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The

Oxford Book

Of Eighteenth Century

Verse

Oxford University Press London Edinburgh Glasgow Copenhagen New York Toronto Melbourne Cape Town

Bombay Calcutta Madras Shanghai Humphrey Milford Publisher to the UNIVERSITY

The

Oxford Book
Of Eighteenth Century

Verse

Chosen by

David Nichol Smith

Oxford

At the Clarendon Press

1926

PR
1215

0911

Printed in England
At the OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

By John Johnson
Printer to the University

Second Impression 1926

9.45 Enemy
N h W.E. Elanie
7-23-48

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PREFACE

\HIS book takes the eighteenth century' in its simplest meaning, and endeavours to represent the

poetry

that was written in this country during the hundred years from 1700 to 1800. It happens to cover the period from the death of Dryden to the death of Cowper, but neither births nor deaths of poets, nor poetical fashions and reputations, have fixed its limits; nor has it been made with the

purpose of illustrating any particular view of what this period stands for in the history of our literature. It opens fittingly with Pomfret's Choice, of which Johnson said that' perhaps no composition in our language has been more often perused”; and in the pieces which immediately follow we find the variety in subject, and note, and spirit, which is to increase as

the century proceeds. Nothing is given that ☆ is known to have been printed before 1700,

though written by men who made their name after that date. But the book cannot be so easily rounded in its conclusion. With the publication of Lyrical Ballads in September 1798 the flood-gates are opened. It has therefore been thought best to omit The Ancient Mariner and Tintern Abbey, though these are both eighteenth-century poems.

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