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is so delightful in the Pilgrim's Progress. Here is a ballad of the child with the bird on the bush, and as a child's ballad, it is one of the sweetest, most natural things in the language.

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My little bird, how canst thou sit

And sing amidst so many thorns ?
Let me but hold upon thee get,

My love with honor thee adorns.
Thou art at present little worth.

Five farthings none will give for thee :
But prithee little bird come forth,

Thou of more value art to me.
'Tis true, it is sunshine to-day,

To-morrow, birds will have a storm ;
My pretty one, come thou away,

My bosom then shall keep thee warm.
Thou subject art to cold o' nights,

When darkness is thy covering;
At day thy danger's great by kites,

How canst thou then sit there and sing?
Thy food is scarce and scanty too,

'Tis worms and trash which thou dost eat,
Thy present state I pity do,

Come, I'll provide thee better meat.
I'll feed thee with white bread and milk,

And sugar-plums, if thou them crave;
I'll cover thee with finest silk,

That from the cold I may thee save.
My father's palace shall be thine,

Yea, in it thou shalt sit and sing ;
My little bird, if thou'lt be mine,

The whole year round shall be thy spring.
I'll teach thee all the notes at court,

Unthought-of music thou shalt play,
And all that thither do resort,

Shall praise thee for it every day.
I'll keep thee safe from cat and cur,

No manner o'harm shall come to thee;
Yea, I will be thy succorer,

My bosom shall thy cabin be.
But lo, behold, the bird is gone!

These charmings would not make her yield;
The child's left at the bush alone,

The bird flies yonder o'er the field.


The child of Christ an emblem is;

The bird to sinners I compare;
The thorns are like those sins of theirs,

Which do surround them every where.
Her songs, her food, her sunshine day,

Are emblems of those foolish toys,
Which to destruction leads the way,

The fruit of worldly, empty joys.

The arguments this child doth choose

To draw to him a bird thus wild,
Shows Christ familiar speech doth use

To make the sinner reconciled.
The bird, in that she takes her wing

To speed her from him after all,
Shows us vain man loves any thing

Much better than the heavenly call.

Now if this ballad had been found among the poems of Wordsworth, with one or two touches of his peculiar coloring, it would have been regarded as one of his happiest examples of the artless simplicity and truth of nature. But with Bunyan these things were thrown off without any elaborate effort, in such language as he might naturally command, not with studied simplicity, but in such simplicity of style, matter and language as his childlike musings naturally fell into. And this constitutes their charm. He says himself that he could have written in higher strains, but he would not attempt it; and well for the poetry it was that he did not ; instead of the childlike carelessness and naturalness, which pleases older minds as well as children, he might have fallen into a stiffness and affected elegance, that would have pleased none. As it is, there is great genius and beauty in these hymns for infant minds. In the introduction, to the courteous reader, Bunyan says, in a vein of vigorous and well directed satire,

The title page will show, if thou wilt look,
Who are the proper subjects of this book ;
They're boys and girls of all sorts and degrees,
From those of age, to children on their knees.
Thus comprehensive am I in my notions,
They tempt me to it by their childish motions.
We now have boys with beards, and girls that be
Huge as old women, wanting gravity.

Then do not blame me, since I thus describe 'em,
Flatter I may not, lest thereby I bribe 'em
To have a better judgment of themselves
Than wise men have of babies on their shelves,
Their antic tricks, fantastic modes and way
Show they, like very boys and girls, do play
With all the frantic fooleries of the age,
And that in open view as on a stage.
Our bearded men do act like beardless boys,
Our women please themselves with childish toys.

Our ministers long time by word and pen
Dealt with them, counting them not boys but men ;
They shot their thunders at them, and their toys,
But hit them not, for they were girls and boys,
The better charged, the wilder still they shot,
Or else so high, these dwarfs they touched not.
Instead of men, they found them girls and boys,
To nought addicted but to childish toys.

I repeat it, that this is pleasant, good natured, and instructive satíre ; its vein of strong sense and native humor may remind us of our elder, early poets, whom, indeed, Bunyan in his poetry resembles not a little, and with whom he would have taken the highest rank as a poet, had Divine Providence directed bis native gifts to be developed that way. Bunyan apologizes for seeming to play the fool, that he might, like Paul, by all means, gain some, and he hopes that even men of graver fancies may possibly be taken by his homely rhymes.

Some, I persuade me, will be finding fault,
Concluding, here I trip, and there I halt;
No doubt some could those grovelling notions raise
By fine-spun terms, that challenge might the bays.

Should all be forced to lay their brains aside,
That cannot regulate the glowing tide
By this or that man's fancy, we should have
The wise unto the fool become a slave.
What, though my text seems mean, my morals be
Grave, as if fetched from a sublimer tree!
And if some better handle can a fly,
Than some a text, wherefore should we deny,
Their making proof or good experiment
Of smallest things great mischiefs to prevent.

I could, were I so pleased, use higher strains,
And for applause on tenters stretch my brains ;
But what needs that? The arrow out of sight
Does not the sleeper nor the watchman fright;
To shoot too high doth make but children gaze;
"Tis that which hits the man doth him amaze.

As for the inconsiderableness
Of things, by which I do my mind express ;
May I by them bring some good thing to pass,
As Samson, with the jaw bone of an ass ;
Or as brave Shamgar with his or's goad,
(Both things unmanly, not for war in mode,)
I have my end, though I myself expose,
For God will have the glory at the close.

This was ever Bunyan's disinterestedness and forgetfulness of self. So he might glorify God, it was no matter what became of his own reputation, his own will. Human applause he sought not, and while writing the most original work of genius produced in his age, he wrote with an absolute unconsciousness of fame, and a disregard of it, such as marked the character of no other writer of the period. Baxter was an eminently holy man, and his mind wrought under holy influences, but never with such unconsciousness of greatness, such forgetfulness of self. Yet the maxim of both was, To God alone be the glory!

These Divine Emblems, of which I have spoken, are much in the manner of Quarles, whose poetry Bunyan may have been acquainted with, as the

Puritans were fond of it, and who died while Bunyan was in prison. Some of them remind us of the significant things seen by Christian in the house of the Interpreter. It was thus that Bunyan filled up his vacant seasons, and with various sweetness recreated himself in prison. While he was musing, the fire burned. When he began his Pilgrim's Progress, he was surprised into it, for he was writing another book, which he had nearly finished, but as he was penning some things concerning the race of the saints in the day of the gospel, his thoughts fell suddenly into the form of an allegory in a number of particulars, which he put down; these grew into more, and again continued to multiply, as he was attracted from fancy to fancy, and still he wrote them down, till he said within himself, If I go on at this rate, it will be ad infinitum, and I shall never finish the book I am already about. Wherefore

Wherefore my thick-coming fancies I'll put you by yourselves, and when I have leisure from the work I have undertaken, then I will return to you.

Thus his work so produced, came to be the pure, artless, spontaneous creation of piety and genius. There was scarcely a conscious effort in the writing of it ; nay, rather a restraint of its exquisite sweetness, till such moments as he could attend to and take down the lovely images, the fervent thoughts, that were crowding one another in his mind, and seeking for utterance. It was but for him to say the word, to say to himself, Now my favorite meditations I release you; and suddenly as songsters from a cage, his

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