John Milton

Here you will find the Long Poem From 'Samson Agonistes' i of poet John Milton

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. 

O 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!