THE HISTORIE OF SAMSON:

Written By FRA: QVARLES.

LONDON, Printed by M. F. for IOHN MARRIOTT, in S. Dunstans Church-yard in Fleetstreet. 1631.

[...] [Page] for the time, but quickly leaves us to our former darknesse: The overtaken Lan­thorne is the true Friend; which, though it promise but a faint light, yet it goes a­long with us, as farre as it can, towards our Journies end: The offered Linke is the mercenary Friend; which, though it be ready enough to doe us service, yet that service hath a servile relation to our bountie. Sir; in the middle ranke I finde you, hating the first, and scorning the last; to whom, in the height of my undissem­bled assection, and unfained thankfulnes, I commend my selfe, and this booke, to re­ceive an equall censure, from your uncor­rupted judgement: In the Bud, it was yours; it blossomd, yours; and now, your favour able acceptance confirmes the fruit yours: All I crave, is, that you would be pleased to interpret these my intenti­ons [Page] to proceed from an ardent desire, that hath long beene in labour to expresse the true affections of him

That holds it an honor

to honor you

FRA: QVARLES.

TO THE READER.

THE tyranny of my Af­faires was never yet so imperious, but I could steale some howers to my private Meditations; the fruits of which stolne time I here present thee with, in the History of Samson: Wherein, if thy extreme severity checke at any thing, which thou conceivest may not stand with the majesty of this sacred Subject; know, that my intention was not to offend my brother: The wisest of Kings, inspired by the King of Wisedome, thought it no detraction from the gravity of his Holy Proverbs, to describe a Harlot like a Harlot, Her whorish Attire; her immodest Gesture, her bold Countenance; her flattring Tongue; her lascivious Embraces; her unchast Kisses; her impudent Invitations: If my descriptions in the like kinde, offend; I make no question but the validitie of my Warrant will give a reasonable satisfaction: Hee that lifts not his [Page] feet high enough, may easily stumble: But on the contrary, If any be, whose worse then Sacrilegious mindes shall prophane our harmelesse intentions with wanton conceits, to such I heartily wish, a Procul ite; Let none such looke farther then this Epistle, at their owne perils: If they doe, let them put off their shooes, for this is holy Ground: Foule hands will muddle the clearest waters: and base mindes will corrupt the purest Text: If any offence be taken, it is by way of stealth, for there is none willingly given: I write to Bees, and not to Spiders: They will suck pleasing hony from such flowers: These may burst with their owne poyson: But you, whose well-seasond hearts are not distempered with either of these extremities, but have the better rellish of a Sacred understanding; draw neere, and reade.

[Page] I Sing th' illustrious, and renowned story
Of mighty Samson; The eternall glory
Of his Heroicke acts: His life, His death:
Quicken my Muse with thy diviner breath,
Great God of Muses, that my prosp'rous rimes
May live and last to everlasting times;
That they unborne may, in this sacred story,
Admire thy goodnes, and advance thy glory.

THE HISTORIE OF SAMSON.

SECT. 1.

ARGVMENT.
A holy Angell doth salute
The wife of Manoah, and inlarge
Her barren wombe with promis'd fruit
Of both their loynes. The Angels charge.
WIthin the Tents of Zorah dwelt a man
Of Iacobs seed, and of the Tribe of Dan;
Knowne by the name of Manoah; to whom
Heaven had deni'd the treasure of the wombe;
His Wife was barren; And her prayres could not
Remove that great reproach, or clense that blot
Which on her fruitless name appear'd so foule,
Not to encrease the Tribe of Dan one soule:
Long had she, doubtles, stroven with heaven, by prayres
Made strong with teares and sighes; Hopes and despaires
No doubt had often tortur'd her desire
Vpon a Rock, compos'd of frost and fire:
[Page 2] But Heaven was pleas'd to turne His deafned eares
Against those prayres made strong with sighes and teares:
She often praid; but prayres could not obtaine:
Alas; she pray'd, she wept, she sigh'd in vaine:
She pray'd, no doubt; but prayres could finde no roome;
They proov'd, alas, as barren as her wombe.
Vpon a time (when her unanswer'd prayre
Had now given just occasion of despaire,
(Even when her bedrid faith was growne so fraile,
That very Hope grew heartlesse to prevaile)
Appear'dan Angel to her; In his face,
Terrour and sweetnesse labour'd for the place:
Sometimes, his Sun-bright eyes would shine so fierce,
As if their pointed beames would even pierce
Her soule, and strike th'amaz'd beholder dead:
Sometimes, their glory would dispeirce, and spread
More easie flames; and, like the Starre, that stood
O're Bethlem, promise and portend some good:
Mixt was his bright aspect; as if his breath
Had equall errands both of life and death:
Glory and Mildnesse seemed to contend
In his fayre eyes, so long, till in the end,
In glorious mildnesse, and in milder glory,
He thus salutes her with this pleasing story.
Woman; Heaven greets thee well: Rise up, and feare not;
Forbeare thy faithlesse tremblings; I appeare not
Clad in the vestments of consuming fire;
Cheare up, I have no warrant to enquire
Into thy sinnes; I have no Vyals here,
Nor dreadfull Thunderbolts to make thee feare:
[Page 3] I have no plagues t'inflict; nor is my breath
Charg'd with destruction; or my hand, with death.
No, no; cheare up; I come not to destroy;
I come to bring thee tydings of great joy:
Rowze up thy dull beliefe; for I appeare,
To exercise thy Faith, and not thy Feare:
The Guide, and great Creator of all things,
Chiefe Lord of Lords, and supreame King of Kings,
To whom an Host of men are but a swarme
Of murmring Gnats; whose high prevayling arme
Can crush ten thousand worlds, and at one blow
Can strike the earth to nothing, and ore-throw
The Losts of Heaven; he that hath the keyes
Of wombes; to shut, and ope them, when he please;
He that can all things, that he will, this day,
Is pleas'd to take thy long reproach away:
Behold; thy wombe's inlarg'd; and thy desires
Shall finde successe: Before long time expires,
Thou shalt conceive: Eretwise five months be runne,
Be thou the joyfull mother ef a sonne;
But see, thy wary palate doe forbeare
The juyce of the bewitching Grape; Beware,
Lest thy desires tempt thy lips to wine,
Which must be faithfull strangers to the Vine.
Strong drinke thou must not tast, and all such meate
The Law proclaimes uncleane, refraine to eate:
And when the fruit of thy restored wombe
Shall see the light, take heed no Rasor come
Vpon his fruitfull head; For from his birth,
Soone as the wombe entrusts him on the earth,
[Page 4] The child shall be a Nazarite, to God;
By whose appointment, he shall prove a Rod,
To scourge the proud Philistians; and recall
Poore suffring Israel from their slavish thrall.

MEDITAT. 1.

HOw impudent is Nature, to account
Those acts her owne, that doe so farre surmount
Her easie reach! How purblind are those eyes
Of stupid mortalls, that have power to rise
No higher then her lawes, who takes upon her
The worke, and robbes the Author of his honor!
Seest thou the fruitfull Wombe? How every yeare
It moves thy Cradle; to thy slender cheare,
Invites another Ghest, and makes thee Father
To a new Sonne, who now, perchance, hadst rather
Bring up the old, esteeming propagation
A thanklesse work of Supererogation:
Perchance, the formall Mid-wife seemes to thee
Lesse welcome now; then she was wont to be:
Thou standst amaz'd, to heare such needlesse Ioy,
And car'st as little for it, as the Boy
[Page 5] That's newly borne into the world; nay worse,
Perchance, thou grumblest, counting it a curse
Vnto thy faint estate, which is not able
T' encrease the bounty of thy slender Table:
Poore miserable man what ere thou be,
I suffer for thy crooked thoughts; not thee:
Thou tak'st thy children to be gifts of nature;
Their wit, their flowring beauty, comely stature,
Their perfect health; their dainty disposition,
Their vertues, and their easie acquisition
Of curious Arts, their strength's attain'd perfection
You attribute to that benigne complexion,
Wherewith your Goddesse, Nature hath endow'd
Their well-disposed Organs; and are proud;
And here your Goddesse leaves you, to deplore
That such admir'd perfections should be poore:
Advance thine eyes, no lesse then wilfull blind,
And, with thine eyes, advance thy drooping mind:
Correct thy thoughts; Let not thy wondring eye
Adore the servant, when the Master's by:
Looke on the God Nature: From him come
These underprized blessings of the wombe:
He makes thee rich, in children; when his store
Crownes thee with wealth, why mak'st thou thy selfe poore?
He opes thee wombe: why then shouldst thou repine?
They are his children, mortall, and not thine:
We are but Keepers; And the more he lends
To our tuition, he the more commends
Our faithfull trust: It is not every one
Deserves that honor, to command his Son:
[Page 6] She counts it as a fortune, that's allow'd
To nurse a Prince: (What nurse would not be proud
Of such a Fortune?) And shall we repine,
Great God, to foster any Babe of thine;
But tis the Charge we feare: Our stock's but small;
If heaven, with Children, send us wherewith all
To stop their craving stomacks, then we care not:
Great God!
How hast thou crackt thy credit, that we dare not
Trust thee for bread? How is't, we dare not venture
To keepe thy Babes, unlesse thou please to enter
In bond, for payment? Art thou growne so poore,
To leave thy famisht Infants at our doore,
And not allow them food? Canst thou supply
The empty Ravens, and let thy children dye?
Send me that stint, thy wisedome shall thinke fit,
Thy pleasure is my will; and I submit:
Make me deserve that honour thou hast lent
To my fraile trust, and I will rest content.

SECT. 2.

ARGVMENT.
The Wife of Manoah attended with fearefull Hope, and hopefull Feare,
The joyfull tydings recommended to her amazed Husbands eare.
THus, when the great Embassadour of heaven
Had done that sacred service, which was given
And trusted to his faithfull charge, he spred
His ayre-dividing pineons, and fled:
But now, th' affrighted woman apprehends
The strangenesse of the Message; recommends
Both it, and him, that did it, to her feares;
The newes was welcome to her gratefull eares,
But what the newesman was, did so encrease
Her doubts, that her strange hopes could find no peace;
For when her hopes would build a Tower of joy,
O, then her feares would shake it, and destroy
The maine foundation; what her hopes, in vaine,
Did raise, her feares would ruinate againe:
One while, she thought; It was an Angell sent;
And then, her feares would teach her to repent
That frightfull thought: But when she deeply waigh'd
The joyfull message, then her thoughts obay'd
Her first conceit; Distracted, with confusion,
Sometimes she fear'd it was a false delusion,
[Page 8] Suggested in her too beleeving eares;
Sometimes she doubts, it was a Dreame, that beare
No waight but in a slumber; till at last,
Her feet, advised by her thoughts, made hast
Vnto her husband; in whose eares she brake
This mind-perplexing secret thus, and spake;
Sir.
As my discur sive thoughts did lately muse
On those great blessings, wherewith heaven doth use
To crowne his children, here; among the rest,
Me thoughts no one could make a wife more blest,
And crowne her youth, her age with greater measure
Of true content, then the unprized treasure
Of her chast wombe: but as my thoughts were bent
Vpon this subject, being in our Tent,
And none but I, appear'd before mine eyes
A man of God: His habit, and his guise
Was such as holy Prophets use to weare,
But in his dreadfull lookes there did appeare
Something that made me tremble; In his eye,
Mildnesse was next with awefull Majesty;
Strange was his language, and I could not chuse
But feare the man, although I lik'd his newes;
Woman (said he) Cheare up, and doe not feare;
I have no vialls, no nor Iudgements here;
My hand hath no Commission, to enquire
Into thy sinnes; nor am I clad in fire:
I come to bring thee tydings of such things,
As have their warrant from the King of Kings;
Thou shalt conceive, and when thy time is come,
[Page 9] Thou shalt enjoy the blessings of thy wombe;
Before the space of twice five months be runne,
Thou shalt become the parent of a Sonne,
Till then, take heed, thou neither drinke, nor eate
Wines, or strong drinke, or Law-forbidden meate,
For when this promis'd child, shall see the light,
Thou shalt be mother to a Nazarite:
While thus he spake, I trembled: Horrid feare
Vsurpt my quivering heart; Only mine eare
Was pleas'd to be the vessell of such newes,
Which Heaven make good; and give me strength to use
My better Faith: The holy Prophets name
I was affraid t' enquire, or whence he came.

MEDITAT. 2.

ANd dost thou not admier? Can such things
Obtaine lesse priviledge, then a Tale, that brings
The audience wonder, entermixt with pleasure?
Is't a small thing, that Angells can finde leisure
To leave their blessed seates; where, face to face,
They see their God, and quit that heavenly place,
The least conception of whose joy, and mirth,
Transcends th'united pleasurs of the earth?
[Page 10] Must Angells leave their Thrones of glory thus,
To watch our foot-steps, and attend on us?
How good a God have we! whose eyes can wincke,
For seare they should discover the base sincke
Of our loath'd sinnes: How doth he stop his eare,
Lest, when they call for Iustice, he should heare?
How often, Ah, how often doth He send
His willing Angells, hourely to attend
Our steps; and, with his bounty, to supply
Our helplesse wants, at our false-hearted cry?
The bounteous Ocean, with a liberall hand,
Transports her laden treasure, to the land;
Inriches every Port, and makes each towne
Proud with that wealth, which now she calls her owne;
And what returne they for so great a gaine,
But sinckes and noysome Gutters, back againe?
Even so (great God) thou send'st thy blessings in,
And we returne thee, Dunghills of our Sinne:
How are thy Angells hacknei'd up and downe
To visit man? How poorely doe we crowne
Their blessed labours? They with Ioy, dismount,
Laden with blessings, but returneth' account
Of Filth and Trash: They bring th' unvalued prize
Of Grace and promis'd Glory, while our eyes
Disdaine these heavenly Factors, and refuse
Their proferd wares; affecting, more, to chuse
A Graine of pleasure then a Iemme of glory;
We finde no treasure, but in Transitory
And earth-bred Toyes, while things immortall stand
Like Garments, to be sold at second hand:
[Page 11] Great God; Thou know'st, we are but flesh and blood;
Alas! we can interpret nothing, good,
But what is evill; deceitfull are our Ioyes;
We are but children, and we whine for Toyes:
Of things unknowne there can be no desire;
Quicken our hearts with the celestiall fire
Of thy discerning Spirit, and we shall know
Both what is good, and good desier too:
Vouchsafe to let thy blessed Angell come,
And bring the tydings, that the barren wombe
Of our Affections is enlarg'd; O when
That welcome newes shall be revealed, then,
Our soules shall soone conceive, and bring thee forth
The firstlings of a new, and holy birth.

SECT. 3.

