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ENGLISH, ITALIAN, AND LATIN,
Viz. LYCIDAS, L'ALLEGRO, IL PENSEROSO, AR-
CADES, COMUS, ODES, SONNETS, MISCELLA-
WITH NOTES CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY,
AND OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS,
FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE deren
PRINTED FOR JAMES DODSLEY IN PALL MALL.
M DCC LXXX V,
T HE poems which compose the present T volume were published almost thirty years before the appearance of the PARADISE LOST. During that interval, they were so totally disregarded, at least by the general reader, as scarcely to have conferred on their author the reputation of a writer of verses; much less the distinction and character of a true poet. After the publication of the PARADISE LOST, whose acknowledged merit and increasing celebrity might have naturally contributed to call other pieces of the same author, and of a kindred excellence, into a more conspicuous point of view, they long continued to remain in their original state of neglect and obscurity. At the infancy of their circulation, and for some years afterwards, they were overwhelmed in the commotions of faction, the conflict of religious difputation, and the professional ignorance of fanaticism. In succeeding years, when tumults and usurpations were at an end, and leisure and literature returned, the times were still unpropitious, and the public taste was unprepared for their reception. It was late in the present century, before they attained their just measure of esteem and popularity. Wit and rhyme, sentiment and satire, polished numbers, sparkling couplets, and pointed periods, having sa long kept undisturbed possession in our poetry, would not easily give way to fiction and fancy, to picturesque description, and romantic imagery.