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Of Man, By Nature

May 8, 2017

From God he’s a Back slider,
Of Ways, he loves the wider;
With Wickedness a Sider,
More Venom than a Spider.
In Sin he’s a Confider,
A Make-bate, and Divider;
Blind Reason is his Guider,
The Devil is his Rider.

–John Bunyan, 1686

COMMENTARY: Though John Bunyan is remembered mainly for his famous prose allegory Pilgrim’s Progress, he wrote poetry throughout his life and published a number of jaunty little collections. This poem is from his collection Country Rhymes For Children, a series of short moral poems often in the manner of object lessons. There are little meditations on frogs and hens and snails and tops with each used to teach a little homily, but, as the poems of other famous “morality” poets (Aesop, La Fontaine, etc) the punchline of the lesson is usually frolicsomeness of the language.

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