John Bunyan

Graham Midgeley (ed.), The Miscellaneous Works of John Bunyan, Vol. 6: The Poems

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pg 238
XXXIIIIOf the Rose-bushXXXIV Of the Rosebush

  • 1138  This homely Bush doth to mine eyes expose,
  • 1139A very fair, yea comely, ruddy, Rose.
  • 1140  This Rose doth also bow its head to me,
  • 1141Saying, come, pluck me, I thy Rose will be.
  • 1142Yet offer I to gather Rose or Bud,
  • 1143Ten to one but the Bush will have my Blood.
  • Editor’s Note1144  This looks like a Trappan, or a Decoy,
  • 1145To offer, and yet snap who would enjoy.
  • 1146Yea, the more eager on't, the more in danger,
  • 1147Be he the Master of it, or a Stranger.
  • 1148  Bush, why dost bear a Rose? If none must have it,
  • 1149Why dost expose it, yet claw those that crave it?
  • Editor’s Note1150Art become freakish? Dost the Wanton play,
  • 1151Or doth thy testy humour tend this way?


  • 1153  This Rose God's Son is, with his ruddy Looks.
  • 1154But what's the Bush? Whose pricks, like Tenterhooks,
  • 1155Do scratch and claw the finest Ladies hands,
  • 1156Or rent her Cloths, if she too near it stands.
  • pg 2391157  This Bush an Emblem is of Adam's race
  • 1158Of which Christ came, when he his Father's Grace
  • 1159Commended to us in his crimson Blood,
  • 1160While he in Sinners stead and Nature stood.
  • 1161  Thus Adam's Race did bear this dainty Rose,
  • 1162And doth the same to Adam's Race expose:
  • 1163But those of Adam's Race which at it catch,
  • 1164Adam's Race will them prick and claw and scratch.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
238. Poem XXXIIII. The figure of Christ as a rose, and the setting of the flower among thorns, springs from S. of S. 2: 1–2, 'I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters'. The poem is rather curious metrically, having a two-line introduction before it falls into a regular quatrain pattern which fits the tune. Alternatively the first two lines might be intended to recur as a chorus, sung to the repeated first half of the tune.
Editor’s Note
238. 1144. Trappan: obsolete form of 'trepar', one who decoys or entraps another into a dangerous position, probably originating in thieves' slang.
Editor’s Note
238. 1150. freakish: capricious, whimsical.
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