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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 is known by heart cannot be read too often :
As for some dear familiar strain,
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.
Nature did lend
A pearl for to repair.
Consent at last,
My heart in thy demain,
And reach me love again.
And if not so,
Enforce thyself to strain
And rid it out of pain.
THE VER BESEECHETH HIS MISTRESS
FAITH AND TRUE INTENT.
ORGET not yet the tried intent
Of such a truth as I have meant ;