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ACT TWO

Scene 1
Samson, Manoah, Micah, and Israelites.

31. Recitative

Manoah
Despair not thus! You once were God's delight,
His destin'd from the womb, by him led on
To deeds above the nerve of mortal arm.
Under his eye abstemious you grew up,
Nor did the dancing ruby, sparkling, outpour'd,
Allure you from the cool crystalline stream.

Samson
Where'er the liquid brook or fountain flow'd,
I drank, nor envy'd man the cheering grape.
But what availed this temp'rance, not complete
Against another object more enticing?
I laid my strength in lust's lascivious lap.

Manoah
Trust yet in God! Thy father's timely care
Shall prosecute the means to free thee hence;
Meantime, all healing words from these thy friends admit.

32. Air

Manoah
Just are the ways of God to man,
Let none his secret actions scan;
For all is best, though oft we doubt,
Of what his wisdom brings about.
Still his unsearchable dispose
Blesses the righteous in the close.

33. Recitative

Samson
My evils hopeless are! One pray'r remains,
A speedy death, to close my miseries.

Micah
Relieve Thy champion, image of Thy strength,
And turn his labours to a peaceful end!

34. Air and Chorus

Micah
Return, O God of hosts! Behold
Thy servant in distress,
His mighty griefs redress,
Nor by the heathen be it told.

Israelites
To dust his glory they would tread,
And number him amongst the dead.

Scene 2
Samson, Micah. Enter Dalila, attended by her Virgins.

35. Recitative

Micah
But who is this, that so bedeck'd and gay,
Comes this way sailing like a stately ship?
With all her streamers waving in the winds,
An odorous perfume her harbinger,
A damsel train behind. - 'Tis Dalila, thy wife.

Samson
My wife, my traitress? Let her not come near me!

Micah
She stands, and eyes thee fix'd, with head declin'd.
Like a fair flow'r surcharg'd with dew, she weeps;
Her words address'd to thee, seem tears dissolv'd,
Wetting the borders of her silken veil.

Dalila
With doubtful feet, and wav'ring resolution,
I come, O Samson, dreading thy displeasure;
But conjugal affection led me on,
Prevailing over fear and tim'rous doubt,
Glad if in aught my help or love could serve,
To expiate my rash, unthought misdeed.

Samson
Out, thou hyæna! 'Twas malice brought thee here!
These are the arts of women false like thee,
To break all vows, repent, deceive, submit,
Then with instructed skill again transgress.
The wisest men have met such bosom snakes,
BeguiI'd like me, to ages an example.

Dalila
I would not lessen my offence, yet beg
To weigh it by itself. What is it then
But curiosity? A small female fault,
Greedy of secrets, but to publish them.
Why would you trust a woman's frailty then,
And to her importunity your strength?
A mutual weakness mutual pardon claims.

Samson
How cunningly the sorceress displays
Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine!
I to myself was false, ere thou to me;
Bitter reproach, but true! The pardon, then,
I to my folly give, take thou to thine!

36. Air

Philistine Woman / Dalila
With plaintive notes and am'rous moan,
Thus coos the turtle left alone.
Like her / me, averse to each delight,
She wears the tedious widow'd night:
But when her absent mate returns,
With doubled raptures then she burns.

37. Recitative

Dalila
Alas! Th'event was worse than I foresaw:
Fearless at home of partners in my love,
'Twas jealousy did prompt to keep you there
Both day and night, love's pris'ner, wholly mine.

Samson
Did love constrain thee? No, 'twas raging lust!
Love seeks for love; thy treason sought my hate.
In vain you strive to cover shame with shame:
Once join'd to me, though judg'd your country's foe,
Parents, and all, were in the husband lost.

38. Air

Samson
Your charms to ruin led the way,
My sense deprav'd,
My strength enslavd,
As I did love, you did betray.
How great the curse, how hard my fate
To pass life's sea with such a mate!

39. Recitative

Dalila
Forgive what's done, nor think of what's past cure
From forth this prison-house come home to me,
Where with redoubled love and nursing care,
(To me glad office!) my virgins and myself
Shall tend about thee to extremest age.

