not have wrote so well

Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint but from his own feeling and Th' animal spirits &c. experience, and the very flow of the verses is melancholy, and ex

So again in the Mask, cellently adapted to the subject. As Mr. Thyer expresses it, there

And settlings of a melancholy blood. is a remarkable solemnity and

Thyer. air of melancholy in the very

606. O that torment should not sound of these verses, and the be confin'd &c.] Milton, no doubt, reader will find it very difficult was apprehensive that this long to pronounce them without that description of Samson's grief and grave and serious tone of voice misery might grow tedious to which is proper for the occasion. the reader, and therefore here

600. -and humours black, with great judgment varies both

That mingle with thy fancy.] his manner of expressing it and This very just notion of the the versification. These sudden mind or fancy's being affected, starts of impatience are very naand as it were tainted, with the tural to persons in such circumvitiated humours of the body, stances, and this rough and unMilton had before adopted in his equal measure of the verses is Paradise Lost, where he intro- very well suited to it. Thyer.

'tis but the lees



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 stings
Mangle my apprehensive tenderest parts,
Exasperate, exulcerate, and raise
Dire inflammation, which no cooling herb
Or medicinal liquor can asswage,
Nor breath of vernal air from snowy Alp.



623. Thoughts my tormentors than as we commonly pronounce arm'd with deadly stings

it medicinal with the accent upon Mangle &c.]

the last syllable but two, or This descriptive imagery is fine med'cinal as Milton has used it and well pursued. The idea is in the Mask. The same musical taken from the effects of poison- pronunciation occurs in Shakeous salts in the stomach and speare. Othello, act v. sc. 10. bowels, which stimulate, tear,

Drop tears as fast as the Arabian inflame, and exulcerate the tender fibres, and end in a mortification,

Their medicinal gum. which he calls death's benumbing

628. --from snowy Alp.] He opium, as in that stage the pain uses Alp for mountain in general

, Warburton.

as in the Paradise Lost, ii. 620. 627. Or medicinal liquor can

O'er asswage,] Here medicinal is pro- many a frozen, many a fiery Alp. nounced with the accent upon Alp in the strict etymology of the last syllable but one, as in the word signifies a mountain Latin: which is more musical white with snow. We have in


is over.



Sleep hath forsook and giv'n me o'er
To death's benumbing opium as my only cure:
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 heav'nly 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 th' uncircumcis’d, 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 or 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,



deed appropriated the name to &c.] This part of Samson's the high mountains which sepa- speech is little more than a reperate Italy from France and Ger- tition of what he had said before, many; but any high mountain ver. 23. may be so called, and so Sido

O wherefore was my birth from nius Apollinaris calls mount heav'n foretold Athos, speaking of Xerxes cut- Twice by an angel &c. ting through it, Carmen ii. 510.

But yet it cannot justly be imcui ruptus Athos, cui remige Medo puted as a fault to our author. Turgida sylvosam currebant vela per Grief though eloquent is not tied Alpem.

to forms, and is besides apt in And the old Glossary interprets its own nature frequently to recur Alps by ognólinna high mountains. to and repeats its source and

633 1 was his nursling once object. Thyer.

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