ARGVMENT.
Manoah's wonder turnes to Zeale;
His zeale, to prayre: His prayres obtaine
The Angell that did late reveale
The joyfull newes, returnes againe.
NOw when th'amazed woman had commended
Her tongue to silence, and her tale was ended;
Perplexed Manoah, ravisht at the newes,
Within himselfe, he thus began to muse;
Strange is the message! And as strangely done!
Shall Manoah's loynes be fruitfull? Shall a Sonne
Blesse his last dayes? Or shall an Issue come
From the chill closset of a barren wombe?
Shall Manoah's wife give sucke? and now, at last,
Finde pleasure, when her prime of youth is past?
Shall her cold wombe be now, in age, restor'd?
And was't a man of God, that brought the word?
Or was't some false delusion, that possest
The weaknes of a lonely womans brest?
Or was't an Angell, sent from heaven, to show
What Heaven hath will, as well as pow're, to doe?
Till then thou must refraine to drinke, or eate,
Wines, and strong drinke, and Law-forbidden meate?
Euill Angells rather would instruct to ryot,
They use not to prescribe so strickt a Dyet;
[Page 13] No, no; I make no further question of it,
'Twas some good Angell, or some holy Prophet.
Thus, having mus'd a while, he bow'd his face
Vpon the ground; and (prostrate in the place,
Where first he heard the welcome tydings) pray'd,
(His wonder now transform'd to Zeale) and said:
Great God; That hast engag'd thy selfe, by vow,
When ere thy little Israell begs, to bow
Thy gratious eare; O harken to the least
Of Israel's sonnes, and grant me my request:
By thee, I live, and breathe: Thou did'st become
My gratious God, both in, and from the wombe;
Thy precious favours I have still possest,
And have depended on thee, from the Brest:
My simple Infancy hath bin protected,
By thee; my Child-hood taught, my youth corrected,
And sweetly chastned with thy gentle Rod;
I was no sooner; but thou wert my God:
All times declare thee good; This very houre
Can testifie the greatnesse of thy power,
And promptnesse of thy Mercy, which hast sent
This blessed Angell to us, to augment
The Catalogue of thy favours, and restore
Thy servants wombe, whose hopes had even given ore
T' expect an Issue: What thou hast begun,
Prosper, and perfect, till the worke be done:
Let not my Lord be angry, if I crave
A boone, too great for me to beg, or have;
Let that blest Angell, that thou sent'st, of late,
Reblesse us with his presence, and relate,
[Page 14] Thy will at large, and what must then be done,
When time shall bring to light this promis'd sonne.
About that time, when the declining Lampe
Trebles each shadow; when the evening dampe
Begins to moisten, and refresh the land,
The Wife of Manoah (under whose command
The weaned Lambes did feed) being lowly seated
Vpon a Shrubbe (where often she repeated
That pleasing newes, the subject of her thought)
Appear'd the Angell; he, that lately brought
Those blessed tydings to her: up she rose;
Her second feare had warrant to dispose
Her nimble foot-steps to unwonted haste;
She runnes with speed, (she cannot runne too fast)
At length, she findes her husband; In her eyes,
Were Ioy and Feare; whilst her lost breath denyes
Her speech, her trembling hands make signes;
She puffes and pants; her breathlesse tongue disjoynes
Her broken words: Behold, behold (said she)
The man of God, (if man of God he be)
Appear'd againe: These very eyes beheld
The man of God: I left him in our field.

MEDITAT. 3.

HEav'n is Gods Magazen; wherein, he hath
Stor'd up his Vials both of love, and wrath;
Iustice and Mercy, waite upon his Throne;
Favors and Thunderbolts attend upon
His sacred Will and Pleasure; Life and Death
Doe both receive their influence from his breath;
Iudgements attend his left; at his right hand
Blessings and ever lasting Pleasures stand:
Heav'n is the Magazen; wherein, he puts
Both good and evill: Prayre is the key, that shuts
And opens this great Treasure; Tis a key,
Whose wards are Faith, and Hope, and Charity.
Wouldst thou prevent a judgement, due to sin?
Turncbut the key, and thou maist locke it in:
Or wouldst thou have a Blessing fall upon thee?
Open the doore, and it will shower on thee.
Can Heav'n be false? Or can th' Almighties tongue,
That is all very truth, doe Truth that wrong,
Not to performe a vow? His lips have sworne,
Sworne by himselfe, that if a Sinner turne
[Page 16] To him, by prayre; his prayre shall not be lost
For want of eare; nor his desier, crost:
How is it then, we often aske and have not?
We aske, and often misse, because we crave not
The things we should: his wisedome can foresee
Those blessings, better, that we want, than wee.
Hast thou not heard a peevish Infant baule
To gaine possession of a knife? And shall
Th'indulgent nurse be counted, wisely kinde,
If she be mov'd to please his childish minde?
Is it not greater wisedome, to denie
The sharp-edg'd knife, and to present his eye
With a fine harmelesse Puppit? We require
Things, oft, unfit; and our too fond desire
Fastens on goods, that are but glorious ills,
Whilst Heaven's high wisedome contradicts our wills,
With more advantage; for we oft receive
Things that are farre more fit, for us, to have:
Experience tells; wee seeke, and cannot finde:
We seeke and often want, because we binde
The Giver to our times; He knowes we want
Patience; and, therefore he suspends his grant,
T'increase our Faith; that so we may depend
Vpon his hand: He loves to heare us spend
Our childish mouthes: Things easily obtain'd,
Are lewly priz'd; but what our prayres have gain'd
By teares, and groanes, that cannot be expest,
Are farre more deare, and sweeter, when possest.
Great God! whose power hath so oft prevail'd
Against the strength of Princes, and hast quail'd
[Page 17] Their prouder stomackes; with thy breath, discrown'd
Their heads, and throwne their scepters to the ground,
Striking their swelling hearts with cold despaire,
How art thou conquer'd, and orecome by Prayre!
Infuse that Spirit, Great God, into my heart,
And I will have a Blessing, ere we part.

SECT. 4.

ARGVMENT.
Manoah desires to know the fashion
And breeding of his promis'd sonne;
To whom the Angell makes relation
Of all things needfull to be done.
VVIth that, the Danite rose; being guided
By his perplexed wife, they, both divided.
Their heedlesse paces, till they had attain'd
The field, wherein the Man of God remain'd:
And, drawing neerer to his presence, stai'd
His weary steps, and, with obeysance, said:
Art thou the man whose blessed lips foretold
Those joyfull tidings? Shall my tongue be bold,
Without the breach of manners, to request
This boone, Art thou that Prophet, that possest
This barren woman with a hope, that She
Shall beare a Sonne? He answer'd, I am He:
Said Manoah, then: Let not a word of thine
Be lost; let them continue to divine
Our future happinesse: Let them be crown'd
With truth; and thou with honour, to be found
[Page 19] A holy Prophet: Let performance blesse
And speed thy speeches with a faire successe:
But tell me, Sir; When this great worke is done,
And time shall bring to light this promis'd Sonne,
What sacred Ceremonies shall we use?
What Rites? What way of breeding shall we chuse
T' observe? What holy course of life shall he
Be trained in? What shall his Office be?
Whereat th' attentive Angell did divide
The portall of his lips, and thus replide:
The Child, that from thy fruitfull loynes shall come
Shall be a holy Nazarite, from the wombe;
Take heed; that wombe, that shall enclose this Childe;
In no case be polluted or defilde
With Law-forbidden meates: Let her forbeare
To tast those things that are forbiddenthere.
The bunckbacke Camill, shall be no repast
For her; Her palate shall forbeare to tast,
The burrow haunting Conie, and decline
The swiftfoot-Hare, and miredelighting Swine;
The griping Goshauke; and the towring Eagle;
The party-collour'd Pye must not inveigle
Her lips to move; the brood devouring Kite;
The croaking Raven; The Oule that hates the light;
The steele-digesting Bird; The laisie Snaile;
The Cuckow, ever telling of one taile;
The fish-consuming Osprey, and the Want,
That undermines; the greedy Cormorant;
Th' indulgent Pelican; the predictious Crow;
The chattring Storke, and ravenous Vulter too;
[...]
[Page 22] Of all good Counsells; and, from whom, proceeds
A living Spring, to water all our needs;
How willing are his Angells to discend
From of their throne of Glory, and attend
Vpon our wants! How oft returne they back
Mourning to Heaven, as if they griev'd for lack
Of our imployment! O, how prone are they
To be assistant to us, every way!
Have we just cause to joy? They'l come and sing
About our beds: Do's any judgement bring
Iust cause of griefe? They'l fall agreeving too;
Doe we tryumph? Their joyfull mouths will blow
Their louder Trumpets; Or doe feares affectus?
They'l guard our heads from danger, and protectus:
Are we in Prison, or in Persecution?
They'l fill our hearts with joy, and resolution:
Or doe we languish in our sickly beds?
They'l come and pitch their Tents about our heads;
See they a sinner penitent, and mourne
For his bewail'd offences, and returne?
They clap their hands, and joyne their warbling voices
They sing, and all the Quire of heaven rejoyces.
What is in us poore Dust and Ashes, Lord,
That thou should'st looke upon us, and afford
Thy precious favours to us, and impart
Thy gracious Counselcs? What is our desert,
But Death, and Horror? What can we more clame,
Then they, that now, are scortehing in that flame,
That hath nor moderation, rest, nor end?
How doe's thy mercy, above thought, extend
[Page 23] To them thou lov'st! Teach me (great God) to prize
Thy sacred Counsells: Open my blind eyes,
That I may see to walke the perfect way;
For as I am, Lord, I am apt to stray
And wander to the gulfe of endlesse woe:
Teach me what must be done, and helpe to doe.

SECT. 5.

ARGVMENT.
Manoah desires to understand,
But is denide, the Angells name!
He offers by the Angells hand:
The Angell vanishes in a flame.
SO said, The sonne of Israel, (easly apt
To credit, what his soule desir'd, and rapt
With better hopes, which serv'd him as a guide
To his beliefe, o'rejoy'd) he thus replide;
Let not the man of God, whose Heavenly voice
Hath blest mine care, and made my soule rejoice,
Beyond expression, now refuse to come
Within my Tent, and honour my poore home
With his desired presence; there to tast
His servants slender diet, and repast
Vpon his Rurall fare: These hands shall take
A tender Kidde from out the flockes, and make,
(Without long tarriance) some delightfull meate,
Which may invite the man of God to eate:
Come, come (my Lord) And what defect of food
Shall be, thy servants welcome shall make good:
[Page 25] Where to the Angell (who as yet had made
Himselfe unknowne) reanswer'd thus, and said.
Excuseme: Though thy hospitable love
Prevaile to make me stay, it cannot move
My thankfull lips to tast thy liberall cheare;
Let not thy bounty urge in vaine; Forbeare
To strive with with whom, thy welcome cannot leade
To eate thy Kid; or tast thy profer'd bread;
Convert thy bounty to a better end,
And let thy undefiled hands commend
A burnt oblation to the King of Kings;
T' is he, deserves the thankes; his servant brings
But that bare message with his lips enjoyne;
His be the glory of the Act, not mine.
Said then the Israelite; If my desire
Be not to over rash, but may conspire
With thy good pleasure, let thy servants eare
Be honour'd with thy name; that whensoere
These blessed tidings (that possesse my heart
With firme beliefe,) shall in due time impart
Their full perfection, and desir'd successe
To my expecting eye, my soule may blesse
The tongue that brought the message, and proclame
An equall honour to his honour'd name.
To whom, the Angell (whose severer brow
Sent forth a frowne) made answere; Doe not thou
Trouble thy busie thoughts with things, that are
Above thy reach; Enquier not too farre;
My name is cloath'd in mists; T' is not my taske,
To make it knowne to thee; nor thine, to aske:
[...]
[Page 28] The generous Spaniell, loves his Masters eye,
And licks his fingers, though no meat be by;
But Man, ungratefull Man, that's borne, and bred
By Heavens immediate powre; maintain'd and fed
By his providing hand; observ'd, attended
By his indulgent grace; preserv'd, defended
By his prevailing arme; this Man, I say,
Is more ungratefull, more obdure then they:
By him, we live and move; from him, we have
What blessings he can give, or we can crave:
Food for our Hunger; Dainties, for our pleasure;
Trades, for our buisnes; Pastimes, for our leasure;
In greife, he is our Ioy; in want, our Wealth;
In bondage, Freedome; and in sicknes, Health;
In peace, our Counsell; and in warre, our Leader;
At Sea, our Pilot; and, in Suites, our Pleader;
In paine, our Helpe; in Triumph, our Renowne;
In life, our Comfort; and in death, our Crowne;
Yet Man, O most ungratefull Man, can ever
Enjoy the Gift, but never minde the Giver;
And like the Swine, though pamper'd with enough,
His eyes are never higher then the Trough:
We still receive: Our hearts we seldome lift
To heaven; But drowne the giver in the Gift;
We tast the Skollops, and returne the Shells;
Our sweet Pomgranats, want their silver Bells:
We take the Gift; the hand that did present it,
We oft reward; forget the Friend, that sent it.
A blessing given to those, will not disburse
Some thanks, is little better then a curse.
[Page 29] Great giver of all blessngs; thou that art
The Lord of Gifts; give me a gratefull heart:
O give me that, or keepe thy favours from me:
I wish no blessings, with a Vengeance to me.

SECT. 6.

ARGVMENT.
Affrighted Manoah and his wife
Both prostrate on the naked earth:
Both rise: The man despaires of life;
The woman cheares him: Samsons birth.
VVHen time, (whose progresse moderates and out­weares
Th' extreamest passions of the highest Feares)
By his benignant power, had reinlarg'd
Their captive senses, and at length, discharg'd
Their frighted thoughts, the trembling Couple rose
From their unquiet, and disturb'd repose:
Have you beheld a Tempest, how the waves
(Whose unresisted Tyranny out-braves
And threats to grapple with the darkned Skies)
How like to moving Mountaines they arise
From their distempred Ocean, and assaile
Heavens Battlements; nay when the windes doe faile
To breathe another blast, with their owne motion,
They still are swelling, and disturbe the Ocean:
Even so the Danite and his trembling wife,
Their yet confused thoughts, are still at strife
[Page 31] In their perplexed brests, which entertain'd
Continued feares, too strong to be refrain'd:
Speechlesse they stood, till Manoah that brake
The silence first, disclos'd his lips and spake;
What strange aspect was this, that to our sight
Appear'd so terrible, and did affright
Our scattering thoughts? What did our eyes behold?
I feare our lavish tongues have bin too bold:
What speeches past betweene us? Can'st recall
The words we entertain'd the time withall?
It was no man; It was no flesh and blood;
Me thought, mine eares did tingle, while he stood,
And commun'd with me: At each word, he spake
Me thought, my heart recoil'd; his voice did shake
My very Soule, but when as he became
So angry, and so dainty of his name,
O, how my wonder-smitten heart began
To faile! O, then I knew, it was no man:
No, no; It was the face of God: Our eyes
Have seene his face: (who ever saw't, but dies?)
We are but dead; Death dwells within his eye,
And we have seen't, and we shall surely die:
Where to the woman, (who did either hide,
Or else had over come her feares) replide;
Despairing Man; take courage, and forheare
These false predictions; there's no cause of feare:
Would Heaven accept our offerings, and receive
Our holy things; and, after that, bereive
His servants of their lives? Can he be thus
Pleas'd with our offerings, unappear'd with us?
[Page 32] Hath he not promis'd that the time shall come,
Wherein the fruits of my restored wombe
Shall make thee Father to a hopefull Sonne?
Can Heaven be false? Or can these things be done
When we are dead? No, no; His holy breath
Had spent in vaine, if he had ment our death:
Recall thy needlesse feares; Heaven cannot lye;
Although we saw his face, we shall not dye.
So said; they brake off their discourse, and went,
He, to the field; and she into her Tent:
Thrice forty dayes not full compleate, being come,
Within th' enclosure of her quickned wombe,
The babe began to spring; and, with his motion,
Confirm'd the faith, and quickned the devotion
Ofhis believing parents, whose devout
And heaven-ascending Orizans, no doubt,
Were turn'd to thankes, and heart-rejoycing praise,
To holy Hymnes, and heavenly Roundelaies:
The child growes sturdy; Every day gives strength
Vnto his wombe fed limmes; till at the length,
Th' apparant mother, having past the date
Of her accoumpt, does onely now awaite
The happy houre, wherein she may obtaine
Her greatest pleasure, with her greatest paine.
When as the faire directresse of the night
Had thrice three times repair'd her wained light,
Her wombe no longer able to retaine
So great a guest, betrai'd her to her paine,
And for the toilesome worke, that she had done,
She found the wages of a new borne Sonne:
[Page 33] Samson, she call'd his name: The childe encreast,
And hourely suckt a blessing with the brest;
Daily his strength did double: He began
To grow in favour both with God and Man:
His well attended Infancie was blest
With sweetnesse; in his Childhood, he exprest
True seeds of Honour, and his youth was crown'd
With high and brave adventures, which renown'd
His honour'd name; His courage was supplide
With mighty strength: His haughty spirit defide
An hoast of men: His power had the praise
'Bove all that were before, or since his dayes:
And to conclude, Heav'n never yet conjoin'd
So strong a body, with so stout a minde.

