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Upon The Lark and The Fowler

John Bunyan 1628 (Elstow, Bedfordshire) – 1688 (London)

Thou simple bird, what makes thou here to play?
Look, there's the fowler, pr'ythee come away.
Do'st not behold the net? Look there, 'tis spread,
Venture a little further, thou art dead.
Is there not room enough in all the field
For thee to play in, but thou needs must yield
To the deceitful glitt'ring of a glass,
Plac'd betwixt nets, to bring thy death to pass?
Bird, if thou art so much for dazzling light,
Look, there's the sun above thee; dart upright;
Thy nature is to soar up to the sky,
Why wilt thou come down to the nets and die?
Take no heed to the fowler's tempting call;
This whistle, he enchanteth birds withal.
Or if thou see'st a live bird in his net,
Believe she's there, 'cause hence she cannot get.
Look how he tempteth thee with is decoy,
That he may rob thee of thy life, thy joy.
Come, pr'ythee bird, I pr'ythee come away,
Why should this net thee take, when 'scape thou may?
Hadst thou not wings, or were thy feathers pull'd,
Or wast thou blind, or fast asleep wer't lull'd,
The case would somewhat alter, but for thee,
Thy eyes are ope, and thou hast wings to flee.
Remember that thy song is in thy rise,
Not in thy fall; earth's not thy paradise.
Keep up aloft, then, let thy circuits be
Above, where birds from fowler's nets are free.


This fowler is an emblem of the devil,
His nets and whistle, figures of all evil.
His glass an emblem is of sinful pleasure,
And his decoy of who counts sin a treasure.
This simple lark's a shadow of a saint,
Under allurings, ready now to faint.
This admonisher a true teacher is,
Whose works to show the soul the snare and bliss,
And how it may this fowler's net escape,
And not commit upon itself this rape.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:41 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,652
Words 319
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 28, 10

John Bunyan

John Bunyan was an English Christian writer and preacher, who is well known for his book The Pilgrim's Progress. more…

All John Bunyan poems | John Bunyan Books

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