¶ The Pilgrimage.
I Travelld on, seeing the hill, where lay My expectation. A long it was and weary way. The gloomy cave of Desperation I left on th one, and on the other side The rock of Pride. And so I came to phancies medow strowd With many a flower: Fain would I here have made abode, But I was quickend by my houre. So to cares cops1 I came, and there got through With much ado. That led me to the wilde of Passion, which Some call the wold; A wasted place, but sometimes rich. Here I was robbd of all my gold, Save one good Angell,2 which a friend had tid Close to my side. At length I got unto the gladsome hill, Where lay my hope, Where lay my heart; and climbing still, When I had gaind the brow and top, A lake of brackish waters on the ground Was all I found. With that abashd and struck with many a sting Of swarming fears, I fell, and cryd, Alas my King! Can both the way and end be tears? Yet taking heart I rose, and then perceivd I was deceivd: My hill was further: so I flung away, Yet heard a crie Just as I went, None goes that way And lives: If that be all, said I, After so foul a journey death is fair, And but a chair.
1 cops (copse). The underwood of a wood or forest. (This line from Herbert is cited in Oxford English Dictionary.) [Return]
2 Angel - Also an Elizabethan coin with a figure of St. Michael fighting the dragon. [See graphic at right. Return]
See John Bunyan, The Pilgrims Progress, Stage Three:
I beheld then, that they all went on till they came to the foot of the hill Difficulty, at the bottom of which there was a spring. There were also in the same place two other ways besides that which came straight from the gate: one turned to the left hand, and the other to the right, at the bottom of the hill; but the narrow way lay right up the hill, and the name of the going up the side of the hill is called Difficulty. Christian now went to the spring, (Isa. 49:10), and drank thereof to refresh himself, and then began to go up the hill, saying,The hill, though high, I covet to ascend; The difficulty will not me offend; For I perceive the way to life lies here: Come, pluck up heart, lets neither faint nor fear. Better, though difficult, the right way to go, Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe.
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