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A Man of Words and Not Deeds

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This rhyme can be found in A History of Nursery Rhymes (1899) by Percy B. Green. Green wrote about this rhyme, "In a copy of rhyming proverbs in the British Museum, written about the year 1680, occurs the following Puritan satire on Charles II.'s changeability"...

A Man of Words and Not Deeds

A man of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds
And when the weeds begin to grow
It's like a garden full of snow
And when the snow begins to fall
It's like a bird upon the wall
And when the bird away does fly
It's like an eagle in the sky
And when the sky begins to roar
It's like a lion at the door
And when the door begins to crack
It's like a stick across your back
And when your back begins to smart
It's like a penknife in your heart
And when your heart begins to bleed
You're dead, and dead, and dead indeed.

Notes

Charles II ruled from 1660 until 1685, during a time known as the Restoration (after the Puritans ruled England under Cromwell). At the beginning of his reign Charles promised religious Dissenters freedom of conscience. But later he began to persecute them. His words did not translate into deeds.

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