40. Air and duet

Dalila
My faith and truth, O Samson, prove,
But hear me, hear the voice of love!
With love no mortal can be cloy'd,
All happiness is love enjoy'd.

Philistine Woman
Her faith and truth, O Samson, prove,
But hear her, hear the voice of love!

41a. Chorus of Virgins

Her faith and truth, O Samson, prove
But hear her, hear the voice of love!

42. Air

Dalila
To fleeting pleasures make your court,
No moment lose, for life is short!
The present now's our only time
The missing that our only crime.

41b. Chorus repeated

How charming is domestic ease!
A thousand ways I'll strive to please.
Life is not lost, though lost your sight;
Let other senses taste delight.

41c. Chorus of Virgins
Her faith and truth, oh Samson, prove,
But hear her, hear the voice of love!

43. Recitative

Samson
Ne'er think of that! I know thy warbling charms,
Thy trains, thy wiles, and fair enchanted cup.
Their force is nulI'd; where once I have been caught,
I shun the snare. These chains, this prison-house,
I count the house of liberty to thine.

Dalila
Let me approach, at least, and touch thy hand.

Samson
Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance wake
My sudden rage to tear thee limb from limb.
At distance I forgive: depart with that.
Now triumph in thy falsehood; so farewell!

Dalila
Thou art more deaf to pray'rs than winds or seas.
Thy anger rages an etemal tempest.
Why should I humbly sue for peace, thus scorn'd,
With infamy upon my name denounc'd?
When in this land I ever shall be held
The first of womankind, living or dead.
My praises shall be sung at solemn feasts,
Who sav'd my country from a fierce destroyer.

44. Duet

Dalila
Traitor to love! I'll sue no more
For pardon scorn'd, your threats give o'er!
Samson
Traitress to love! I'll hear no more
The charmer's voice, your arts give o'er!

Exeunt Dalila and Virgins.

Scene 3
45. Recitative

Micah
She's gone! A serpent manifest, her sting
Discover'd in the end.

Samson
So let her go!
God sent her here to aggravate my folly.

46. Air

Micah
It is not virtue, valour, wit,
Or comeliness of grace
That woman's love can truly hit,
Or in her heart claim place.
Still wav'ring where their choice to fix,
Too oft they choose the wrong:
So much self-love does rule the sex,
They nothing else love long.
It is not virtue. . . da capo

47. Recitative

Samson
Favour'd of heaven is he, who finds one true.
How rarely found! - His way to peace is smooth.

48. Chorus of Israelites
To man God's universal law
Gave pow'r to keep the wife in awe.
Thus shall his life be ne'er dismay'd,
By female usurpation sway'd.

Scene 4

49. Recitative

Micah
No words of peace, no voice enchanting fear,
A rougher tongue expect. Here's Harapha,
I know him by this stride and haughty look.
Enter Harapha and Philistines.

Harapha
I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance;
I am of Gath, men call me Harapha;
Thou know'st me now. Of thy prodigious might
Much have I heard, incredible to me!
Nor less displeas'd, that never in the field
We met, to try each other's deeds of strength.
I'd see if thy appearance answers loud report.

Samson
The way to know. were not to see, but taste.

Harapha
Ha! Dost thou then already single me?
I thought that labour and thy chains had tam'd thee.
Had fortune brought me to that field of death,
Where thou wrought'st wonder with an ass's jaw,
I'd left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown.

Samson
Boast not of what thou would'st have done, but do.

Harapha
The honour certain to have won from thee
I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out;
To combat with a blind man, I disdain.

50. Air

Harapha
Honour and arms scorn such a foe,
Though I could end thee at a blow;
Poor victory,
To conquer thee,
Or glory in thy overthrow!
Vanquish a slave that is half slain:
So mean a triumph I disdain.
Honour and arms. . . da capo

51. Recitative

Samson
Put on your arms, then take for spear
Your weighty weaver's beam, and come within my reach!

52. Air

Samson
My strength is from the living God,
By Heav'n free-gifted at my birth,
To quell the mighty of the earth,
And prove the brutal tyrant's rod.
But to the righteous peace and rest,
With liberty to all opprest.