MEDITAT. 6.

HOw pretious were those blessed dayes, wherein
Soules never startled at the name of Sin!
When as the voyce of Death had never yet
A mouth to open, or to clame a debt!
When bashfull nakednesse forbare to call
For needlesse skinns to cover Shame withall
[Page 34] When as the fruit-encreasing earth obay'd
The will of Man without the wound of Spaide,
Or helpe of Art! When he, that now remaines
A cursed Captive to infernall chaines,
Sate singing Anthems in the heavenly Quire,
Among his fellow Angells! When the Bryer,
The fruitlesse Bramble, the fast growing weed,
And downie Thistle had, as yet, no seed!
When labour was not knowne, and man did eate
The earths faire fruits, unearned with his sweate!
When wombes might have conceiv'd without the staine
Of sinne, and brought forth children, without paine!
When Heaven could speake to mans unfrighted care,
Without the sense of sin-begotten feare!
How golden were those dayes? How happy than
Was the condition and the State of man!
But Man obay'd not: And his proud desire
Cing'd her bold feathers in forbidden fier:
But Man transgrest; And now his freedome feeles
A sudden change: Sinne followes at his heeles:
The voice calls Adam: But poore Adam flees,
And, trembling, hides his face behind the trees:
The voice, whilere, that ravisht with delight
His joyfull eare, does now, alas, affright
His wounded conscience, with amaze and wonder:
And what, of late, was musicke; now, is Thunder:
How have our sinnes abus'd us! and betrai'd
Our desperate soules! What strangenesse have they made
Betwixt the great Creator, and the worke
Of his owne hands! How closely doe they lurke
[Page 35] To our distempred soules, and whisper feares
And doubts into our frighted hearts and eares!
Our eyes cannot behold that glorious face,
Which is all life, unruin'd in the place:
How is our natures chang'd? That very breath
Which gave us being, is become our death:
Great God! O, whither shall poore mortalls flie
For comfort? If they see thy face, they dye;
And if thy life-restoring count'nance give
Thy presence from us; then we cannot live:
How necessary is the ruine, than,
And misery of sin-beguiled Man!
On what foundation shall his hopes relie?
See we thy face, or see it not, we dye:
O, let thy word (great God) instruct the youth
And frailty of our faith; Thy word is truth:
And what our eyes want power to perceive,
O, let our hearts admier, and beleeve.
[...]
[Page 38] Which entertain'd my pleased thoughts, appear'd
A sairer object; which, hath so endear'd
My very soule, (with sadnesse so distrest)
That this poore heart can finde no ease, no rest;
It was a Virgin; in whose Heavenly face,
Vnpattern'd Beauty, and diviner Grace
Were so conjoyn'd, as if they both conspir'd
To make one Angell; when these eyes enquir'd
Into the exc'lence of her rare perfection,
They could not choose but like, and my affection
Is so inslamed with desire, that I
Am now become close prisoner to her eye;
Now if my sad Petition may but finde
A faire successe, to ease my tortur'd minde;
And if your tender hearts be pleas'd to prove
As prone to pitty mine; as mine, to love;
Let me, with joy, exchange my single life,
And be the husband of so faire a wife.
Whereto, th' amazed parents, (in whose eye
Distast and wonder percht) made this reply;
What strange desire, what unadvis'd request
Hath broken loose from thy distracted brest?
What! are the daughters of thy brethren growne
So poore in Worth, and Beauty? Is there none
To please that over-curious eye of thine,
But th' issue of a cursed Philistine?
Can thy miswandring eyes choose none, but her,
That is the child of an Idolater?
Correct thy thoughts, and let thy soule rejoyce
In lawfull beauty: Make a wiser choice:
[Page 39] How well this counsell pleas'd the tired eares
Of love-sicke Samson; O, let him that beares
A crost affection judge: Let him discover
The woefull case of this afflicted lover:
What easie pensell cannot represent
His very lookes? How his sterne Browes were bent?
His drooping head? his very port and guise?
His bloodlesse cheekes, and deadnesse of his eyes?
Till, at the length, his moving tongue betrai'd
His sullen lips to language, thus; and said: Sir.
Th' extreame affection of my heart does leade
My tongue, (that's quickned with my love) to pleade
What, if her parents be not circumcis'd?
Her issue shall; and she, perchance, advis'd
To worship Israells God; and, to forget
Her fathers house; Alas; she is, as yet,
But young; her downy yeares are greene, and tender;
Shee's but a twigge, and time may easly bend her
T'embrace the truth: Our counsells may controule
Her sinfull breeding, and so save a soule:
Nay; who can tell, but Heaven did recommend
Her beauty to these eyes, for such an end?
O loose not that, which Heaven is pleas'd to save,
Let Samson then obtaine, as well as crave:
You gave me being, then prolong my life
And make me husband to so faire a wife.
With that, the parents joyn'd their whispering heads;
Samson observes; and, in their parly, reads
Some Characters of hope; The mother smiles;
The father frownes; which, Samson reconciles
[Page 40] With hopefull feares; She smiles, and crownes
His hopes; which, He deposes with his frownes:
The whispring ended; jointly they displaid,
A halfe resolved countenance, and said,
Samson, suspend thy troubled minde a while,
Let not thy over charged thoughts recoile:
Take heed of Shipwracke; Rockes are neere the Shore:
Wee'l see the Virgin, and resolve thee more.

MEDITAT. 7.

LOve is a noble passion of the heart;
That, with it very essence doth impart
All needfull Circumstances, and effects
Vnto the chosen party it affects;
In absence, it enjoies; and with an eye.
Fill'd with celestiall fier, doth espy
Objects remote: It joyes, and smiles in griefe;
It sweetens poverty; It brings reliefe;
It gives the Feeble, strength; the Coward, spirit;
The sicke man, health; the undeserving, merit;
It makes the proudman, humble; and the stout
It overcomes; and treads him vnder foote;
[Page 41] It makes the mighty man of warre to droope;
And him, to serve, that never, yet, could stoope;
It is a Fire whose Bellowes are the breath
Of heaven above, and kindled here beneath:
Tis not the power of a mans election
To love; He loves not by his owne direction;
It is nor beauty, nor benigne aspect
That alwayes moves the Lover, to affect;
These are but meanes: Heavens pleasure is the cause;
Love is not bound to reason, and her Lawes
Are not subjected to the imperious will
Of man: It lies not in his power to nill:
How is this Love abus'd! That's onely made
A snare for wealth, or to set up a trade;
T' enrich a great mans Table, or to pay
A desperate debt; or meerely to allay
A base and wanton lust; which done, no doubt,
The love is ended, and her fier out:
No; he that loves for pleasure, or for pelfe,
Loves truly, none; and, falsely, but himselfe:
The pleasure past, the wealth consum'd and gone,
Love hath no subject now to worke upon:
The props being falne, that did support the roofe,
Nothing but Rubbish, and neglected Stuffe,
Like a wilde Chaos of Confusion, lies
Presenting uselesse ruines to our eyes:
The Oyle that does maintaine loves sacred fire,
Is vertue mixt with mutuall desire
Of sweet society, begunne and bred
I'th soule; nor ended in the mariage bed:
[Page 42] This is that dew of Hermon, that does fill
The soule with sweetnesse, watring Sions hill;
This is that holy fire, that burnes and lasts,
Till quencht by death; The other are but blasts,
That faintly blaze like Oyle-for saken snusses,
Which every breath of discontentment puffs
And quite extinguishes; and leaves us nothing
But an offensive subject of our loathing.

SECT. 8.

ARGVMENT.
He goes to Timnah: As he went,
He slew a Lyon, by the way;
He sues; obtaines the Maides consent:
And they appoint the mariage day.
WHen the next day had, which his morning light,
Redeem'd the East frō the darke shades of night;
And, with his golden raies, had overspred
The neighbring Mountaines; from his loathed Bed,
Sicke-thoughted Samson rose, whose watchfull eyes,
Morpheus that night had, with his leaden keyes,
Not power to close: His thoughts did so incumber
His restlesse soule, his eyes could never slumber;
Whose softer language, by degrees, did wake
His fathers sleepe-bedeafned eares, and spake;
Sir; Let your early blessings light upon
The tender bosome of your prosp'rous Sonne,
And let the God of Israel repay
Those blessings, double, on your head, this day:
The long-since banisht shaddows make me bold
To let you know, the morning waxes old;
[Page 44] The Sunbeames are growne strong; their brighter hiew
Have broke the Mists, and dride the morning dewe;
The sweetnesse of the season does invite
Your steps to visit Timnah, and acquite
Your last nights promise:
With that, the Danite and his wife arose,
Scarce yet resolv'd, at last, they did dispose
Their doubtfull paces, to behold the prize
Of Samsons heart, and pleasure of his eyes;
They went; and when their travell had attain'd
Those fruitfull hills, whose clusters entertain'd
Their thirsty palats, with their swelling pride,
The musing lover being stept a side
To gaine the pleasure of a lonely thought,
Appear'd a full ag'd Lyon, who had sought,
(But could not finde) his long desired prey;
Soone as his eye had given him hopes to pay
His debt to nature, and to mend that fault
His empty stomacke found, he made assault
Vpon th' unarmed lovers brest, whose hand
Had neither staffe, nor weapon, to withstand
His greedy rage; but he whose mighty strength
Or sudden death must now appeare, at length,
Stretcht forth his brawny arme, (his arme supplide
With power from heaven) and did, with ease, divide
His body limme from limme, and did betray
His Flesh to foules, that lately sought his prey:
This done; his quicke redoubled paces make
His stay amends; his nimble steps oretake
His leading parents; who by this, discover
[Page 45] The smoake of Timnah: Now the greedy Lover
Thinkes every step, a mile; and every pace,
A measur'd League, untill he see that face,
And finde the treasure of his heart, that lies
In the faire Casket of his Mistresse Eyes,
But, all this while, close Samson made not knowne
Vnto his parents, what his hands had done:
By this, the gate of Timnah entertaines
The welcome travellers: The parents paines
Are now rewarded with their sonnes best pleasure:
The Virgin comes; His eyes can finde no leasure,
To owne another object: O, the greeting
Th' impatient lovers had at their first meeting!
The Lover speakes; She answers; He replies;
She blushes; He demandeth; She denyes;
He pleads affection; She doubts; Hee sues
For nuptiall love; She questions; Hee renewes
His earnest suite: Importunes; She relents;
He must have no deniall; She consents:
They passe their mutuall loves: Their joyned hands
Are equall earnests of the nuptiall bands:
The parents are agreed; All parties pleas'd;
The day's set downe; the lovers hearts are eas'd;
Nothing displeases now, but the long stay
Betwixt th' appointment, and the mariage day.

MEDITAT. 8.

TIs too severe a censure: If the Sonne
Take him a wife; the mariage fairely done,
Without consent of parents, (who perchance
Had rais'd his higher price, knew where t'advance
His better'd fortunes to one hundred more)
He lives, a Fornicator; She, a Whore:
Too hard a censure! And it seemes to me,
The parent's most delinquent of the three:
What; if the better minded Son doe aime
At worth? What, if rare vertues doe inflame
His rapt affection? What, if the condition
Of an admir'd, and dainty disposition
Hath won his soule? Where as the covetous Father
Findes her Gold light, and recommends him, rather,
T' an old worne widow, whose more weighty purse
Is fill'd with gold, and with the Orphans curse;
The sweet exubrance of whose full-mouth'd portion
Is but the cursed issue of extortion;
Whose worth, perchance, lies onely in her weight,
Or in the bosome of her great estate;
[Page 47] What, if the Sonne, (that does not care to buy
Abundance at so deare a rate) deny
The soule-detesting profer of his Father,
And in his better judgement chooses, rather,
To match with meaner Fortunes, and desert?
I thinke that Mary chose the better part.
What noble Families (that have out growne
The best records) have quite binoverthrowne
By wilfull parents, that will either force
Their sonnes to match, or haunt them with a curse!
That can adapt their humours, to rejoyce,
And fancy all things, but their childrens choice!
Which makes them, often, timerous to reveale
The close desiers of their hearts, and steale
Such matches, as, perchance, their faire advice
Might, in the bud, have hindred in a trice;
Which done, and past, O, then their hastie spirit
Can thinke of nothing, under Disinherit;
He must be quite discarded, and exilde;
The furious father must renounce his childe;
Nor Prayre nor Blessing must he have; bereiven
Of all; Nor must he live, nor die forgiven;
When as the Fathers rashnesse, often times,
Was the first causer of the Childrens crimes.
Parents; be not too cruell: Children doe
Things, oft, too deepe for us t' enquire into:
What father would not siorme, if his wild Sonne
Should doe the deed, that Samson here had done?
Nor doe I make it an exemplar act;
Only, let parents not be too exact,
[Page 48] To curse their children, or to dispossesse
Them of their blessings, Heaven may chance to blesse:
Be not too strict: Faire language may recure
A fault of youth, whilst rougher words obdure.

SECT. 9.

ARGVMENT.
Samson goes downe to celebrate
His mariage, and his nuptiall feast:
The Lyon, which he slue of late
Hath hony in his putrid brest:
WHen as the long expected time was come,
Wherein these lingring Lovers should consumme
The promis'd mariage, and observe therites,
Pertaining to those festivall delights,
Samson went downe to Timnah; there, t'enjoy
The sweet possession of his dearest joy;
But as he past those fruitfull Vineyards, where
His hands, of late, acquit him of that feare
(Wherewith the feirce assaulting Lyon quail'd
His yet unpractis'd courage) and prevail'd
Vpon his life; as by that place he past,
He turn'd aside, and borrowed of his hast,
A little time, wherein his eyes might view
The Carkas of the Lyon which he flew;
But when his wandring footsteps had drawne neere
The unlamented herse, his wandring eare
[...]

MEDITAT. 9.

HOw high, unutterable, how profound,
(Whose depth the line of knowledge cannot sound)
Are the decrees of the Eternall God!
How secret are his wayes—and how untrod
By mans conceipt, so deeply charg'd with doubt!
How are his Counsells past our finding out!
O, how unscrutable are his designes!
How deepe, and how unsearchable are the Mines
Of his abundant Wisedome! How obscure
Are his eternall Iudgements! and how sure!
Lists he to strike? The very Stones shall flie
From their unmov'd Foundations, and destroy:
Lists he to punish? Things that haue no sense,
Shall vindicate his Quarrell, on th' Offence:
Lists he to send a plague? The winters heate
And summers damp, shall make his will compleate:
Lists he to send the Sword? Occasion brings
New Iealousies betwixt the hearts of Kings.
[Page 53] Wills he afamine? Heaven shall turne to brasse,
And earth to Iron, till it come to passe:
With stockes, and stones, and plants and beasts fulfill
The secret Counsell of his sacred will,
Man, onely wretched Man, is disagreeing
To doe that thing, for which he hath his being
Samson must downe to Timnah; In the way,
Must meete a Lyon, whom his hands must slay;
The Lyo'ns putrid Carkas must enclose
A swarme of Bees; and, from the Bees, arose
A Riddle; and that Riddle must be read
And by the reading, Choller must be bred,
And that must bring to passe Gods just designes
Vpon the death of the false Philistines:
Behold the progresse, and the royall Gests
Of Heavens high vengeance; how it never rests,
Till, by appointed courses, it fufill
The secret pleasure of his sacred will.
Great Saviour of the world; Thou Lambe of Sion,
That hides our sinnes: Thou art that wounded Lyon:
O, in thy dying body, we have found
A world of hony; whence we may propound
Such sacred Riddles, as shall, underneath
Our feet, subdue the power of Hell and Death;
Such Misteries, as none but he, that plough'd
With thy sweet Hayfer's, able to uncloud;
Such sacred Misteries, whose eternall praise
Shall make both Angells, and Archangells raise
Their louder voices; and, in triumph, sing,
All Glory and Honour to our highest King,
[Page 54] And to the Lambe, that sits upon the throne;
Worthy of power and praise is he, alone,
Whose glory hath advanc'd our key of mirth;
Glory to God, on high; and peace, on Earth.

