Condemn1 me not for making such a coil2
About my3 book: alas, it is my child.4
Just like a bird when her young are in nest
Goes in and out, and hops, and takes no rest,
But when their young are fledged, their heads out peep, 5
Lord what a chirping does the old one keep!
So I—for fear my strengthless child should fall
Against a door or stool—aloud I call,
“Bid have a care of such a dangerous place!”
Thus write I much to hinder all disgrace. 10
- This title is a composite. In 1653 the title reads “An Excuse for So Much Writ upon my Verses”; in 1664 and 1668 it reads, “An Apology for Writing So Much upon This Book”.
- for making such a coil] I make so much ado 1664, 1668
- my] this 1664, 1668
- alas, it is my child.] it is my Child, you know; 1664; it is my Child, you know. 1668
Compare Ann Bradstreet, “The Author to her Book,” in Several Poems (Boston, 1678), p. 236: “Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain, / Who after birth did’st by my side remain, / […] / Yet being mine own, at length affection would / Thy blemishes amend, if so I could” (ll. 1–2, 11–12).