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COPYRIGHT, 1899, BY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Athenæum Press
This book is made up of English lyrics which fall between the years 1625 and 1700. The first quarter of the seventeenth century is here unrepresented, because the lyrical poetry, like most other kinds of literature of that period, was produced under impulses and maintained by traditions almost wholly Elizabethan. The method pursued in the selection and arrangement of the poems constituting this book is much that of the editor's Elizabethan Lyrics. Some poems have been retained, the exclusion of which a standard of the highest literary and poetic worth might demand. This is justified by a recognition of the fact that a book such as this must be, to a certain extent, historically representative. The same requirement has prompted a rigid adherence to chronological order in the arrangement of material and to the rule that no poem shall appear except in its completeness and in that form in which it may reasonably be supposed to have had its author's maturest revision. The term lyric has necessarily been interpreted with some liberality in the consideration of a period which tended, towards its close, to the conscious exercise of artifice and wit in poetry rather than to the spontaneous expression of emotion. If Mr. Henley's recent enunciation of the essential antithesis between the lyric and the epigram is to be accepted in its rigor, many of the poems of this collection must fall under his ban. And 1 See the Introduction to Mr. Henley's collection of English Lyrics.