53. Recitative

Harapha
With thee, a man condemn'd, a slave enroll'd,
No worthy match to stain the warrior's sword!

Samson
Cam'st thou for this, vain boaster? Yet take heed!
My heels are fetter'd, but my hands are free.
Thou bulk of spirit void! I once again,
Blind and in chains, provoke thee to the fight!

Harapha
O Dagon! Can I hear this insolence
To me unus'd, not rend'ring instant death?

54. Duet

Samson
Go, baffled coward, go,
Lest vengeance lay thee low,
In safety fly my wrath with speed!

Harapha
Presume not on thy God,
Who under foot has trod
Thy strength and thee, at greatest need.

55. Recitative

Micah
Here lies the proof: - if Dagon be thy God,
With high devotion invocate his aid,
His glory is concern'd. Let him dissolve
Those magic spells that gave our hero strength;
Then know whose God is God, Dagon, of mortal make,
Or that Great One whom Abra'm's sons adore.

56. Chorus of Israelites
Hear, Jacob's God, Jehovah, hear!
Oh, save us, prostrate at thy throne!
Israel depends on thee alone,
Save us, and show that thou art near!

57. Recitative

Harapha
Dagon, arise, attend thy sacred feast!
Thy honour calls, this day admits no rest.

58. Air
A Philistine
To song and dance we give the day,
Which shows thy universal sway.
Protect us by thy mighty hand.
And sweep this race from out the land!
To song and dance. . . da capo

59. Chorus of Philistines
To song and dance we give the day,
Which shows thy universal sway.
Protect us by thy mighty hand.
And sweep this race from out the land!

60. Chorus of Israelites and Philistines
Fix'd in his everlasting seat,
Jehovah / Great Dagon rules the world in state.
His thunder roars, Heav'n shakes, and earth's aghast,
The stars with deep amaze,
Remain in stedfast gaze.
Jehovah / Great Dagon is of Gods the first and last.
ACT TWO

Scene 1
Samson, Manoah, Micah, and Israelites.

31. Recitative

Manoah
Despair not thus! You once were God's delight,
His destin'd from the womb, by him led on
To deeds above the nerve of mortal arm.
Under his eye abstemious you grew up,
Nor did the dancing ruby, sparkling, outpour'd,
Allure you from the cool crystalline stream.

Samson
Where'er the liquid brook or fountain flow'd,
I drank, nor envy'd man the cheering grape.
But what availed this temp'rance, not complete
Against another object more enticing?
I laid my strength in lust's lascivious lap.

Manoah
Trust yet in God! Thy father's timely care
Shall prosecute the means to free thee hence;
Meantime, all healing words from these thy friends admit.

32. Air

Manoah
Just are the ways of God to man,
Let none his secret actions scan;
For all is best, though oft we doubt,
Of what his wisdom brings about.
Still his unsearchable dispose
Blesses the righteous in the close.

33. Recitative

Samson
My evils hopeless are! One pray'r remains,
A speedy death, to close my miseries.

Micah
Relieve Thy champion, image of Thy strength,
And turn his labours to a peaceful end!

34. Air and Chorus

Micah
Return, O God of hosts! Behold
Thy servant in distress,
His mighty griefs redress,
Nor by the heathen be it told.

Israelites
To dust his glory they would tread,
And number him amongst the dead.

Scene 2
Samson, Micah. Enter Dalila, attended by her Virgins.

35. Recitative

Micah
But who is this, that so bedeck'd and gay,
Comes this way sailing like a stately ship?
With all her streamers waving in the winds,
An odorous perfume her harbinger,
A damsel train behind. - 'Tis Dalila, thy wife.

Samson
My wife, my traitress? Let her not come near me!

Micah
She stands, and eyes thee fix'd, with head declin'd.
Like a fair flow'r surcharg'd with dew, she weeps;
Her words address'd to thee, seem tears dissolv'd,
Wetting the borders of her silken veil.

