Abbildungen der Seite



Within doors, or without, still as a fool
In power of others, never in my own;
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half.
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse
Without all hope of day!
O first created beam, and thou great Word,
· Let there be light, and light was over all;'
Why am I thus bereav'd thy prime decree ?
The sun to me is dark
And silent as the moon,
When she deserts the night,
Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.
Since light so necessary is to life,
And almost life itself, if it be true
That light is in the soul,
She all in every part; why was the sight
To such a tender ball as th' eye confin’d,
So obvious and so easy to be quench'd ?
And not as feeling, through all parts diffus’d,
That she might look at will through every pore ?
Then had I not been thus exild from light,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


87 silent] •Mediæque silentia lunæ.' Stat. Theb. ii. 58. tacito sub lumine Phæben.' Sil. Ital. xv. 566. Mr. Todd quotes Dante Inferno, c. 1. “Mi ripingeva là dove 'l sol tace. Mr. Dyce cites Shirley's Bird in a Cage, act iii. sc. 2. •As silent as the moon.'

89 cave] Claudiani Cons. Stilickonis, jii. 268. "Concepit luna cavernis.' Iliados Epitome, ed. Korten, ver. 875.

quantum vel in orbe mearet

Luna Cava
Lucret. iv. 392. 6 Ætheriis adfixa cavernis.'





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 !
Myself 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 t'insult,
Their daily practice to afflict me more.

Chor. This, this is he ; softly a while,
Let us not break in upon him ;
O change beyond report, thought, or belief!
See how he lies at random, carelessly diffus’d,
With languish'd head unpropp’d,
As one past hope, abandon'd,
And by himself given over;





[ocr errors]

100 a living death] Consult the note, in Mr. Todd's edition, for the frequent use of this expression, from Petrarch, and Shakespeare, and the old English poets.

a moving grave] · A living grave.' Sidney's Arcadia, p. 352. 'A walking grave.' Sir R. Howard's Vestal Virgin, 1665.

118 diffus'd] Sits diffus’d. Heywood's Troy, p. 314. Mr. Thyer quotes Ovid ex Ponto, iii. 3. 7.

Fusaque erant toto languida membra toro.' VOL. JI.



In slavish habit, ill-fitted weeds
O'er-worn and soil'd;
Or do my eyes misrepresent ? can this be he,
That heroic, that renown'd,
Irresistible Samson ? whom unarm'd
No strength of man or fiercest wild beast could

Who tore the lion, as the lion tears the kid,
Ran on imbattled armies clad in iron,
And, weaponless himself,

Made arms ridiculous, useless the forgery
Of brazen shield and spear, the hammer'd cuirass,
Chalybean temper'd steel, and frock of mail
Adamantean proof;
But safest he who stood aloof,

135 When insupportably his foot advanc'd, In scorn of their proud arms and warlike tools, Spurn'd them to death by troops. The bold Ascalonite Fled from his lion ramp; old warriors turn'd Their plated backs under his heel, Or grov’ling soild 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 fore-skins fell, the flower of Palestine In Ramath-lechi, famous to this day :

133 Chalybean] Virg. Georg. i. 58. Ov. Fast. iv. 405. Neuton.

134 Adamantean] Johnson thinks this word peculiar to Milton. Perhaps he coined it from Ovid. Met. vii. 104. Todd. 136 insupportably] Spens. F. Q. i. vii. 11.

he gan advance
With huge force, and insupportable main.' Thyer.


[ocr errors]

145 155

Then by main force pull’d up, and on his shoulders

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 heav'n. 150
Which shall I first bewail,
Thy bondage or lost sight,
Prison within prison
Inseparably dark?
Thou art become, (O worst imprisonment !)
The dungeon of thyself; thy soul,
(Which men enjoying sight oft without cause com-

Imprison'd now indeed,
In real darkness of the body dwells,
Shut up from outward light,
T'incorporate with gloomy night ;
For inward light, alas !
Puts forth no visual beam.
O mirror of our fickle state,
Since man on earth unparalleld!
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 fall’n.
For him I reckon not in high estate,



170 175

147 gates of Azza] Beaumont's Psyche, c. v. st. 71.

• With statelier might his brawnie shoulders bare Did Gaza's gates up Hebron's mountains wear.'

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.
Chor. He speaks, let us draw nigh. Matchless

in might, The glory late of Israel, now the grief, 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 balın 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



179 glory] Fletcher's Pisc. Eclogues, 1633, p. 27. ' his glory late, but now his shame.' Todd.

184 Salve to thy sores] This is one of the most common expressions in old English poetry. See Southwell's Mæonia, p. 21. Park's note

. to Heliconia, Part 1, p. 186. Billingsley's Divine Raptures, p. 67. Smith's Chloris, 1597. Byrd's Psalms, p. 11. Lydgate's Troy, p. 220. Gascoigne's Works, p. 14. 177. 230. 247. Beaumont's Psyche, c. xiii. st. 225; and Ellis's Specimens, ii. p. 15. 181 apt words] Æsch. Prom. Vinct. ver. 377. Hor. Epist. i. i. 34.

•Sunt verba et voces, quibus hunc lenire dolorem
Possis, et magnam morbi deponere partem.'

Thyer and Newton.


« ZurückWeiter »