SECT. 10.

ARGVMENT.
The Bridegroome, at his nuptiall Feast,
To the Philistians, doth propound
A Riddle: which they all addrest
Themselves, in counsell, to expound.
NOw, when the glory of the next dayes light
Had chas'd the shadows of the tedious night,
When coupling Hymen, with his nuptiall bands,
And golden Fetters, had conjoyn'd their hands;
When jolly welcome had, to every Guest,
Expos'd the bounty of the mariage Feast;
Their now appeased stomacks did enlarge
Their captive tongues, with power to discharge
And quit their Table-duty, and disburse
Their store of enterchangeable discourse,
Th' ingenious Bridegroome turn'd his rolling eyes
Vpon his guard of Bridemen, and applies
His speech to them: And, whilst that every man
Lent his attentive eare, he thus began;
My tongue's in labour, and my thoughts abound;
I have a doubtfull Riddle, to propound;
[...]

MEDITAT. 10.

THere is a time, to laugh: A time, to turne
Our smiles to teares: There is a time to mourne:
There is a time for joy; and a time for griefe;
A time to want; and a time to finde reliefe;
A time to binde; and there's a time to breake;
A time for silence; and a time to speake;
A time to labour; and a time to rest;
A time to fast in; and a time to feast:
Things, that are lawfull, haue their times and use;
Created good; and, onely by abuse,
Made bad: Our sinfull usage does unfashion
What heaven hath made, and makes a new creation:
Ioy is a blessing: but too great excesse
Makes Ioy, a Madnesse, and, does quite unblesse
So sweet a gift; And, what, by moderate use;
Crownes our desiers, banes them in th' abuse:
Wealth is a blessing; But too eager thurst
Of having more, makes what we have, accurst:
Rest is a blessing; But when Rest withstands
The healthfull labour of our helpfull hands,
[Page 59] It proves a curse; and staines our guilt, with crime,
Betraies our irrecoverable time:
To feast and to refresh our hearts with pleasure,
And fill our soules with th' overflowing measure
Of heavens blest bounty, cannot but commend
The pretious favours of so sweet a friend;
But, when th' abundance of a liberall diet,
Meant for a blessing, is abus'd by Riot,
Th' abused blessing leaves the gift, nay worse,
It is transform'd, and turn'd into a curse:
Things that afford most pleasure, in the use,
Are ever found most harmfull in th' abuse:
Vse them like Masters; and their tyrannous hand
Subjects thee, like a slave, to their command:
Vse them as Servants; and they will obey thee;
Take heed; They'l eyther blesse thee, or betray thee.
Could our Fore-fathers but revive, and see
Their Childrens Feasts, as now a dayes they be;
Their studyed dishes; Their restoring stuffe,
To make their wanton bodies sinne enough;
Their stomacke-whetting Sallats, to invite
Their wastfull palats to an appetite;
Their thirst-procuring dainties, to refine
Their wanton tastes, and make them strong, for wine:
Their costly viands, charg'd with rich perfume;
Their Viper-wines, to make old age presume
To feele new lust, and youthfull flames agin,
And serve another prentiship to sinne;
Their time-betraying Musicke; their base noise
Of odious Fidlers, with their smooth-fac'd boyes,
[Page 60] Whose tongues are perfect, if they can proclame
The Quintessence of basenesse, without shame;
Their deepe mouth'd curses; New invented Oathes,
Their execrable Blasphemy, that loathes
A minde to thinke on; Their obsceaner words;
Their drunken Quarrells; Their unsheathed swords;
O how they'd blesse themselves, and blush, for shame,
In our behalfs, and hast from whence they came,
To kisse their graves, that hid them from the crimes
Of these accursed and prodigious times.
Great God; O, can thy patient eye behold
This height of sinne, and can thy Vengeance hold?

SECT. 11.

ARGVMENT.
The Philistins cannot unsolve
The Riddle: They corrupt the Bride;
She wooes her Bridegroome to resolve
Her doubt, but goes away denyde.
NOw when three dayes had run their howers out,
And left no hope for wit-forsaken doubt
To be resolv'd, the desp'rate undertakers
Conjoyn'd their whispring heads; (being all partakers
And joynt-advisers in their new-laid plot)
The time's concluded: Have yee not forgot
How the old Tempter, when he first began
To worke th'unhappy overthrow of man,
Accosts the simple woman; and reflects
Vpon the frailty of her weaker Sex;
Even so these curs'd Philistians (being taught
And tutord by the selfe same spirit) wrought
The selfe same way; Their speedy steps are bent
To the faire Bride; Their hast could giue no vent
To their coarcted thoughts; their language made
A little respite; and, at length, they said;
[Page 62] Fairest of Creatures: Let thy gentle heart
Receive the crowne, due to so faire desert;
We have a Suit, that must attend the leisure
Of thy best thoughts, and joy-restoring pleasure;
Our names, and credits linger at the stake
Of deepe dishonour: If thou undertake,
With pleasing language, to prevent the losse,
They must sustaine, and draw them from the drosse
Of their owne ruines, they shall meerely owe
Themselves unto thy goodnesse, and shall know
No other patron, and acknowledge none,
As their redeemer, but thy love alone:
We cannot read the Riddle, where unto
We have engag'd our goods, and credits too;
Entice thy jolly Bridgroome, to unfold
The hidden Myst'ry, (what can he withhold
From the rare beauty of so faire a brow?)
And when thou knowst it, let thy servants know:
What? dost thou frowne? And must our easie tryall,
At first, reade Hieroglyphickes of deniall?
And art thou silent too? Nay, wee'l give ore
To tempt thy bridall fondnesse any more:
Betray your lovely husbands secrets? No,
You'l first betray us, and our Land: But know,
Proud Samsons wife, our furies shall make good
Our losse of wealth and honour, in thy blood:
Where faire entreaties spend themselves, in vaine,
There fier shall consume, or else constraine:
Know then, false hearted Bride, if our request
Can find no place within thy sullen brest,
[Page 63] Our hands shall vindicate our lost desire,
And burne thy Fathers house, and thee, with fire:
Thus having lodg'd their errand in her eares,
They left the roome; and her, unto her feares;
Who thus bethought; Hard is the case, that I
Must or betray my husbands trust, or dye;
I have a Wolfe by th' eares; I dare be bold,
Neither with safety, to let goe, nor hold:
What shall I doe? Their minds if I fulfill not,
'Tis death; And to betray his trust, I will not:
Nay, should my lips demand, perchance, his breath
Will not resolve me: Then, no way, but death:
The wager is not great; Rather the strife
Were ended in his losse, then in my life;
His life consists in mine, If ought amisse
Befall my life, it may endanger his:
Wagers must yeeld to life; I hold it best,
Of necessary evills, to choose the least:
Why doubt I then? When Reason bids me doe;
Ile know the Riddle, and betray it too:
With that, she quits her chamber, with her cares,
And in her closset locks up all her feares,
And, with a speed untainted with delay,
She found that brest, wherein her owne heart lay;
Where resting for a while, at length, did take
A faire occasion to looke up, and spake:
Life of my soule, and loves perpetuall treasure,
If my desires be suiting to thy pleasure,
My lips would move a Suite; My doubtfull brest
Would faine preferre an undenyde request:
[...]
[Page 66] When strength of wit, and secret power of fraud
Grow dull, constraint must conquer, and applaud
With ill got vict'ry; which, at length obtaind,
Alas, how poore a trifle have we gaind!
How are our soules distempered; to engrosse
Such fading pleasures! To ore-prize the dresse,
And under-rate the gold! for painted Ioyes,
To sell the true; and heaven it selfe for Toyes!
Lord; clarifie mine eyes, that I may know
Things that are good, from what are good in show:
And give me wisedome, that my heart may learne
The diffrence of thy favours, and discerne
What's truly good from what is good, in part;
With Martha's trouble, give me Maries heart.

SECT. 12.

ARGVMENT.
The Bride shee begs, and begs in vaine:
But like to a prevailing wooer,
She sues, and sues, and sues againe;
At last he reads the Riddle to her.
WHen the next morning had renew'd the day,
And th' earely twilight now had chac'd away
The pride of night, and made her lay aside
Her spangled Robes, the discontented Bride
(Whose troubled thoughts were tired with the night,
And broken slumbers long had wisht for light)
With a deepe sigh, her sorrow did awake
Her drowsie Bridegroome, whom she thus bespake;
O, if thy love could share an equall part
In the sad griefes of my asflicted heart,
Thy closed eyes had never, in this sort,
Bin pleas'd with rest, and made thy night so short;
Perchance, if my dull eyes had slumbred too,
My dreames had done, what thou denide to doe:
Perchance, my Fancy would have bin so kinde,
T' unsolve the doubts of my perplexed minde,
[Page 68] I was a small suite, that thy unluckie Bride
Must light upon: Too small, to be denyde:
Can love so soone—? But ere her lips could spend
The following words, he said, suspend, suspend
Thy rash attempt, and let thy tongue dispense
With forc'd denyall: Let thy lips commence
Some greater Suite, and Samson shall make good
Thy faire desiers, with his dearest blood:
Speake then, my love; thou shalt net wish, and want;
Thou canst not beg, what Samson cannot grant:
Onely, in this, excuse me: and refraine
To beg, what thou, perforce, must beg in vaine.
Inexorable Samson: Can the teares
From those faire eyes, not move thy deafned eares?
O can those drops, that trickle from those eyes
Vpon thy naked bosome, not surprize
Thy neighb'ring heart? and force it to obey?
O can thy heart not melt, as well as they?
Thou little thinkst thy poore afflicted wife
Importunes thee, and wooes thee for her life:
Her Suit's as great a Riddle to thine eares,
As thine, to hers; O, these distilling teares
Are silent pleaders, and her moistred breath
Would faine redeeme her, from the gates of death?
May not her teares prevaile? Alas, thy strife
Is but for wagers; Her's, poore Soule, for life.
Now when this day had yeelded up his right
To the succeeding Empresse of the night,
Whose soone-deposed raigne did reconvay
Her crowne and Scepter to the new borne day,
[Page 69] The restlesse Bride (feares cannot brooke deniall)
Renewes her suite, and attempts a further tryall;
Entreats; conjures; she leaves no way untride:
She will not; no, she must not be denide:
But he (the portalls of whose marble heart
Was lockt and barr'd against the powerfull art
Of oft repeated teares) stood deafe and dumbe;
He must not, no, he will not be orecome.
Poore Bride! How is thy glory overcast!
How is the pleasure of the nuptialls past,
When scarce begun! Alas, how poore a breath
Of joy, must puffe thee to untimely death!
The day's at hand, wherein thou must untie
The Riddles tangled Snarle, or else must die;
Now, when that day was come wherein the feast
Was to expire; the Bride, (whose pensive brest
Grew sad to death) did once more undertake
Her too resolved Bridegroome thus, and spake:
Vpon these knees, that prostrate on the floore,
Are lowly bended, and shall nev'r give ore
To move thy goodnesse, that shall never rise,
Vntill my Suite finds favour in thine eyes,
Vpon these naked knees, I here present
My sad request: O let thy heart relent;
A Suitor sues, that never sued before;
And she begs now, that never will beg more:
Hast thou vow'd silence? O remember, how
Thou art engaged by a former vow;
Thy heart is mine; The secrets of thy heart
Are mine; Why art thou dainty to impart
[Page 70] Mine owne, to me? Then, give me leave to sue
For what, my right may challenge as her due;
Vnfold thy Riddle then, that I may know,
Thy love is more, then only love, in show:
The Bridegroome, thus enchanted by his Bride,
Vnseal'd his long-kept silence, and replide:
Thou sole, and great commandresse of my heart,
Thou hast prevail'd; my bosome shall impart
The summe of thy desiers, and discharge
The faithfull secrets of my soule, at large;
Know then, (my joy) Vpon that very day,
I, first, made knowne my'affection, on the way,
I met, and grappled with a sturdy Lyon,
Having nor staffe nor weapon, to relie on,
I was enforc'd to proove my naked strength;
Vnequall was the match; But, at the length,
This brawney arme, receiving strength from him
That gave it life, I tore him limme from limme,
And left him dead: Now when the time was come,
Wherein our promis'd nuptialls were to summe,
And perfect all my joyes, as I was comming
That very way, a strange confused humming,
Not distant farre, possest my wondring eare;
Where guided by the noise, there did appeare
A Swarme of Bees, whose busie labours fill'd
The Carkasse of that Lyon which I kill'd,
With Combes of Hony, wherewithall I fed
My lips and thine: And now my Riddle's read.

MEDITAT. 12.

THe soule of man, before the taint of Nature,
Bore the faire Image of his great Creator;
His understanding had no cloud: His will
No crosse: That, knew no Error; This, no ill:
But man transgrest; And by his wofull fall,
Lost that faire Image, and that little all
Was left, was all corrupt: His understanding
Exchang'd her object; Reason left commanding;
His Memory was depraved, and his will
Can finde no other subject now, but Ill:
It grew distemperd, left the righteous reine
Of better Reason, and did entertaine
The rule of Passion, under whose command,
It suffered Ship-wracke, upon every Sand:
Where it should march, it evermore retires;
And, what is most forbid, it most desires:
Love makes it see too much; and often, blinde;
Doubt makes it light, and waver like the winde;
Hate makes it fierce, and studious; Anger, mad;
Ioy makes it carelesse; Sorrow, dull and sad;
[Page 72] Hope makes it nimble, for a needlesse tryall;
Feare makes it too impatient of deniall.
Great Lord of humane soules; O thou, that art
The onely true refiner of the heart;
Whose hands created all things perfect good,
What canst thou now expect of flesh and blood?
How are our leprous Soules put out of fashion!
How are our Wills subjected to our passion!
How is thy glorious Image soil'd, defac'd,
And stain'd with sinne! How are our thoughts displac'd!
How wavering are our hopes, turn'd here and there
With every blast! How carnall is our feare!
Where needs no feare, we start at every shade,
But feare not, where we ought to be affraid.
Great God! If thou wilt please but to refine
Our hearts, and reconforme our wills, to thine,
Thou'lt take a pleasure in us, and poore we
Should finde as infinite delight in Thee;
Our doubts would cease, our feares would all remove,
And all our passions would turne Ioy, and Love;
Till then, expect for nothing that is good:
Remember, Lord, we are but Flesh and Blood.

SECT. 13.