Dalila
With doubtful feet, and wav'ring resolution,
I come, O Samson, dreading thy displeasure;
But conjugal affection led me on,
Prevailing over fear and tim'rous doubt,
Glad if in aught my help or love could serve,
To expiate my rash, unthought misdeed.

Samson
Out, thou hyæna! 'Twas malice brought thee here!
These are the arts of women false like thee,
To break all vows, repent, deceive, submit,
Then with instructed skill again transgress.
The wisest men have met such bosom snakes,
BeguiI'd like me, to ages an example.

Dalila
I would not lessen my offence, yet beg
To weigh it by itself. What is it then
But curiosity? A small female fault,
Greedy of secrets, but to publish them.
Why would you trust a woman's frailty then,
And to her importunity your strength?
A mutual weakness mutual pardon claims.

Samson
How cunningly the sorceress displays
Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine!
I to myself was false, ere thou to me;
Bitter reproach, but true! The pardon, then,
I to my folly give, take thou to thine!

36. Air

Philistine Woman / Dalila
With plaintive notes and am'rous moan,
Thus coos the turtle left alone.
Like her / me, averse to each delight,
She wears the tedious widow'd night:
But when her absent mate returns,
With doubled raptures then she burns.

37. Recitative

Dalila
Alas! Th'event was worse than I foresaw:
Fearless at home of partners in my love,
'Twas jealousy did prompt to keep you there
Both day and night, love's pris'ner, wholly mine.

Samson
Did love constrain thee? No, 'twas raging lust!
Love seeks for love; thy treason sought my hate.
In vain you strive to cover shame with shame:
Once join'd to me, though judg'd your country's foe,
Parents, and all, were in the husband lost.

38. Air

Samson
Your charms to ruin led the way,
My sense deprav'd,
My strength enslavd,
As I did love, you did betray.
How great the curse, how hard my fate
To pass life's sea with such a mate!

39. Recitative

Dalila
Forgive what's done, nor think of what's past cure
From forth this prison-house come home to me,
Where with redoubled love and nursing care,
(To me glad office!) my virgins and myself
Shall tend about thee to extremest age.

40. Air and duet

Dalila
My faith and truth, O Samson, prove,
But hear me, hear the voice of love!
With love no mortal can be cloy'd,
All happiness is love enjoy'd.

Philistine Woman
Her faith and truth, O Samson, prove,
But hear her, hear the voice of love!

41a. Chorus of Virgins

Her faith and truth, O Samson, prove
But hear her, hear the voice of love!

42. Air

Dalila
To fleeting pleasures make your court,
No moment lose, for life is short!
The present now's our only time
The missing that our only crime.

41b. Chorus repeated

How charming is domestic ease!
A thousand ways I'll strive to please.
Life is not lost, though lost your sight;
Let other senses taste delight.

41c. Chorus of Virgins
Her faith and truth, oh Samson, prove,
But hear her, hear the voice of love!

43. Recitative

Samson
Ne'er think of that! I know thy warbling charms,
Thy trains, thy wiles, and fair enchanted cup.
Their force is nulI'd; where once I have been caught,
I shun the snare. These chains, this prison-house,
I count the house of liberty to thine.

Dalila
Let me approach, at least, and touch thy hand.

Samson
Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance wake
My sudden rage to tear thee limb from limb.
At distance I forgive: depart with that.
Now triumph in thy falsehood; so farewell!

Dalila
Thou art more deaf to pray'rs than winds or seas.
Thy anger rages an etemal tempest.
Why should I humbly sue for peace, thus scorn'd,
With infamy upon my name denounc'd?
When in this land I ever shall be held
The first of womankind, living or dead.
My praises shall be sung at solemn feasts,
Who sav'd my country from a fierce destroyer.

44. Duet

Dalila
Traitor to love! I'll sue no more
For pardon scorn'd, your threats give o'er!
Samson
Traitress to love! I'll hear no more
The charmer's voice, your arts give o'er!

Exeunt Dalila and Virgins.

Scene 3
45. Recitative

Micah
She's gone! A serpent manifest, her sting
Discover'd in the end.

Samson
So let her go!
God sent her here to aggravate my folly.

