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Τ Η Ε Α R G U Μ Ε Ν Τ.
Gaza, there to labor as in a common workhouse, on
'T HE PERSON S.
The SCENE before the Prison in Gaza,
Little onward lend thy guiding hand
To these dark steps, a little further on; For yonder bank hath choice of sun or fhade: There I am wont to fit, when any
chance Relieves me from my tak of servile toil,
S Daily' in the common prison elfe injoin'd me, Where I, a prisoner chain'd, scarce freely draw The air imprison'd also, close and damp, Unwholesome draught: but here I feel amends, The breath of Heav'n fresh blowing, pure and sweets, With day-spring born; here leave me to respire. This day a folemn feaft the people hold To Dagon their fea-idol, and forbid Laborious works; unwillingly this rest Their fuperftition yields me; hence with leave 15 Retiring from the popular noise, I seek This unfrequented place to find some ease, Ease to the body fome; none to the mind From restless thoughts, that, like a deadly fwarm Of hornets arm’d, no sooner found alone, But rush upon me thronging, and present Times past, what once I was, and what am now.
O wherefore was my birth from Heav'n foretold
35 With this Heav'n-gifted strength? O glorious strength Put to the labor of a beast, debas'd Lower than bond-slave! Promise was that I Should Israel from Philiftian yoke deliver; Ask for this great deliverer now, and find him 40 Eyeless in Gaza at the mill with flaves, Himself in bonds under Philiftian yoke: Yet ftay, let me not rafhly call in doubt Divine prediction; what if all foretold Had been fulfill'd but through mine own default, 45 Whom have I to complain of but myself ? Who this high gift of strength committed to me, In what part lodg'd, how easily bereft me, Under the seal of silence could not keep, But weakly to a woman must reveal it,
50 O’ercome with importunity and tears. O impotence of mind, in body strong!
But what is strength without a double share
peace, I must not quarrel with the will
70 And all her various objects of delight Annull’d, which might in part my grief have easid, Inferior to the vileft now become Of man or worm ; the vileft here excel me, They creep, yet fee, I dark in light expos'd
75 To daily fraud, contempt, abuse, and wrong, Within doors, or without, still as a fool, In pow'r of others, never in my own; Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half. O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze cf noon, 80 Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse Without all hope of day!