the author's apology for his book

When at the first I took my pen in hand
Thus for to write, I did not understand 
That I at all should make a little book 
In such a mode; nay, I had undertook 
To make another; which, when almost done, 
Before I was aware, I this begun. 

And thus it was: I, writing of the way 
And race of saints, in this our gospel day, 
Fell suddenly into an allegory 
About 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 last 
Should prove ad infinitum, and eat out 
The book that I already am about. 

Well, so I did; but yet I did not think 
To shew to all the world my pen and ink 
In such a mode; I only thought to make 
I knew not what; nor did I undertake 
Thereby to please my neighbour: no, not I; 
I did it my own self to gratify. 

Neither did I but vacant seasons spend 
In this my scribble; nor did I intend 
But to divert myself in doing this 
From 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 penned 
It down: until it came at last to be, 
For length and breadth, the bigness which you see.
John Bunyan, from the beginning of The Pilgrim's Progress