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W Hen



Hen 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 show 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 Neighbor; no not I;
And did it mine 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 pulld, it came; and so I penn'd
It down; until at last it came to be,
For length and breadth the bigness which you see.

Well, when I had thus put mine ends together,
I shew'd them others, that I might see whether
They would condemn them, or them justify:
And some said, let them live; some, let them die.
Some said, John, print it; others said, Not so:
Some said, It might do good; others said, No.

Now was I in a strait, and did not see
Which was the best thing to be done by me:
At last I thought, Since you are thus divided,
I print it will; and so the case decided.

For, thought I, Some, I see, would have it done,
Though others in that Channel do not run;
To prove then who advised for the best,
Thus I thought fit to put it to the test.

I further thought, if now I did deny
Those that would have it thus, to gratify,
I did not know but hinder them I might
Of that which would to them be great delight.

For those which were not for its coming forth,
I said to them, Offend you I am loth;
Yet since your Brethren pleased with it be,
Forbear to judge, till you do further see.

If that thou wilt not read, let it alone ;
Some love the meat, some love to pick the bone :
Yea, that I might them better palliate,
I did too with them thus expostulate.

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