Sunday, May 01, 2005

Bunyan's Riff on Ruth

In ancient times, e'er Israel knew the way
Of kingly power, when judges bore the sway:
A certain man of Bethlehem Juda fled,
By reason of a famine that o'erspread
The land, into the land of Moab, where
He and his wife, and sons, sojourners were.
His name Elimelech, his eldest son
Was called Mahlon, t'other Chilion,
His wife was Naomi, Ephrathites they were:
They went to Moab and continued there:
Where of her husband Naomi was bereft,
And only she and her two sons were left:
Who took them wives of Moab in their youth.
The name of one was Orpah, t'other Ruth:
And there they died ere twice five years were gone;
And Naomi was wholly left alone.


From John Bunyan, "The Book of Ruth," Scriptural Poems. He tells the whole story. Also of interest on the same page is his versification of the Sermon on the Mount:

The eye's the light o' th' body, which if right
Then thy whole body will be full of light:
But if thine eye be evil, then there will
A total darkness thy whole body fill.
If therefore all the light that is in thee
Be darkness, how great must that darkness be?
No man can serve two masters, either he
Will hate one, and love t'other, or will be
Faithful to one, and t'other will forego.
Ye cannot serve both God and mammon too.

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