Make your own free website on

Sampson Enchained
Written by Paul Landis Delaune

     I lie on the cold, bare stone of a dark dungeon. The stale air is heavy and pungent with
the odor of my bodyís filth. Lice infest my hair and beard. At first I scratched until my skin
was raw, but I have disciplined myself to tolerate the irritant. I long to bathe,  but I receive
no water to wash myself. I am bound by strong chains that restrict my  movement. The chains
used to rub and chafe my wrists and ankles, but my skin has become hard and calloused. There
is musty straw on which for me to lie, but its foulness sickens me. My only companions are
hungry rats. In the beginning of my imprisonment their presence revolted and angered me,
but I have come to enjoy their company. Still, I would not miss them if freedom was mine.

     The physical discomforts of my imprisonment are no longer of much concern to me. Nonetheless,
the terrible darkness enshrouding me is suffocating. The pitch blackness is maddening, but I
will not succumb to it. Even when my guards, bearing hot torches, come to bring my meager
food and to taunt me, even then all is darkness, for my eyes were put out long ago. In this
blackness I have no concept of how much time has elapsed. Time is nothing to me anymore,
except the prolonging of my misery.

     I sleep, wrapped in the great chains that secure me. I try to keep from going to sleep
because most of my dreams are filled with pain and sorrow. I dream of being seized by
many hands and being bound, as I futilely strive to defend myself. I dream of being beaten
by my enemies and spit upon by those who hate me. I dream of seeing those two white-hot
brands being slowly pushed into my eyes as I endure the agony.  I dream of the awful pain
following with no physician to tend to my wounds. I dream of the pitch blackness with its
unseen voices mocking me.

     Some of my dreams are filled with joy. Those are the dreams of my once beloved Delilah.
Never was a woman as lovely nor ever one as ravishing. Her beautiful presence filled me with
wonder and her gentle touch swelled my soul with excitement. Delilahís lips were sweeter
than nectar and her arms softer than velvet. The fragrance of her silky, black hair was
intoxicating and the fine lines of her gorgeous figure left me in awe. Her company was my
greatest joy; strong was my love for  her. She was my happiness and I wished to be with
her always.

     I remember when I was the strongest and most feared man in all the land. My exploits
of strength and endurance were known far and wide. My enemies trembled at the mention of my
name and I destroyed those who opposed me. I killed ferocious beasts with my bare hands and
in one day I slew thousands without the use of a sword. But in my arrogance I betrayed myself.
My long locks of hair, the source of my great strength, were shorn from my head. I was bound
and made a pitiful spectacle by those who hate me. I was tortured and condemned to spend
the rest of my life in this black hole.

     My hair has grown long again and tremendous strength has returned to me. I have tested my
chains and it would be nothing for me to snap them loose. But, then, what could I do without
my sight? Without my eyes I am as helpless as when my locks were cut. Even if I freed
myself from these metal bonds, I would still be bound by the chains of darkness. The blackness
holds me in its awful grip as tight as if I was held in a giant fist. Itís a heavy blanket clinging
to every part of me, as it threatens to engulf my very soul. I long to free myself from its grip,
but I am powerless to do so.

     I used to have many dreams, but now I have only one wish: to be released from the clutches
of this unending blackness. The frustration of my dark dilemma weighs on me like a mountain
on my shoulders. It threatens to crush me as a man squashes an insect. Life in this nightmare
is more like death than life. My desire to live is strong, but perhaps, perhaps I am dead already.
I  breathe, I eat, and I feel, but is this life? Maybe this is my hell! Am I condemned to endure
the rest of eternity longing for release from this blindness, only to never achieve that freedom?!