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COPYRIGHT 1908 BY THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Fifteenth Impression May 1931
COMPOSED AND PRINTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, U.S.A.
918 B869 V. 3
This volume is the third in a projected series of four volumes of English poems, intended especially for use with college classes. The principles governing the selection of poems, the editing of the texts, and the composition of the notes, in the series, were fully set forth in the preface to Vol. IV, and need not be repeated here at length. In brief, the method followed is (1) to choose poems representing the different phases of the work of poets and schools of poetry, (2) to print entire poems or entire parts of poems, whenever possible, (3) to follow the latest accessible text approved by the author, (4) to modernize spelling and punctuation as a rule, but to retain the original form when change would affect rhythm or rhyme, (5) in the notes to explain difficulties of expression and allusion, give the poet's view of poetry in his own words, furnish material (chiefly variant readings and literary sources) illustrating his mode of work, and throw some light, by extracts from contemporary criticism, upon the literary standards of different periods. So much of the most significant poetry of the Restoration and the eighteenth century consists of long reflective, satiric, or descriptive works that it has been necessary to include a good many extracts; but such poems, fortunately, afford many detachable passages that are both complete and representative. The number of minor poets, too, is necessarily large, but it is hoped that they have been duly subordinated to the dii majores.
In the preparation of notes for a volume of selections, an editor's obligations to previous editors are so great that to specify them would be tedious; it may suffice, instead,
to make a general acknowledgment of constant indebtedness to the standard editions of the poets represented and a general disclaimer of originality. On the other hand, it is only fair to say that even the best editions have not been followed blindly; that statements, references, and quotations have been verified whenever possible, and often corrected or made more definite; and that some of the material in the notes is new or is brought together for the first time.
I am indebted to the authorities of the Harvard College Library for courtesies in connection with the use of its rare collection of early editions; to Ginn & Co., for their kind permission to reprint parts of the notes in my edition of Collins in the Athenaeum Press Series; and to my colleague, Professor Henry B. Huntington, for valuable aid in the selection of poems. My greatest obligation is to my wife, who, besides preparing the copy, collating texts, and reading proof, has made the table of contents and the indices, prepared the glossary of Scotch words, and translated most of the passages in Greek, Latin, and French the translation of which is not otherwise accredited.
W. C. B. BROWN UNIVERSITY
April 11, 1908