Imatges de pàgina
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LECTURES

ON

ENGLISH POETRY,

TO THE

TIME OF MILTON.

BY STANHOPE BUSBY ESQ.

LONDON:
WHITTAKER AND CO.

AVE-MARIA LANE.

1837.

lc 454.50

HARVARD
UNTEERSITY

LIBRARY
JUL 13 1945

Taylor food

READING:
INGALL, PRINTER, HIGH-STREET.

PREFACE.

It was the author's desire in the following pages to convey some idea of the merits of our earlier poets, and to direct attention to their works without entering into a formal critical analysis, which would have been too diffuse, and not sufficiently popular for a general

lecture.

That such a work as the present must be imperfect the author is well aware—the subject is copious, and there is much that he has been obliged to pass over with a hasty allusion, or altogether in silence. The ballads and fugitive verses familiarized to the public in the admirable collections of Percy and Ellis, and the poetry of many anonymous authors have sufficient claims for a separate notice, which would have been appended to the present volume, did it not already exceed the limits which the author proposed, and his treatment of the subject warrants.

The quotations scattered through the lectures are not always the most striking that could have been selected; but it was necessary they should be concise, and difficult to extract specimens of equal length and greater interest. Detached passages will generally offer but a faint idea of the work in which they occur, and for that reason preference has generally been given to any little poems which, if they are not the best illustrations of their author's genius, are at least complete in themselves.

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