When at the first I took my pen in handJohn Bunyan, from the beginning of The Pilgrim's Progress
Thus for to write, I did not understandThat I at all should make a little bookIn such a mode; nay, I had undertookTo make another; which, when almost done,Before I was aware, I this begun.
And thus it was: I, writing of the wayAnd race of saints, in this our gospel day,Fell suddenly into an allegoryAbout their journey, and the way to glory,In more than twenty things which I set down.
This done, I twenty more had in my crown;And they again began to multiply,Like sparks that from the coals of fire do fly.Nay, then, thought I, if that you breed so fast,I'll put you by yourselves, lest you at lastShould prove ad infinitum, and eat outThe book that I already am about.
Well, so I did; but yet I did not thinkTo shew to all the world my pen and inkIn such a mode; I only thought to makeI knew not what; nor did I undertakeThereby to please my neighbour: no, not I;I did it my own self to gratify.
Neither did I but vacant seasons spendIn this my scribble; nor did I intendBut to divert myself in doing thisFrom worser thoughts which make me do amiss.
Thus, I set pen to paper with delight,And quickly had my thoughts in black and white.For, having now my method by the end,Still as I pulled, it came; and so I pennedIt down: until it came at last to be,For length and breadth, the bigness which you see.