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ENGLISH POEMS

English Poems

SELECTED AND EDITED WITH
ILLUSTRATIVE AND EXPLANATORY
NOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES BY

cont

WALTER C. BRONSON, LITT.D.

Professor of English Literature

Brown University

THE ELIZABETHAN AGE AND THE

PURITAN PERIOD

(1550-1660)

CHICAGO:
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS

459119

COPYRIGHT 1909 BY
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

Published August 1909

Composed and Printed By
The University of Chicago Press

Chicago, Illinois, U. S. A,

PREFACE

This volume is the second in a 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, which was the first to appear, and they 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, without including an undue number of minor poets; (2) so far as possible to print entire poems or entire parts of poems; (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 spelling when change would affect rhyme or rhythm; (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) which illustrate his mode of work, and throw some light, by means of extracts from contemporary criticism, upon the literary standards of different periods.

The application of this method necessarily varies with the nature of the material for each volume. In the present volume the great problem in the selection of poems was to represent at all adequately the poetic fertility of the Elizabethan Age as shown by the host of lesser poets, and yet save space enough for the supreme names of Spenser, Shakspere, and Milton. Two-fifths of the book was finally given to these three, and the remainder to some

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