From Samson Agonistes i

OH how comely it is and how reviving To the Spirits of just men long opprest! When God into the hands of thir deliverer Puts invincible might

To quell the mighty of the Earth, th' oppressour,

The brute and boist'rous force of violent men

Hardy and industrious to support

Tyrannic power, but raging to pursue

The righteous and all such as honour Truth;

He all thir Ammunition

And feats of War defeats

With plain Heroic magnitude of mind

And celestial vigour arm'd,

Thir Armories and Magazins contemns,

Renders them useless, while

With winged expedition

Swift as the lightning glance he executes

His errand on the wicked, who surpris'd

Lose thir defence distracted and amaz'd.

ALL is best, though we oft doubt,

What th' unsearchable dispose

Of highest wisdom brings about,

And ever best found in the close.

Oft he seems to hide his face,

But unexpectedly returns

And to his faithful Champion hath in place

Bore witness gloriously; whence Gaza mourns

And all that band them to resist

His uncontroulable intent.

His servants he with new acquist

Of true experience from this great event

With peace and consolation hath dismist,

And calm of mind all passion spent.

0 FOR some honest lover's ghost, Some kind unbodied post Sent from the shades below! I strangely long to know Whether the noble chaplets wear Those that their mistress' scorn did bear Or those that were used kindly.

For whatsoe'er they tell us here To make those sufferings dear, 'Twill there, I fear, be found That to the being crown'd T' have loved alone will not suffice, Unless we also have been wise And have our loves enjoy'd.

What posture can we think him in

That, here unloved, again Departs, and 's thither gone Where each sits by his own? Or how can that Elysium be Where I my mistress still must see Circled in other's arms?

For there the judges all are just, And Sophonisba must Be his whom she held dear, Not his who loved her here. The sweet Philoclea, since she died, Lies by her Pirocles his side, Not by Amphialus.

Some bays, perchance, or myrtle bough For difference crowns the brow Of those kind souls that were The noble martyrs here: And if that be the only odds (As who can tell?), ye kinder gods, Give me the woman here!

John Milton

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