ARGVMENT.
The Philistines, by her advice,
Expound the Riddle: Samson kild
Thirty Philistians, in a trice;
Forsakes his Bride: His Bed's defilde.
NO sooner was the Brides attentive eares
Resolv'd and pleas'd; but her impetuous feares
Calls in the Bridemen; and, to them betraid
The secret of the Riddle thus, and said:
You Sonnes of Thunder; Twas not the loud noise
Of your provoking threats, nor the soft voice
Of my prevailing feares, that thus addrest
My yeelding heart to grant your forc'd request;
Your language needed not have bin so rough
To speake too much, when lesse had bin enough:
Your speech at first, was hony in mine eare;
At length, it prov'd a Lyon, and did teare
My wounded soule: It sought to force me to
What your entreaties were more apt to doe:
Know then (to keepe your lingring eares no longer
From what ye long to heare;) There's nothing stronger
Then a fierce Lyon: Nothing more can greet
Your pleased palats, with a greater sweet,
[Page 74] Then Hony: But more fully to expound,
In a dead Lyon, there was Hony found.
Now when the Sun was welking in the West,
(Whose fall determines both the day, and Feast)
The hopefull Bridegroome (he whose smiling brow
Assur'd his hopes a speedy Conquest now)
Euen thirsting for victorious Tryumph, brake
The crafty silence of his lips, and spake:
The time is come, whose latest hower ends
Our nuptiall Feast, and fairely recommends
The wreathe of Conquest to the victors brow;
Say; Is the Riddle read? Expound it now;
And, for your paines, these hands shall soone resigne
Your conquerd prize: If not; The prize is mine:
With that, they joyn'd their whispring heads, and made
A Speaker; who, in louder language, said;
Of all the sweets, that ere were knowne,
There's none so pleasing be,
As those rare dainties, which doe crowne
The labour of the Bee:
Of all the Creatures in the field;
That ever man set eye on,
There's none, whose power doth not yeeld
Vnto the stronger Lyon.
Whereto th' offended Challenger, whose eye
Proclaim'd a quicke Revenge, made this reply:
No Hony's sweeter then a womans tongue;
And, when she list, Lyons are not so strong:
How thrice accurs'd are they, that doe fulfill
The lewd desiers of a woman's will!
[Page 75] How more accurs'd is he, that doth impart
His bosome secrets to a womans heart;
They plead like Angells, and, like Crocadiles,
Kill with their teares; They murther with their smiles:
How weake a thing is woman? Nay how weake
Is senslesse Man, that will be urg'd to breake
His counsells in her eare, that hath no power
To make secure a secret, for an hower!
No; victors, no: Had not a womans minde
Bin faithlesse, and unconstant, as the winde,
My Riddle had, till now, a Riddle bin;
You might have mus'd; and mist; and mus'd agin,
When the next day had heav'd his golden head
From the soft pillow of his Seagreene bed;
And, with his rising glory, had possest
The spatious borders of th' enlightned East,
Samson arose; and, in a rage, went downe
(By heaven directed) to a neighbring towne;
His choller was inflam'd; and, from his eye
The sudden flashes of his wrath did flie;
Palenesse was in his cheekes; and, from his breath,
There flew the fierce Embassadours of death;
He heav'd his hand; and where it fell, it slew;
He spent, and still his forces would renew;
His quick-redoubled blowes fell thicke as thunder;
And, whom he tooke alive, he tore in sunder:
His arme nere mist; And often, at a blow,
He made a Widow, and an Orphane too:
Here, it divides the Father from the child;
The husband, from his wife; there, it dispoild
[Page 76] The friend on's friend, the sister of her brother;
And, oft, with one man, he would thrash another:
Where never was, he made a little flood,
And where there was no kin, he joyn'd in blood,
Wherein, his ruthlesse hands he did imbrue;
Thrice ten, before he scarce could breathe, he slue;
Their upper Garments, which he tooke away,
Were all the spoiles the victor had, that day;
Where with, he quit the wagers that he lost,
Paying Philistians, with Philistians cost;
And thus, at length, with blood he did asswage,
But yet not quench the fier of his rage,
For now the thought of his disloyall wife,
In his sad soule, renew'd a second strife,
From whom, for feare his fury should recoile,
He thought most fit t' absent himselfe awhile;
Vnto his fathers Tent, he now return'd;
Where, his divided passion rag'd, and mourn'd;
In part, he mourned; and, he rag'd, in part,
To see so faire a face; so false a heart:
But marke the mischiefe that his absence brings;
His bed's defiled, and the nuptiall strings
Are stretcht and crackt: A second love doth smother
The first; And she is wedded to another.

MEDITAT. 13.

VVAs this that wombe, the Angell did enlarge
From barrennesse? And gave so strickt a charge?
Was this that wombe, that must not be defil'd
With uncleane meates, lest it pollute the child?
Is this the Nazarite? May a Nazarite, then,
Embrue and paddle in the bloods of men?
Or may their vowes be so dispens'd withall,
That they, who scarce may see a funerall,
Whose holy footsteps must beware to tread
Vpon, or touch the carkasse of the dead?
May these revenge their wrongs, by blood? May these
Have power to Kill, and murther where they please?
Tis true: A holy Nazarite is forbid
To doe such things as this our Nazarite did:
He may not touch the bodies of the dead,
Without pollution; much lesse, may shed
The blood of man, or touch it, being spilt,
Without the danger of a double guilt:
But who art thou, that art an undertaker,
To question with, or pleade against thy Maker?
May not that God, that gave thee thy creation,
Turne thee to nothing, by his dispensation?
[Page 78] He that hath made the Sabbath, and commands
It shall be kept with unpolluted hands;
Yet, if he please to countermand agin,
Man may securely labour, and not sin;
A Nazarite is not allow'd to shed
The blood of man, or once to touch the dead;
But if the God of Nazarites, bids kill
He may; and be a holy Nazarite still:
But stay! Is God like Man? Or can he border
Vpon confusion, that's the God of order?
The Persian Lawes no time may contradict;
And are the Lawes of God lesse firme and strict?
An earthly Parent wills his child to stand
And waite; within a while, he gives command
(Finding the weakenesse of his Sonne opprest
With wearinesse) that he sit downe and rest;
Is God unconstant then; because he pleases
To alter, what he wild us, for our eases?
Know, likewise, O ungratefull flesh and blood,
God limits his owne glory, for our good;
He is the God of mercy, and he prizes
Thine Asses life, above his Sacrifices;
His Sabbath is his glory, and thy rest;
Hee'l lose some honour, ere thou lose a Beast:
Great God of mercy; O, how apt are wee
To robbe thee of thy due, that art so free
To give unaskt! Teach me, O God, to know
What portion I deserve, and tremble too.

SECT. 14.

ARGVMENT.
Samson comes downe to reenjoy
His wife: Her father does withstand:
For which, he threatens to destroy
And ruine him, and all the land.
BVt Samson, (yet not knowing what was past,
For wronged husbands ever are the last
That heare the newes) thus with himselfe bethought;
It cannot be excus'd: It was a fault,
It was a foule one too; and, at first sight,
Too greate for love, or pardon to acquite:
O, had it bin a stranger, that betraid
Reposed secrets, I had onely laid
The blame upon my unadvised tongue;
Or had a common friend but done this wrong
To bosome trust, my patience might out-worne it;
I could endur'd, I could have easily borne it;
But thus to be betraied by a wife,
The partner of my heart; to whom my life,
My very soule was not esteemed deare,
Is more then flesh, is more then blood can beare:
But yet alas, She was but greene, and young,
And had not gain'd the conquest of her tongue;
[Page 80] Vnseasond vessells, oft, will finde a leake
At first; but after, hold: She is but weake,
Nay, cannot yet write woman; which, at best,
Is a fraile thing: Alas young things will quest
At every turne; Indeed, to say the truth,
Her yeares could make it but a fault of youth:
Samson, returne; and let that fault be set
Vpon the score of youth: forgive; forget:
She is my wife: Her love hath power to hide
A fouler error; Why should I divide
My presence from her? There's no greater wrong
To love, then to be silent over long:
Alas, poore soule! No doubt, her tender eye
Hath wept enough; perchance she knows not why
I'me turn'd so great a stranger to her bed,
And boord: No doubt, her empty eyes have shed
A world of teares; perchance, her guiltlesse thought
Conceives my absence as a greater fault
Then that, of late, her harmelesse Error did;
I'l goe and draw a reconciling Kid
From the faire flocke; My feet shall never rest,
Till I repose me in my Brides faire brest;
He went; but ere his speedy lips obtain'd
The merits of his hast, darknesse had stain'd
The cristall brow of day; and gloomy night
Had spoild and rifled heaven of all his light:
H'approach'd the gates; but, being entred in,
His carelesse welcome seem'd so cold and thin,
As if that silence meant, it should appeare,
He was no other, then a stranger, there;
[Page 81] In every servants looke, hee did espie
An easie Copie of their Masters eye;
He call'd his wife, but she was gone to rest;
Vnto her wonted chamber he addrest
His doubtfull steps; till, by her father, staid,
Who taking him aside a little, said.
Son;
It was the late espousals that doe move
My tongue to use that title; not, thy love:
Tis true; there was a Mariage lately past
Betweene my Childe, and you; The knot was fast
And firmly tyed, not subject to the force
Of any powre, but death, or else divorce.
For ought I saw, a mutuall desire
Kindled your likings, and an equall fire
Of strong affection, joyned both your hands
With the perpetuall knot of nuptiall bands;
Mutuall delight, and equall loyes attended
Your pleased hearts, untill the feast was ended;
But then, I know no ground, (you know it best)
As if your loves were measur'd by the Feast,
The building fell, before the house did shake,
Loves fire was quencht, ere it began to slake;
All on a sudden were your joyes disseis'd;
Forsooke your Bride, and went away displeas'd;
You left my childe to the opprobrious tongues
Of open censure, whose mabitious wrongs,
(Maligning her faire merits) did defame
Her wounded honour, and unblemisht name;
I thought, thy love, which was so strong, of late,
[...]
[Page 86] He thus began t' attempt his first conclusion;
The patient Angler, first, provides his baite,
Before his hopes can teach him to awaite
Th' enjoyment of his long expected prey;
Revengefull Samson, ere hee can appay
His wrongs with timely vengeance, must intend
To gaine the Instruments, to worke his end,
He plants his Engines, hides his snares about,
Pitches his Toiles, findes new devices out,
To tangle wilie Foxes; In few dayes,
(That land had store) his studious hand betrayes
A leash of hundreds, which he thus imployes,
As Agents in his ragefull enterprize;
With tough, and force-enduring thongs of Lether,
He joynes and couples taile, and taile together,
And every thonge bound in a Brand of Fire,
So made by Art, that motion would inspire
Continuall flames, and, as the motion ceast,
The thrifty blaze would then retire and rest
In the close Brand, untill a second strife
Gave it new motion; and that motion, life:
Soone as these coupled Messengers receiv'd
Their siery Errand, though they were bereiv'd
Of power to make great hast, they made good speed;
Their thoughts were diffring, though their tailes agreed:
T'one drags and drawes to th'East; the other, West;
One fit, they run; another while they rest;
T' one skulks and snarles, the t' other tugges and hales;
At length, both flee, with fier in their tailes,
And in the top and height of all their speed.
[Page 87] T'one stops, before the tother be agreed;
The other pulls, and drags his fellow backe,
Whilst both their tailes were tortur'd on the racke;
At last, both weary of their warme Embassage,
Their better ease discride a fairer passage,
And time hath taught their wiser thoughts to joyne
More close, and travell in a straighter line:
Into the open Champion they divide
Their straggling paces (where the ploughmans pride
Found a faire Object, in his rip'ned Corne;
Whereof, some part was reapt; some, stood unshorne)
Sometimes, the fiery travellers would seeke
Protection beneath a swelling Reeke;
But soone that harbour grew too hot for staie,
Affording onely light, to run away;
Sometimes, the full-ear'd standing-wheat must cover
And hide their shames; &, there the flames would hover
About their eares, and send them to enquire
A cooler place; but, there, the flaming fire
Would scorch their hides, and send them sing'd away;
Thus, doubtfull where to goe, or where to stay,
They range about; Flee forward; then retire,
Now here, now there; Where ere they come, they fire;
Nothing was left, that was not lost, and burn'd;
And now, that fruitfull land of Iewry's turn'd
A heape of Ashes; That faire land, while ere
Which fild all hearts with joy, and every eare
With newes of plenty, and of blest encrease,
(The joyfull issue of a happy peace)
See, how it lies in her owne ruines, void
[Page 88] Of all her happinesse, disguiz'd, destroy'd:
With that the Philistines, whose sad reliefe
And comfort's deeply buried in their griefe,
Began to question (they did all partake
In th' irrecoverable losse) and spake,
What cursed brand of Hell? What more then Devill,
What envious Miscreant hath done this evill?
Whereto, one sadly standing by, replide;
It was that cursed Samson (whose faire Bride
Was lately ravisht from his absent brest
By her false father) who before the feast
Of nuptiall was a month expir'd, and done,
By second mariage, own'd another sonne;
For which, this Samson heav'd from off the henge
Of his lost reason, studied this revenge;
That Timnits falshood wrought this desolation;
Samson the Actor was, but he, th' occasion:
With that, they all consulted, to proceed
In height of Iustice, to revenge this deed;
Samson, whose hand was the immediate cause
Of this foule act, is stronger then their lawes;
Him, they refer to time; For his proud hand
May bring a second ruine to their land;
The cursed Timnite, he that did divide
The lawful Bridegroome from his lawfull Bride,
And mov'd the patience of so strong a foe,
To bring these evils, and worke their overthrow,
To him they hast; and, with resolv'd desire
Of blood, they burne his house, & him with fire.

MEDITAT. 15.

Dost thou not tremble? Does thy troubled eare
Not tingle? nor thy spirits faint to heare
The voice of those, whose dying shriekes proclame
Their tortures, that are broyling in the flame?
She, whose illustrious beauty did not know
Where to be matcht, but one poore houre agoe;
She, whose faire eyes were apt to make man erre
From his knowne faith, and turne Idolater;
She, whose faire cheeks, inricht with true cōplexion,
Seem'd beauties store-house of her best perfection;
See, how she lies, see how this beautie lies,
A foule offence, unto thy loathing eyes;
A fleshly Cinder, lying on the floore.
Starke naked, had it not bin cover'd ore
With bashfull ruines, which were fallen downe
From the consumed roofe, and rudely throwne
On this halfe-roasted earth. O, canst thou reade
Her double story, and thy heart not bleed?
What art thou more then she? Tell me wherein
Art thou more priviledg'd? Or can thy sinne
Plead more t'excuse it? Art thou faire and yong?
Why so was she: Were thy temptations strong?
[Page 90] Why, so were hers: What canst thou plead, but she
Had powre to plead the same, as well as thee?
Nor was't her death alone, could satisfie
Revenge; her father, and his house must dye:
Vnpunisht crimes doe often bring them in,
That were no lesse then strangers to the sinne:
Ely must dye; because his faire reproofe
Of too foule sinne, was not austere enough:
Was vengeance now appeas'd? Hath not the crime
Paid a sufficient Intrest for the time?
Remove thine eye to the Philistian fields;
See, what increase their fruitfull harvest yeelds:
There's nothing there, but a confused heape
Of ruinous ashes: There's no corne, to reape:
Behold the poyson of unpunisht sinne;
For which the very earth's accurst agin:
Famine must act her part; her griping hand,
For one mans sinne, must punish all the Land:
Is vengeance now appeas'd? Hath sinne given ore
To cry for plagues? Must vengeance yet have more?
O, now th'impartiall sword must come, and spill
The blood of such, as Famine could not kill:
The language of unpunisht sinne cryes loud,
It roares for Iustice, and it must have blood:
Famine must follow, where the Fire begun;
The Sword must end, what both have left undone.
Iust God; our sinnes doe dare thee to thy face;
Our score is great; our Ephah fill's apace;
The leaden cover threatens, every minut,
To close the Ephah, and our sinnes, within it.
[Page 91] Turne backe thine eye: Let not thine eye behold
Such vile pollutions: Let thy vengeance hold:
Looke on thy dying Sonne; There shalt thou spie
An Object, that's more fitter for thine eye;
His sufferings (Lord) are farre above our sinnes;
O, looke thou there; Ere Iustice once begins
T'unsheathe her Sword, O, let one pretious drop
Fall from that pierced side; and that will stop
The eares of vengeance, from that clamorous voice
Of our loud sinnes, which make so great a noise;
O, send that drop, before Revenge begins,
And that will cry farre louder then our sinnes.

SECT. 16.

