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Part II Preface: the Answer to Objection III

From John Bunyan's classic The Pilgrim's Progress, Part II Preface.

Answer to Objection III

One may, I think, say, Both his laughs and cries
May well be guess'd at by his wat'ry eyes.
Some things are of that nature, as to make
One's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache:
When Jacob saw his Rachel with the sheep,
He did at the same time both kiss and weep.

Whereas some say, A cloud is in his head;
That doth but show his wisdom's covered
With its own mantles-and to stir the mind
To search well after what it fain would find,
Things that seem to be hid in words obscure
Do but the godly mind the more allure
To study what those sayings should contain,
That speak to us in such a cloudy strain.

I also know a dark similitude
Will on the curious fancy more intrude,
And will stick faster in the heart and head,
Than things from similes not borrowed.

Wherefore, my Book, let no discouragement
Hinder thy travels. Behold, thou art sent
To friends, not foes; to friends that will give place
To thee, thy pilgrims, and thy words embrace.

Besides, what my first Pilgrim left conceal'd,
Thou, my brave second Pilgrim, hast reveal'd;
What Christian left lock'd up, and went his way,
Sweet Christiana opens with her key.

Objection IV


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