46. Air

Micah
It is not virtue, valour, wit,
Or comeliness of grace
That woman's love can truly hit,
Or in her heart claim place.
Still wav'ring where their choice to fix,
Too oft they choose the wrong:
So much self-love does rule the sex,
They nothing else love long.
It is not virtue. . . da capo

47. Recitative

Samson
Favour'd of heaven is he, who finds one true.
How rarely found! - His way to peace is smooth.

48. Chorus of Israelites
To man God's universal law
Gave pow'r to keep the wife in awe.
Thus shall his life be ne'er dismay'd,
By female usurpation sway'd.

Scene 4

49. Recitative

Micah
No words of peace, no voice enchanting fear,
A rougher tongue expect. Here's Harapha,
I know him by this stride and haughty look.
Enter Harapha and Philistines.

Harapha
I come not, Samson, to condole thy chance;
I am of Gath, men call me Harapha;
Thou know'st me now. Of thy prodigious might
Much have I heard, incredible to me!
Nor less displeas'd, that never in the field
We met, to try each other's deeds of strength.
I'd see if thy appearance answers loud report.

Samson
The way to know. were not to see, but taste.

Harapha
Ha! Dost thou then already single me?
I thought that labour and thy chains had tam'd thee.
Had fortune brought me to that field of death,
Where thou wrought'st wonder with an ass's jaw,
I'd left thy carcass where the ass lay thrown.

Samson
Boast not of what thou would'st have done, but do.

Harapha
The honour certain to have won from thee
I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out;
To combat with a blind man, I disdain.

50. Air

Harapha
Honour and arms scorn such a foe,
Though I could end thee at a blow;
Poor victory,
To conquer thee,
Or glory in thy overthrow!
Vanquish a slave that is half slain:
So mean a triumph I disdain.
Honour and arms. . . da capo

51. Recitative

Samson
Put on your arms, then take for spear
Your weighty weaver's beam, and come within my reach!

52. Air

Samson
My strength is from the living God,
By Heav'n free-gifted at my birth,
To quell the mighty of the earth,
And prove the brutal tyrant's rod.
But to the righteous peace and rest,
With liberty to all opprest.

53. Recitative

Harapha
With thee, a man condemn'd, a slave enroll'd,
No worthy match to stain the warrior's sword!

Samson
Cam'st thou for this, vain boaster? Yet take heed!
My heels are fetter'd, but my hands are free.
Thou bulk of spirit void! I once again,
Blind and in chains, provoke thee to the fight!

Harapha
O Dagon! Can I hear this insolence
To me unus'd, not rend'ring instant death?

54. Duet

Samson
Go, baffled coward, go,
Lest vengeance lay thee low,
In safety fly my wrath with speed!

Harapha
Presume not on thy God,
Who under foot has trod
Thy strength and thee, at greatest need.

55. Recitative

Micah
Here lies the proof: - if Dagon be thy God,
With high devotion invocate his aid,
His glory is concern'd. Let him dissolve
Those magic spells that gave our hero strength;
Then know whose God is God, Dagon, of mortal make,
Or that Great One whom Abra'm's sons adore.

56. Chorus of Israelites
Hear, Jacob's God, Jehovah, hear!
Oh, save us, prostrate at thy throne!
Israel depends on thee alone,
Save us, and show that thou art near!

57. Recitative

Harapha
Dagon, arise, attend thy sacred feast!
Thy honour calls, this day admits no rest.

58. Air
A Philistine
To song and dance we give the day,
Which shows thy universal sway.
Protect us by thy mighty hand.
And sweep this race from out the land!
To song and dance. . . da capo

59. Chorus of Philistines
To song and dance we give the day,
Which shows thy universal sway.
Protect us by thy mighty hand.
And sweep this race from out the land!

60. Chorus of Israelites and Philistines
Fix'd in his everlasting seat,
Jehovah / Great Dagon rules the world in state.
His thunder roars, Heav'n shakes, and earth's aghast,
The stars with deep amaze,
Remain in stedfast gaze.
Jehovah / Great Dagon is of Gods the first and last.



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