ARGVMENT.
He makes a slaughter; Doth remove
To Etans rocke; where, to repay him
The wrongs that he had done, they move the men of Iudah to betray him.
THus when th'accurs'd Philistians had appaid
The Timnits sinne, with ruine; and betraid
Th'unjust Offenders to their fierce desire,
And burn'd their cursed Family with fire;
Samson, the greatnesse of whose debt denide
So short a payment; and whose wrongs yet cride
For further vengeance, to be further laid
Vpon the sinne-conniving Nation, said,
Vnjust Philistians, you that could behold
So capitall a crime, and yet with-hold
This well-deserved punishment so long,
Which made you partners in their sinne, my wrong;
Had yee at first, when as the fault was yong,
Before that Time had lent her clamorous tongue
So great a strength, to call for so much blood;
O, had your earlie Iustice but thought good
To strike in time; nay, had you then devis'd
Some easier punishment, it had suffic'd;
[Page 93] But now it comes too late; The sin has cryed,
Till heaven hath heard, and mercy is denied:
Nay, had the sin but spar'd to roare so loud,
A drop had serv'd, when now a Tide of blood
Will hardly stop her mouth:
Had ye done this betimes! But now, this hand
Must plague your persons, and afflict your land:
Have ye beheld a youth-instructing Tutor,
(Whose wisedom's seldome seene, but in the future)
When well deserved punishment shall call
For the delinquent Boy; how, first of all,
He preaches fairely; then, proceedes austerer
To the foule crime, whilst the suspitious hearer
Trembles at every word, untill, at length,
His language being ceas'd, th' unwelcome strength
Of his rude arme, that often proves too rash,
Strickes home, and fetches blood at every lash.
Even so stout Samson, whose more gentle tongue,
In easie tearmes, doth first declare the wrong,
Injustice did, then tells the evill effects
That mans connivence, and unjust neglects
Does often bring upon th' afflicted land;
But, at the last, upheaves his ruthlesse hand;
He hewes, he hacks, and, fury being guide,
His unresisted power doth divide
From top to toe; his furious weapon cleft,
Where ere it strucke: It slue; and never left,
Vntill his flesh-destroying arme, at length,
Could finde no subject, where t' imploy his strength:
Here stands a head-strong Steed, whose fainting guider
[Page 94] Drops downe; another dragges his wounded rider:
Now here, now there his franticke arme would thunder,
And, at one stroake, cleaves horse and man in sunder,
In whose mixt blood, his hands would oft embrue,
And where so ere they did but touch, they slew:
Here's no imployment for the Surgeons trade,
All wounds were mortall that his weapon made;
There's none was left, but dying, or else dead,
And onely they, that scap'd his fury, fled;
The slaughter ended, the proud victor past
Through the afflicted land, untill, at last,
He comes to Iudah; where, he pitch'd his Tent,
At the rocke Etan: There, some time he spent;
He spent not much, Till the Philistian band,
That found small comfort in their wasted land,
Came up to Iudah, and there, pitch'd not farre
From Samsons Tent; Their hands were arm'd to warre:
With that, the men of Iudah, strucke with feare,
To see so great an Armie, straight drew neare,
To the sad Campe; who, after they had made
Some signes of a continued peace, they said;
What new designes have brought your royall band
Vpon the borders of our peacefull land?
What strange adventures? What disastrous weather
Drove you this way? What businesse brought you hether?
Let not my Lords be angry, or conceive
An evill against your Servants: What we have,
Is yours: The peacefull plenty of our land
And we, are yours; and at your owne command:
Why, to what purpose are you pleas'd to show us
[Page 95] Your strength! Why bring you thus an army to us?
Are not our yearly Tributes justly paid?
Have we not kept our vowes? Have we delaid
Our faithfull service, or denied to doe it,
When you have pleas'd to call your servants to it?
Have we, at any time, upon your triall,
Shruncke from our plighted faith, or prov'd disloyall?
If that proud Samson have abus'd your Land,
Tis not our faults; Alas, we had no hand
In his designes: We lent him no reliefe;
No aid; No, we were partners in your griefe.
Where to the Philistines, whose hopes relyde
Vpon their faire assistance, thus replyde:
Feare not, yee men of Iudah; Our intentions
Are not to wrong your peace: Your apprehensions
Are too-too timerous; Our designes are bent
Against the common Foe, whose hands have spent
Our lavish blood, and rob'd our wasted Land
Of all her joyes: Tis hee, our armed band
Expects, and followes: Hee is cloysterd here,
Within your Quarters: Let your faiths appeare
Now in your loyall actions, and convay
The skulking Rebell to us, that we may
Revenge our blood, which he hath wasted thus,
And doe to him, as he hath done to us.

MEDITAT. 16.

IT was a sharpe revenge: But was it just?
Shall one man suffer for another? Must
The Childrens teeth be set on edge, because
Their Fathers ate the grapes? Are Heavens lawes
So strict? whose lips did, with a promise, tell,
That no such law should passe in Israel:
Because th' injurious Timnites trecherous hand
Commits the fault, must Samson scourge the land?
Sinne is a furious Plague; and it infects
The next inhabitant, if he neglects
The meanes t' avoid it: Tis not because he sinnes
That thou art punisht: No, it then begins
T' infect thy soule; when, thou a stander by,
Reproves it not: or when thy carelesse eye
Slights it as nothing: If a sinne of mine
Grieve not thy wounded soule, it becomes thine.
Thinke yee that God commits the Sword of power
Into the hands of Magistrates, to scower
And keepe it bright? Or onely to advance
His yet unknowne Authoritie? Perchance,
The glorious Hilt and Scabberd make a show
To serve his turne; have it a blade, or no,
[Page 97] He neither knowes, nor cares: Is this man fit
T' obtaine so great an honor, as to sit
As Gods Lieutenant, and to punish sinne?
Know leaden Magistrates, and know agin,
Your Sword was given to draw, and to be dyde
In guilty blood; not to be laid aside,
At the request of friends, or for base feare,
Lest when your honor's ended with the yeare,
Ye may be baffled: tis not enough that you
Finde, bread be waight; or that the waights be true:
Tis not enough, that every foule disorder
Must be refer'd to your more wise Recorder:
The charge is given to you: You must returne
A faire account; or else, the Land must mourne:
You keepe your Swords too long a season in,
And God strikes us, because you strike not sinne:
Y' are too remisse, and want a Resolution:
Good Lawes lye dead, for lacke of execution:
An Oath is growne so bold, that it will laugh
The easie Act, to scorne: Nay, we can quaffe
And reele with priviledge: and wee can trample
Vpon our shame shrunke cloakes, by your example:
You are too dull: Too great offences passe
Vntoucht; God loves no service from the Asse;
Rouze up; O use the Spurre, & spare the Bridle;
God strikes, because your Swords, and You are idle;
Graunt, Lord, that every one may mend a fault;
And then our Magistrates may stand for nought.

SECT. 17.

ARGVMENT.
The faithlesse men of Iuda went
To make him subject to their bands:
They bound him by his owne consent,
And brought him pris'ner to their hands.
SO said: The men of Iudah (whose base feare
Taught them to open an obedient eare
To their revengefull and unjust request)
Accept the trecherous motion, and addrest
Their slavish thoughts, to put in execution
The subject of their servile resolution:
With that, three thousand of their ablest men
Are soone imploy'd; To the fierce Lyons den
They come, (yet daring not approach too neare)
And sent this louder language to his eare;
Victorious Samson, whose renowned facts
Have made the world a Register of thy Acts,
Great Army of men, the wonder of whose power
Gives thee the title of a walking Tower,
Why hast thou thus betraid us to the hand
Of the curs'd Philistines? Thou know'st our Land
Does owe it selfe to thee; There's none can clame
So great an intrest in our hearts: Thy name,
[Page 99] Thy highly honour'd name, for ever, beares
A welcome Accent in our joyfull eares;
But now the times are dangerous, and a band
Of proud Philistians quarter in our land;
And; for thy sake, the tyranny of their tongues
Hath newly threatned to revenge thy wrongs
Vpon our peacefull lives: Their lips have vow'd
And sworne to salve their injuries with our blood;
Their jealous fury hollowes in our eares,
They'l plague our land, as thou hast plagued theirs,
If we refuse to doe their fierce command,
And bring not Samson prisoner to their hand;
Alas, thou knowst our servile neckes must bow
To their imperious Yoke; Alas, our vow
Of loyalty is past: If they bid, doe;
We must; or loose our lands, and our lifes too;
Were but our lifes in hazard, or if none
Should feele the smart of death, but wee alone,
Wee'd turne thy Martyrs, rather then obey'm,
Wee'd dye with Samson sooner then betray'm;
But we have wifes, and children, that would be
The subjects of their rage, as well as wee:
Wherefore, submit thy person, and fulfill
What we desire so much against our will:
Alas, our griefes in equall poisure lye;
Yeeld, and thou dyest: Yeeld not, and wee must dye:
Whereto, sad Samson, whose faire thoughts did guide
His lips to fairer language, thus replide;
Yee men of Iudah, what distrustfull thought
Of single Samsons violence hath brought
[Page 100] So great a strength, as if you meant t'orethrow
Some mighty Monarch, or surprise a Foe!
Tour easie errand might as well bin done
By two or three, or by the lips of one;
The meanest childe of holy Israels seede
Might conquer'd Samson, with a bruised reed:
Alas, the boldnesse of your welcome words
Need no protection of these staves and Swords:
Brethren; the intention of my comming hither
Was not to wrong you, or deprive you, either
Of lives, or goods, or of your poorest due;
My selfe is cheaper to my selfe, then you;
My comming is on a more faire designe,
I come to crush your tyranous foes, and mine,
I come to free your country, and recall
Your servile shoulders from the slavish thrall
Of the proud Philistines; and, with this hand,
To make you freemen in your promis'd Land;
But you are come to binde me, and betray
Your faith full Champion to those hands, that lay
Perpetuall burthens on, which daily vex
Your galled shoulders, and your servile necks:
The wrongs these cursed Philistines have done
My simple innocence, have quite outrun
My easie patience: If my arme may right
My too much injur'd suffrance, and requite
What they have done to me, it would appease
My raging thoughts, and give my tortures ease;
But ye are come to binde me: I submit;
I yeeld; And if my bondage will acquit
[Page 101] Your new borne feares, Tis well: But they that doe
Attempt to ruine me, will ransack you:
First, you shall firmely' engage your plighted troth,
By the acceptance of a sacred oath,
That, when I shall be prisoner to your bands,
I may not suffer violence by your hands:
With that, they drawing nearer to him, laid
Their hands beneath his brawny thigh, and said,
Then let the God of Iacob cease to blesse
The tribe of Iudah, with a faire successe,
In ought they put their cursed hand unto,
And raze their seed, If we attempt to doe
Bound Samson violence; And if this curse
Be not sufficient, heaven contrive a worse:
With that, the willing prisoner join'd his hands,
To be subjected to their stronger bands:
With treble twisted cords, that never tried
The twitch of strength, their buisie fingers tied
His sinewy wrists, which being often wound
About his beating pulse, they brought him bound
To the forefront of the Philistian band,
And left him captive in their cursed hand.

MEDITAT. 17.

O What a Pearle is hidden in this Field,
Whose orient luster, and perfections yeeld
So great a treasure, that the Easterne Kings,
With all the wealth, their colder Climate brings,
Nere saw the like: It is a pearle whose glory
Is the diviner subject of a Story,
Penn'd by an Angells quill; not understood
By the too dull con ceitof flesh and blood!
Vnkinde Iudeans, what have you presented
Before our eyes? O, what have you attented!
He that was borne on purpose, to release
His life, for yours; to bring your Nation peace;
To turne your mournings into joyfull Songs;
To fight your Battells; To revenge your wrongs;
Even him, alas, your cursed hands have made
This day your prisoner; Him have you betraid
To death: O; hee whose sinowy arme had power
To crush you all to nothing, and to shower
Down strokes, like thunderbolts, whose blasting breath,
Might, in a moment, pufft you all to death,
And made ye fall before his frowning brow,
See, how he goes away, betraid by you!
Thou great Redeemer of the world! Whose blood
Hath power to save more worlds, then Noah's flood
[Page 103] Destroyed bodies; thou, O thou that art
The Samson of our soules, How can the heart
Of man give thanks enough, that does not know
How much his death-redeemed soule does owe
To thy deare merits? We can apprehend
No more then flesh and blood does recommend
To our confined thoughts: Alas, we can
Conceive thy love, but as the love of man:
We cannot tell the horror of that paine
Thou bought us from, not can our hearts attaine
Those joyes that thou hast purchas'd in our name,
Nor yet the price, thou paidst: Our thoughts are lame,
And craz'd; Alas, things mortall have no might,
No meanes to comprehend an Infinite:
We can behold thee cradled in a Manger,
In a poore Stable: We can see the danger
The Tetrarch's fury made thee subject to;
We can conceive thy poverty; We know
Thy blessed hands (that might bin freed) were bound;
We know, alas, thy bleeding browes were crown'd
With prickling thorne; Thy body torne with whips;
Thy palmes impeirc'd with ragged nailes; Thy lips
Saluted with a Traitors kisse; Thy browes
Sweating forth blood: Thy oftrepeated blowes;
Thy fastning to the crosse; Thy shamefull death;
These outward tortures all come underneath
Our dull conceits: But, what thy blessed soule
(That bore the burthen of our guilt, and Scroule
Of all our sinns, and horrid paines of Hell)
O, what that soule endur'd, what soule can tell!

SECT. 18.

ARGVMENT.
He breakes their bands; And with a Bone,
A thousand Philistians he slue:
He thirsted, fainted; made his mone
To heaven: He drinkes, His spirits renew.
THus when the glad Philistians had obtain'd
The summe of all their hopes, they entertain'd
The welcome pris'ner with a greater noise
Of triumph then the greatnesse of their joyes
Required: Some, with sudden death, would greet
The new come Guest; whil'st others, more discreet,
With lingring paines, and tortures more exact,
Would force him to discover, in the Fact,
Who his Abettors were: others gainsaid
That course, for feare a rescue may be made:
Some cry, Tis fittest, that th' offender bleed
There, where his cursed hands had done the deed:
Others cryed, No, where Fortune hath consign'd him,
Wee'lk: H him: Best; to kill him, where we finde him:
Thus variously they spent their doubtfull breath,
At last, they all agreed on sudden death;
There's no contention now, but onely who
Shall strike the first, or give the speeding blow:
[Page 105] Have yee beheld a single thred of flax,
Touch'd by the fier, how the fier crackes
With ease, and parts the slender twine in sunder,
Even so, as the first arme began to thunder
Vpon the Prisners life, he burst the bands
From his strong wrists, and freed his loosned hands;
Hee stoop'd; from off the blood-expecting grasse,
He snatcht the crooked jaw-bone of an Asse;
Wherewith, his fury dealt such downe-right blowes.
So oft redoubled, that it overthrowes
Man after man; And being ring'd about
With the distracted, and amazed rout
Of rude Philistians, turn'd his body round,
And in a circle dings them to the ground:
Each blow had proofe; for, where the jaw-bone mist,
The furious Champion wounded with his fist:
Betwixt them both, his fury did uncase
A thousand soules, which, in that fatall place,
Had left their ruin'd carkeises, to feast
The slesh-devouring fowle, and rav'nous beast:
With that, the Conquerour, that now had fed
And surfeited his eye upon the dead
His hand had slaine, sate downe; and, having flung
His purple weapon by, triumpht, and sung;
SAmson rejoyce: Be fill'd with mirth;
Let all Iudaea know,
And tell the Princes of the earth
How strong an arme hast thou:
How has thy dead inricht the land,
And purpled ore the grasse,
[Page 106] That hadst no weapon in thy hand,
But the Iaw-bone of an Asse!
How does thy strength, and high renowne
The glory of men surpasse!
Thine arme has strucke a thousand downe, with the jaw-bone of an Asse:
Let Samsons glorious name endure,
Till time shall render One,
Whose greater glory shall obscure
The Glory thou hast wonne.
His Song being ended, rising from the place
Whereon he lay, he turn'd his ruthlesse face
Vpon those heapes his direfull hand had made,
And op'ning of his thirsty lips, he said:
Great God of Conquest, thou by whose command
This heart received courage, and this hand
Strength, to revenge thy quarrels, and fulfill
The secret motion of thy sacred will;
What, shall thy Champion perish now with thirst?
Thou knowst, I have done nothing, but what first
Was warranted by thy command: T was thou
That gave my spirit boldnesse, and my brow
A resolution: This mine arme did doe
No more, then what thou didst enjoyne it to:
And shall I dye for thirst? O thou that sav'd
Me from the Lyons rage, that would have rav'd
Vpon my life: by whom I have subdu'd
Thy cursed enemies, and have imbru'd
My heaven-commanded hands, in a spring-tyde
Of guilty blood; Lord, shall I be denyde
[Page 107] A draught of cooling water, to allay
The tyranny of my thirst? I, that this day
Have labour'd in thy Vineyard; rooted out
So many weeds, whose losty crests did sprout
Above thy trodden Vines; what, shall I dye
For want of water, thou the Fountaine by?
I know that thou wert here, for hadst thou not
Supplyde my hand with strength, I ne'er had got
So strange a vict'ry: Hath thy servant taken
Thy worke in hand, and is he now forsaken?
Hast thou not promis'd that my strengthned hand
Shall scourge thy Foemen, and secure thy Land
From slavish bondage? will that arme of thine
Make me their slave, whom thou hast promist, mine?
Bow downe thy eare, and heare my needfull cry;
O, quench my thirst, great God, or else I dye:
With that, the jaw, wherewith his arme had laid
So many sleeping in the dust, obayde
The voice of God, and cast a tooth, from whence
A sudden spring arose, whose confluence
Of christall waters, plentiously disburst
Their pretious streames; and so allaid his thurst.

