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his can be written in modern spelling without sacrifice of rhythm and rime, and it is desired that the book should be in a tongue understanded of the people.' No living authors are included, and none who have died within the second half of this century. We cannot yet judge them fairly; the living exercise too great a spell over us by their presence; for those but recently gone our tears, as St. Leo said of the Magdalen, have woven a veil which prevents our discriminating what they are who are called up before us.

Odes, properly so called, are excluded; as are all narrative, didactic, and ballad poems. Nor are true lyrics included which will not stand alone. Thus a beautiful song in 'The Lady of the Lake' finds no place because a line in it is unintelligible apart from the narrative in which it is imbedded. Nor, for the same reason, are extracts given from longer poems.

It is too much to hope that any selection will satisfy all readers, some of whom will no doubt miss favourites, which even if known by heart cannot be read too often :

As for some dear familiar strain,
Untired we ask and ask again;
Ever in its melodious store
Finding a spell unheard before:

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But the reason for the exclusion of most of these will probably be found in the canons of lyric already laid down.

The Editor's best thanks are due to Mr. E. W. Gosse, Mr. Austin Dobson, and Mr. W. J. Linton, for valuable aid and suggestions.

I.

ENGLISH LYRICS.

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THE LOVER PRAISETH THE BEAUTY OF

HIS LADY'S HAND.

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SIR THOMAS WYATT,

1503-1542.

My life thou dost restrain.

O fingers slight!

Departed right,

So long, so small, so round;

Goodly begone,

And yet a bone

Most cruel in my wound.

With lilies white

And roses bright

Doth strain thy colour fair;

B

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THE LOVER BESEECHETH HIS MISTRESS NOT TO FORGET HIS STEADFAST FAITH AND TRUE INTENT.

F

ORGET not yet the tried intent
Of such a truth as I have meant ;
My great travail so gladly spent,
Forget not yet!

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