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AN ANTHOLOGY OF LONGER POEMS
WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
W. MACNEILE DIXON
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE IN THE UNIVERSITY
H. J. C. GRIERSON
CHALMERS PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE IN THE
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
THE intention of the editors, which was to avoid selections, and to include in this Anthology only complete poems, exactly as they were given to the world by their authors, will appear in three instances to be violated. The first sestiad of Hero and Leander is here printed but not the second, the third and fourth cantos of Childe Harold without those that preceded them, and several passages from Wordsworth which are to be found in the Prelude. In Marlowe's case, since the author himself left his poem uncompleted, the editors have ventured to omit that portion which is perhaps not so well suited to modern taste; the third and fourth cantos of Childe Harold are included since they compose a poem wholly distinct from the first and second, written after an interval of years, and in a high degree characteristic of Byron in the maturity of his genius. The passages from Wordsworth were printed by the poet himself as separate poems before they were incorporated into his longer philosophical work.
Though a glossary has been provided for the use of the general reader no explanatory notes have been added to the texts. It was not the intention of the editors to supersede the work of the teacher, nor to supply such easily obtained information as is generally to be found in the annotated editions of single texts. Their purpose in this volume was rather to afford both teachers and students the opportunity for the comparative study of
poetry belonging to different periods and different types. The condensed, somewhat informal, historical and critical notes are naturally far from exhaustive. They suggest merely a few problems of literary interest, raise in the case of each author a few points for consideration or discussion, and attempt briefly to indicate the position of a poet or poem in the historical development of English literature. The texts are printed from the most authoritative versions available, and with as little alteration of spelling and punctuation as was possible. For the text of Chaucer the editors are indebted, and desire to express their gratitude, to Professor Skeat. In printing Burns, the poet's own spelling and italics, with which considerable liberties have often been taken, are restored. Burns's spelling, when phonetic, is a clue to his pronunciation, and his italics were frequently intended to indicate emphasis.
In the case of Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, and Fitzgerald, considerations of copyright have excluded the use of some later emendations. The editors especially regret that they are unable to print the fuller and more finished version of Omar Khayyam. But the present text is that of the poem which so delighted and stimulated Rossetti and Swinburne, and first became famous.
By an oversight Ulysses is printed at the end of the selections from Tennyson instead of in its proper place among his earlier poems.
The editors desire to acknowledge with warm thanks the encouragement and assistance they have received from their friends, Professors Bradley, Dowden, Raleigh, Saintsbury, and Mr. J. C. Smith. Mr. R. S. Wallace, M.A.,
lecturer in English Language at the University of Aberdeen, and Miss Augusta Rudmose-Brown, M.A., University Assistant, Aberdeen, have rendered valuable assistance in the preparation of the glossary, which owes much to the labours of editors of Chaucer from Tyrwhitt to Morris and Skeat, Mr. A. W. Pollard and Miss Bentinck-Smith. They are also indebted to the Clarendon Press for unfailing courtesy and help while the book was passing through the press.