MEDITAT. 18.

THe jaw-bone of an Asse? How poore a thing
God makes his powerfull instrument to bring
Some honour to his name, and to advance
His greater glory! Came this bone, by chance,
To Samsons hand? Or could the Army goe
No further? but must needs expect a foe
Iust where his weapon of destruction lay?
Was there no fitter place, for them to stay,
But even just there? How small a thing 'thad bin
(If they had beene so provident) to winne
The day with ease? Had they but taken thence
That cursed Bone, what colour of defence
Had Samson found? Or how could he withstood
The necessary danger of his blood?
Where Heav'n doth please to ruine, humane wit
Must faile, and deeper pollicie must submit:
There, wisedome must be fool'd, and strength of braine
Must worke against it selfe, or worke in vaine:
The tracke, that seemes most likely, often leads
To death; and where securitie most pleads,
There, dangers, in their fairest shapes, appeare,
And give us not so great a help, as feare:
[Page 109] The things wee least suspect, are often they,
That most effect our ruine, and betray:
Who would have thought, the silly Asses bone,
Not worth the spurning, should have overthrowne
So stout a Band? Heav'n, often times, thinkes best,
To overcome the greatest with the least:
He gaines most glory in things, that are most sleight,
And wins, in honour, what they want in might:
Who would have thought, that Samsons deadly thurst
Should have bin quencht with waters, that did burst
And flow from that dry bone? Who would not thinke,
The thirsty Conquerour, for want of drinke,
Should first have dyed? What mad man could presume
So dry a tooth should yeeld so great a Rheume?
God does not worke like Man; nor is he tyed
To outward meanes: His pleasure is his Guide,
Not Reason: He, that is the God of Nature,
Can worke against it: He that is Creator
Of all things, can dispose them, to attend
His will, forgetting their created end:
Hee, whose Almighty power did supply
This Bone with water, made the Red sea; dry:
Great God of Nature; Tis as great an ease
For thee to alter Nature, if thou please,
As to create it; Let that hand of thine
Shew forth thy powre, and please to alter mine:
My sinnes are open, but my sorrow's hid;
I cannot drench my couch, as David did;
My braines are marble, and my heart is stone:
O strike mine eyes, as thou didst strike that bone.

SECT. 19.

ARGVMENT.
Hee lodges with a harlot: wait
Is laid, and guards are pitcht about:
Hee beares away the City-gate
Vpon his shoulders, and goes out.
THus when victorious Samson had unliv'd
This hoast of armed men; and had reviv'd
His fainting spirits, and refresht his tongue
With those sweet christall streames, that lately sprung
From his neglected weapon, he arose
(Secured from the tyrannie of his Foes
By his Heaven-borrow'd strength) and boldly came
To a Philistian City, knowne by th' name
Of Azza; where, as he was passing by,
The carelesse Champion cast his wandring eye
Vpon a face, whose beauty did invite
His wanton heart to wonder and delight:
Her curious haire was crisp'd: Her naked brest
Was white as Ivory, and fairely drest
With costly Iewells: In her glorious face,
Nature was hidden, and dissembled grace
Damaskt her rosie cheekes: Her eyes did sparke,
At every glance, like Diamonds in the darke;
[Page 111] Bold was her brow; whose frowne was but a foile
To glorifie her better-pleasing smile;
Her pace was carelesse, seeming to discover
The passions of a discontented Lover:
Sometime, her op'ned Casement gives her eye
A twinckling passage to the passer by;
And, when her fickle fancy had given ore
That place, she comes, and wantons at the doore;
There Samson view'd her, and his steps could finde
No further ground; but (guided by his minde)
Cast Anchor there: Have thy observing eyes
Ere mark'd the Spiders garbe, How close she lies
Within her curious webbe; And by and by,
How quicke she hasts to her entangled Flie;
And, whispring poyson in his murmring eares,
At last, she tugges her silent guest, and beares
His hampred body to the inner roome
Of her obscure and solitary Home;
Even so this snaring beauty entertaines
Our eye-led Samson, tamperd with the chaines
Of her imperious eyes; and he, that no man
Could conquer; now lyes conquerd by a woman.
Fayre was his welcome, and as fairely' exprest
By her delicious language, which profest
No lesse affection, then so sweet a Friend,
Could, with her best expressions, recommend:
Into her glorious chamber she directs
Her welcome guest, and with her fayre respects
She entertaines him; with a bountious kisse,
She gives him earnest of a greater blisse;
[Page 112] And with a brazen countenance, she brake
The way to her unchaste desires, and spake;
Mirrour of mankinde, thou selected flowre
Of Loves faire knot, welcome to Flora's bowrs;
Cheare up, my Love; and looke upon these eyes,
Wherein my beauty, and thy picture lyes;
Come, take me prisner, in thy folded armes;
And boldly strike up sprightly loves alarmes
Vpon these ruby lips, and let us trie
The sweets of love: Here's none but thee and I:
My beds are softest downe, and purest lawne
My sheets; My vallents, and my curtaines drawne
In gold and silkes of curious dye: Behold,
My Coverings are of Tap stry, inricht with gold;
Come, come, and let us take our fill of pleasure;
My husbands absence lends me dainty leasure
To give thee welcome: Come, let's spend the night
In sweet enjoyment of unknowne delight.
Her words prevail'd: And, being both undrest,
Together went to their defiled rest:
By this, the newes of Samsons being there
Possest the Citie, and fill'd every eare:
His death is plotted; And advantage lends
New hopes of speed: An armed guard attends
At every gate, that when the breaking day
Shall send him forth, th' expecting Forces may
Betray him to his sudden death; and so,
Revenge their Kingdomes ruine at a blow:
But lustfull Samson (whose distrustfull eares
Kept open house) was now possest with feares:
[Page 113] Hee heares a whisp'ring; and the trampling feet
Of people passing in the silent street;
He, whom undaunted courage lately made
A glorious Conquerour, is now afraid;
His conscious heart is smitten with his sinne;
He cannot chuse but feare, and feare agin:
He feares; and now the terrible alarmes
Of sinne doe call him from th' unlawfull armes
And lips of his luxurious Concubine;
Bids him, arise from dalliance, and resigne
The usurpation of his luke-warme place
To some new sinner, whose lesse dangerous case
May lend more leisure to so foule a deed:
Samson, with greater and unwonted speed
Leaps from his want on bed; his feares doe presse
More haste, to cloath; then lust did, to undresse:
He makes no tarryance; but, with winged hast,
Bestrides the streets; and, to the gates, he past,
And through the armed troupes, he makes his way;
Beares gates, and bars, and pillers all away;
So scap'd the rage of the Philistian Band,
That still must owe his ruine, to their land.

MEDITAT. 19.

HOw weake, at strongest, is poore flesh and blood!
Samson, the greatnes of whose power withstood
A little world of armed men, with death,
Must now be foyled with a womans breath:
The mother, sometimes, lets her infant fall,
To make it hold the surer by the wall:
God lets his servant, often, goe amisse,
That he may turne, and see how weake he is:
David that found an overflowing measure
Of heavens high favours, and as great a treasure
Of saving grace, and portion of the Spirit,
As flesh and blood was able to inherit,
Must have a fall, to exercise his feares,
And make him drowne his restlesse Couch with Teares:
Wise Salomon, within whose heart was planted
The fruitfull stockes of heavenly Wisedome, wanted
Not that, whereby his weakenesse understood
The perfect vanity of flesh and blood:
Whose hand seem'd prodigall of his Isaacks life,
He durst not trust Gods providence with his wife:
The righteous Lot had slidings: Holy Paul
He had his pricke; and Peter had his fall:
[Page 115] The sacred Bride, in whose faire face remaines
The greatest earthly beauty, hath her staines:
If man were perfect, and entirely good,
He were not Man: He were not flesh and blood:
Or should he never fall, he would, at length,
Not see his weaknesse, and presume in strength:
Ere children know the sharpnesse of the Edge,
They thinke, their fingers have a priviledge
Against a wound; but, having felt the knife,
A bleeding finger, sometime, saves a life:
Lord, we are children; and our sharpe-edg'd knives,
Together with our blood, lets out our lives;
Alas, if we but draw them from the sheath,
They cut our fingers, and they bleed to death.
Thou great Chirurgion of a bleeding soule,
Whose soveraigne baulme, is able to make whole
The deepest wound, Thy sacred salve is sure;
We cannot bleed so fast, as thou canst cure:
Heale thou our wounds; that, having salv'd the sore,
Our hearts may feare, and learne to sinne no more;
And let our hands be strangers to those knives,
That wound not fingers onely; but our lives.
[...]
[Page 120] Of your true servant; who, would never rest,
Till she had done the deed: But know, my Lords,
If the poore frailty of a womans words
May shake so great a power, and prevaile,
My best advis'd endeavours shall not faile
To be imploi'd: I'le make a sudden triall;
And quickly speed, or finde a foule deniall:

MEDITAT. 20.

INsatiate Samson! Could not Azza smother
Thy flaming lust; but must thou finde another?
Is th' old growne stale? And seeks thou for a new?
Alas, where Two's too many, Three's too few:
Mans soule is infinite, and never tires
In the extension of her owne desires:
The sprightly nature of his active minde
Aimes still at further; Will not be confinde
To th' poore dimensions of flesh and blood;
Something it still desiers; Covets good;
Would faine be happy, in the sweet enjoyment
Of what it prosecutes, with the imployment
Of best endeavours; but it cannot finde
So great a good, but something's still behind:
It, first, propounds; applauds; desiers; endeavours;
[Page 121] At last, enjoyes; but (like to men, in Feavours,
Who fancy alwaies those things that are worst)
The more it drinks, the more it is a thirst:
The fruitfull earth (whose nature is the worse
For sinne; with man partaker in the curse)
Aimes at perfection; and would faine bring forth
(As first it did) things of the greatest worth;
Her colder wombe endeavours (as of old)
To ripen all her Metalls, unto Gold;
O, but that sic-procured curse hath child
The heate of pregnant Nature, and hath filld
Her barren seed, with coldnesse, which does lurke
In her faint wombe, that her more perfect worke
Is hindred; and, for want of heate, brings forth
Imperfect metals, of a baser worth:
Even so, the soule of Man, in her first state,
Receiv'd a power, and a will to that
Which was most pure, and good; but, since the losse
Of that faire freedome, onely trades in drosse;
Aimes she at Wealth? Alas, her proud desire
Strives for the best; but failing to mount higher
Then earth, her error grapples, and takes hold
On that, which earth can onely give her, Gold
Aimes she at Glory? Her ambition flies
As high a pitch, as her dull winges can rise;
But, failing in her strength, she leaves to strive.,
And takes such honour, as base earth can give:
Aimes she at Pleasure? Her desires extend
To lasting joyes, whose pleasures have no end;
But, wanting wings, she grovells on the Dust,
[Page 122] And, there, she lights upon a carnall Lust:
Yet nerethelesse, th' aspiring Soule desires
A perfect good; but, wanting those sweet sires,
Whose heate should perfect her unrip'ned will,
Cleaves to th' apparent Good, which Good is ill;
Whose sweet enjoyment, being farre unable
To give a satisfaction answerable
To her unbounded wishes, leaves a thrist
Of reenjoyment, greater then the first.
Lord; When our fruitlesse fallowes are growne cold,
And out of heart, we can inrich the mould
With a new heate; we can restore againe
Her weakned soile; and make it apt, for graine;
And wilt thou suffer our faint soules, to lie
Thus unmanur'd, that is thy Husbandrie?
They beare no other bulke, but idle weedes,
Alas, they have no heart, no heate; Thy seedes
Are cast away, untill thou please t' inspire
New strength, and quench them with thy sacred fire:
Stirre thou my Fallowes; and enrich my mold;
And they shall bring thee' increase, a hundred fold.

SECT. 21.

ARGVMENT.
False Delila accosts her Lover:
Her lips endeavour to entice
His gentle nature to discover
His strength: Samson deceives her thrice.
SOone as occasion lent our Champions eare
To Delila, which could not choose but heare,
If Delila but whisper'd; she, whose wiles
Were neatly baited, with her simple smiles,
Accosted Samson; Her alluring hand
Sometimes would stroke his Temples; sometime, span'd
His brawny arme; Sometimes, would gently gripe
His sinewy wrest; Another while, would wipe
His sweating browes; Her wanton fingers plai'd,
Sometimes, with his faire locks; somtimes, would brai'd
His long dishevell'd haire; her eyes, one while,
Would steale a glance upon his eyes, and smile;
And, then, her crafty lips would speake; then, smother
Her broken speech; and, then, begin another:
At last, as if a sudden thought had brake
From the faire prison of her lips, she spake;
How poore a Grisle is this arme of mine!
Me thinkes, 'tis nothing, in respect of thine;
[...]
[Page 128] Of having: Wealth will rouze thy heart lesse friends;
Make thee a potent Master of thy Ends;
'T will bring thee honour; make thy suites at Law
Prosper at will; and keepe thy Foes in awe:
Art thou Ambitious? He will kindle fire,
In thy proud thoughts, and make thy thoughts aspire;
Hee'l come, and teach thy honour how to scorne
Thy old acquaintance, whom thou hast outworne:
Hee'l teach thee how to Lord it, and advance
Thy servants fortunes, with thy Countenance:
Wouldst thou enjoy the pleasures of the flesh?
Hee'l bring thee wanton Ladyes, to refresh
Thy drooping soule: Hee'l teach thine eyes to wander;
Instruct thee how to wooe; Hee'l be thy Pander:
Hee'l fill thy amorous soule with the sweet passion
Of powerfull Love: Hee'l give thee dispensation,
To sinne at pleasure; He will make thee Slave
To thy owne thoughts: Hee'l make thee beg and crave
To be a drudge: Hee'l make thy trecherous breath
Destroy thee, and betray thee to thy death.
Lord; if our Father Adam could not stay
In his upright perfection, one poore day;
How can it be expected, we have power
To hold out Seige, one scruple of an hower:
Our Armes are bound with too unequall bands;
We cannot strive; We cannot loose our hands:
Great Nazarite, awake; and looke upon us:
Make hast to helpe; The Philistines are on us.

SECT. 22.

ARGVMENT.
She sues againe: Samson replies
The very truth: Her lips betray him:
They binde him; They put out his eyes,
And to the prison they convay him.
VVIth that; the wanton, whose distrustfull eye,
Was fixt upon reward, made this replie;
Had the deniall of my poore request
Proceeded from th' inexorable brest
Of one, whose open hatred sought t' endanger
My haunted life; Or had it bin a stranger,
That wanted so much nature, to deny
The doing of a common curtesie;
Nay, had it bin a friend, that had deceiv'd me,
An ordinary friend, It nere had griev'd me:
But thou, even thou my bosome friend, that art
The onely joy of my deceived heart;
Nay thou, whose hony-dropping lips soloften
Did plead thy undissembled love, and soften
My deare affection, which could never yeeld
To easier termes; by thee, to be beguild?
[Page 130] How often hast thou mockt my slender suite
With forged falshoods? Hadst thou but bin mute,
I nere had hop'd: But being fairely led
Towards my prompt desires, which were fed
With my false hopes, and thy false-hearted tongue,
And then beguilde? I hold it as a wronge:
How canst thou say thou lov'st me? How can I
Thinke but thou hat'st me, when thy lips deny
So poore a Suite? Alas, my fond desire
Had slak'd, had not deniall blowne the fire:
Grant then at last, and let thy open brest
Shew that thou lov'st me', and grant my faire request:
Speake, or speake not, thy Delila shall give ore
To urge; her lips shall never urge thee more:
To whom, the yeelding lover thus betrai'd
His heart, being tortur'd unto death, and said;
My deare; my Delila; I cannot stand
Against so sweet a pleader; In thy hand
I here entrust, and to thy brest impart
Thy Samsons life, and secrets of his heart;
Know then my Delila, that I was borne
A Nazarite; These locks were never shorne;
No Raisor, yet, came ere upon my crowne;
There lies my strength; with thē, my strength is gone:
Were they but shaven, my Delila; O, then,
Thy Samson should be weake as other men;
No sooner had he spoken, but he spred
His body on the floore, his drowzy head
He pillow'd on her lap; untill, at last,
He fell into a sleepe; and, being fast,
[Page 131] She clipt his locks from off his carelesse head.
And beckning the Philistians in, she said;
Samson awake; Take strength and courage on thee;
Samson arise; The Philistines are on thee:
Even as a Dove, whose wings are clipt, for flying,
Flutters her idle stumps; and still, relying
Vpon her wonted refuge, strives in vaine,
To quit her life from danger, and attaine
The freedome of her ayre-dividing plumes;
She struggles often, and she oft presumes
To take the sanctuary of the open fields;
But, finding that her hopes are vaine, she yeelds:
Even so poore Samson (frighted at the sound,
That rowz'd him from his rest) forsooke the ground;
Perceiving the Philistians there at hand,
To take him pris'ner, he began to stand
Vpon his wonted Guarde: His threatning breath
Brings forth the prologue to their following death:
He rowz'd himselfe; and, like a Lyon, shooke
His drowzy limmes; and with a cloudy looke,
(Fore-telling boystrous, and tempestious weather)
Defied each one, defied them all together:
Now, when he came to grapple, he upheav'd
His mighty hand; but, now (alas, bereav'd
Of wonted power) that confounding arme,
(That could no lesse then murther) did no harme;
Blow was exchang'd, for blow; and wound for wound:
He, that, of late, disdained to give ground,
Flies backe apace; who, lately, stain'd the field
With conquer'd blood, does now begin to yeeld;
[Page 132] He, that, of late, brake twisted Ropes in twaine,
Is bound with Pack thred; He, that did disdaine
To feare the power of an Armed Band,
Can now walke prisoner in a single hand:
Thus have the trecherous Philistines betray'd
Poore captive Samson: Samson now obay'd:
Those glowing eyes, that whitled death about,
Where ere they view'd, their cursed hands put out;
They led him pris'ner, and convai'd him downe
To strong-wall'd Azza (that Philistian towne,
Whose gates his shoulders lately bore away)
There, in the common Prison, did they lay
Distressed Samson, who obtain'd no meate,
But what he purchas'd with his painfull sweate;
For, every day, they urg'd him to fulfill
His twelve howres taske, at the laborious Mill;
And, when his wasted strength began to tyre,
They'd quicken his bare sides, with whips of Wire:
Fill'd was the towne with Ioy, and Triumph: All,
From the high-Prince, to th' Cobbler, on the stall,
Kept holy-day, whilest every voice became
Hoarse, as the Trumpe of newes-divulgeing fame;
All tongues were fill'd with shouts: And every care
Was growne impatient of the whisperer;
So generall was their Triumph, their Applause,
That children shouted, ere they knew a cause:
The better sort betooke them to their knees;
Dagon must worship'd be: Dagon, that frees
Both Sea, and Land, Dagon, that did subdue
Our common foe: Dagon must have his due:
[Page 133] Dagon must have his praise; must have his prize:
Dagon must have his holy Sacrifice:
Dagon has brought to our victorious hand
Proud Samson: Dagon has redeem'd our land:
We call to Dagon; and our Dagon heares;
Our groanes are come to holy Dagons eares;
To Dagon, all renowne and Glory be;
Where is there such another God as Hee?

MEDITAT. 22.

HOw is our story chang'd? O, more then strange
Effects of so small time! O, sudden change;
Is this that holy Nazarite, for whom
Heaven shew'd a Miracle, on the barren wombe?
Is this that holy Thing, againe whose birth,
Angells must quit their thrones, and visit Earth?
Is this that blessed Infant, that began
To grow in favour so, with God and man?
What, is this hee, who (strengthned by heavens hand)
Was borne a Champion, to redeeme the Land?
Is this the man, whose courage did contest
With a fierce Lyon, grappling brest to brest;
[Page 134] And in a twinckling, tore him quite in sunder?
Is this that Conquerer whose Arme did thunder
Vpon the men of Askalon, the power
Of whose bent fist, slew thirty in an hower?
Is this that daring Conquerour, whose hand
Thrasht the proud Philistines, in their wasted land?
And was this He, that with the help of none,
Destroy'd a thousand with a silly Bone?
Or He, whose wrists, being bound together, did
Breake Cordes like flax, and double Ropes like thrid?
Is this the man whose hands unhing'd those Gates,
And barethem thence, with pillers, barres, & Grates?
And is he turn'd a Mill-horse now? and blinde?
Must this great Conquerour be forc'd to grinde
For bread and water? Must this Heroe spend
His latter times in drudgery? Must he end
His weary dayes in darkenesse? Must his hyer,
Be knotted cords, and torturing whips of wyer?
Where heaven withdrawes, the creatures power shakes;
What miserie's wanting there, where God for sakes?
Had Samson not abus'd his borrow'd power,
Samson, had still, remain'd a Conquerour:
The Philistines did act his part; No doubt,
His eyes offended, and they pluck'd them out:
Heaven will be just: He punishes a sin,
Oft, in the member, that he findes it in:
When faithlesse Zacharias did become
Too curious, his lips were strucken dumbe:
Samson whose lustfull view did overprize
Vnlawfull beautye's punisht in his eyes;
[Page 135] Those flaming eyes seduc'd his wanton minde
To act a sinne; Those eyes are stricken blinde;
The beauty he invaded, did invade him,
And that faire tongue, that blest him so, betrayd him:
That strength, intemperate lust imploy'd so ill,
Is now a driving the laborious Mill;
Those naked sides, so pleas'd with lusts desire,
Are, now, as naked, lasht with whips of wire:
Lord; shouldst thou punish every part in me
That does offend, what member would be free?
Each member acts his part; They never lin
Vntill they joyne, and make a Body' of sin:
Make sinne my burthen; Let it never please me;
And thou hast promis'd, when I come, to ease me,

SECT. 23.

ARGVMENT.
They make a feast. And then to crowne
Their mirth, blind Samson is brought thither:
He pulls the mighty Pillers downe;
The Building falls: All slaine together,
THus when the vulgar Triumph (which does last
But seldome, longer then the newes) was past,
And Dagons holy Altars had surceast
To breath their idle fumes: they call'd a feast,
A common Feast; whose bounty did bewray
A common joy, to gratulate the day;
Whereto, the Princes, under whose command
Each province was, in their divided land;
Whereto, the Lords, Leiutenants, and all those,
To whom the supreme Rulers did repose
An under-trust; whereto, the better sort
Ofgentry, and of Commons did resort,
With mirth, and jolly tryumph, to allay
Their sorrowes, and to solemnize the day;
Into the common Hall they come: The Hall
Was large and faire; Her arched roofe was all
Builded with massie stone, and over lai'd
With pond'rous Lead; Two sturdy Pillers stai'd
[Page 137] Her mighty Rafters up; whereon, relied
The weighty burthen of her lofty pride.
When lusty diet, and the frollicke cup
Had rouz'd and rais'd their quickned spirits up,
And brave triumphing Bacchus had displaid
His conquering coullers, in their cheeks, they said;
Call Samson forth; He must not worke to day;
Tis a boone feast; Wee'le give him leave to play;
Does he grinde bravely? Does our Millhorse sweat?
Let him lacke nothing; What he wants in meate,
Supply in lashes; He is strong and stout,
And, with his breath can drive the Mill about:
He workes too hard, we feare: Goe downe and free him;
Say, that his Mistresse, Delila would see him:
The sight of him will take our howers short,
Goe fetch him then, to make our Honours sport:
Bid him provide some Riddles; Let him bring
Some songs of Triumph: He that's blinde, may sing
With better boldenesse: Bid him never doubt
To please: What matter, though his eyes be out?
Tis no dishonour, that he cannot see;
Tell him, the God of Lov's as blinde, as hee:
With that they brought poore Samson to the Hall;
And as he past, he gtopes to finde the wall;
His pace was slow; His feet were lifted high;
Each tongue would taunt him; Every scornefull eye
Was filld with laughter; Some would cry aloud,
Hee walkes in state: His Lordship is growne proud:
Some bid his Honour, Haile; whilst others cast
Reproachfull termes upon him; as he past;
[Page 138] Some would salute him fairely, and embrace
His wounded sides; then spit upon his face:
Others would cry; For shame forbeare t' abuse
The high and great Redeemer of the Iewes:
Some gibe and floute him with their taunts and quips,
Whilst others flurt him on the starting lips:
With that; poore Samson, whose abundant griefe,
Not finding hopes of comfort, or releife,
Resolv'd for patience: Turning round, he made
Some shift to feele his Keeper out, and said;
Good Sir: my painefull labour in the Mill
Hath made me bold (although against my will)
To crave some little rest; If you will please
To let the Pillour but afford some ease
To my worne limmes, your mercy should relieve
A soule, that has no more, but thankes, to give:
The keeper yeelded: (Now the Hall was filld
With Princes, and their People, that beheld
Abused Samson; whilst the Roofe retain'd
A leash of thousands more, whose eyes were chain'd
To this sad Object, with a full delight,
To see this flesh-and-blood-relenting sight;
With that, the pris'ner turnd himselfe and prai'd
So soft, that none but heaven could heare, and said;
My God, my God: Although my sinnes doe cry
For greater vengeance, yet thy gratious eye
Is full of mercy; O, remember now
The gentle promise and that sacred vow
Thou mad'st to faithfull Abram, and his seed,
O, heare my wounded soule, that has lesse need
[Page 139] Of life, then mercy: Let thy tender eare
Make good thy plentious promise now, and heare;
See, how thy cursed enemies prevaile
Above my strength; Behold, how poore and fraile
My native power is, and, wanting thee,
What is there, Oh, what is there (Lord) in me?
Nor is it I that suffer; My desart
May challenge greater vengeance, if thou wert
Extreme to punish: Lord the wrong is thine;
The punishment is just, and onely mine:
I am thy Champion, Lord; It is not me
They strike at; Through my sides, they thrust at thee:
Against thy Glory 'tis, their Malice lies;
They aym'd at that, when they put out these eyes:
Alas their blood bedabbl'd hands would flie
On thee, wert thou but cloth'd in flesh, as I:
Revenge thy wrongs, great God; O let thy hand
Redeeme thy suffring honour, and this land:
Lend me thy power; Renew my wasted strength,
That I may fight thy battells; and, at length,
Rescue thy Glory; that my hands may doe
That faithfull service, they were borne unto:
Lend me thy power, that I may restore
Thy losse, and I will never urge thee more:
Thus having ended, both his armes he laid,
Vpon the pillours of the Hall; and said;
Thus, with the Philistines, I resigne my breath;
Andlet my God finde Glory in my death:
And having spoke, his yeelding body strain'd
Vpon those Marble pillour, that sustain'd
[Page 140] The pondrous Roofe; They crackt; and, with their fall,
Downe fell the Battlements, and Roofe, and all;
And, with their ruines, slaughter'd at a blow,
The whole Assembly; They, that were below,
Receiv'd their sudden deaths from those that fell
From off the top; whilst none was loft, to tell
The horrid shreekes, that filld the spatious Hall,
Whose ruines were impartiall, and slew all:
They fell; and, with an unexpected blow,
Gave every one his death, and Buriall too:
Thus died our Samson; whose brave death has won
More honour, then his honourd life had done:
Thus died our Conquerour; whose latest breath
Was crown'd with Conquest; triumph'd over death:
Thus died our Samson; whose last drop of blood
Redeem'd heavens glory, and his Kingdom's good:
Thus died heavens Champion, & the earths bright Glory;
The heavenly subject of this sacred story:
And thus th' impartiall hand of death that gathers
All to the Grave, repos'd him with his fathers;
Whose name shall flourish, and be still in prime,
In spight of ruine, or the teeth of Time;
Whose fame shall last, till heaven shall please to free
This Earth from Sinne, and Time shall cease to be.

MEDITAT. 23.

VVAges of sinne, is death. The day must come,
Wherein, the equall hand of death must summe
The severall Items of mans fading glory,
Into the easie Totall of one Story:
The browes that sweat for kingdomes and renowne,
To gloryfie their Temples with a Crowne;
At length, grow cold, and leave their honour'd name
To flourish in th' uncertaine blast of fame:
This is the height that glorious mortalls can
Attaine; This is the highest pitch of Man:
The quilted Quarters of the Earths great Ball,
Whose unconfined limits were too small
For his extreme Ambition, to deserve,
Six foote of length, and three of bredth must serve:
This is the highest pitch that Man can flie;
And after all his Triumph, he must die:
Lives he in Wealth? Does well deserved store
Limit his wish, that he can wish no more?
And does the fairest bounty of encrease
Crowne him with plenty; and, his dayes with peace?
It is a right hand blessing; But supplie
Of wealth cannot secure him; He must die:
Lives he in Pleasure? Dóes perpetuall mirth
Lend him a little Heaven upon his earth?
[Page 142] Meets he no sullen care; no sudden losse
To coole his joyes? Breathes he without a crosse?
Wants he no pleasure, that his want on eye
Can crave, or hope from fortune? He must dye:
Lives he in Honour? Hath his faire desart
Obtain'd the freedome of his Princes heart?
Or may his more familiar hands disburse
His liberall favours, from the royall purse?
Alas, his Honour cannot soare too high,
For palefac'd death to follow: He must dye:
Lives he a Conqu'rour? And doth heaven blesse
His heart with spirit; that spirit, with successe;
Successe, with Glory; Glory, with a name,
To live with the Eternity of Fame?
The progresse of his lasting fame may vye
With time; But yet the Conquerour must dye:
Great, and good God: Thou Lord of life and death;
In whom, the Creature, hath his being; breath;
Teach me to under prize this life, and I
Shall finde my losse the easier, when I dye;
So raise my feeble thoughts, and dull desire,
That when these vaine and weary dayes expire,
I may discard my flesh, with joy, and quit
My better part, of this false earth; and it
Of some more sinne; and, for this Transitory
And teadious life, enjoy a life of Glory.
The end.

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