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There will we sit upon the rocks
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

1

There will I make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair linéd slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy buds
With coral clasps and amber studs :
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my Love.

Thy silver dishes for thy meat
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on an ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning :
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my Love.

C. Marlowe

VI

À MADRIGAL

C

*RABBED Age and Youth

Cannot live together :
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care ;
Youth like summer morn,
Age like winter weather,
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare :
Youth is full of sport,
Age's breath is short,
Youth is nimble, Age is lame:
Youth is hot and bold,
Age is weak and cold,
Youth is wild, and Age is tame :-
Age, I do abhor thee,
Youth, I do adore thee;
O! my Love, my Love is young !
Age, I do defy thee
O sweet shepherd, hie thee,
For methinks thou stay'st too long.

W. Shakespeare

VII

UN

NDER the greenwood tree

Who loves to lie with m me,
And tune his merry note

Unto the sweet bird's throat
Come hither, come hither, come hither !

Here shall he see

No enemy
.But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun
And loves to live i’ the sun,
Seeking the food he eats

And pleased with what he gets -
Come hither, come hither, come hither!

Here shall he see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.

W. Shakespeare

VIII

T was a lover and his lass

With a hey and a ho, and a hey-nonino ! That o'er the green cornfield did pass In the spring time, the only pretty ring time, When birds do sing hey ding a ding :

Sweet lovers love the Spring.

Between the acres of the rye
These pretty country folks would lie :

This carol they began that hour,
How that life was but a flower :

And therefore take the present time

With a hey and a ho and a hey-nonino !
For love is crowned with the prime
In spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing hey ding a ding :
Sweet lovers love the Spring.

W. Shakespeare

In the arrangement, the most poetically-effective Xorder has been attempted. The English mind has

passed through phases of thought and cultivation so various and so opposed during these three centuries of Poetry, that a rapid passage between Old and New, like rapid alteration of the eye's focus in looking at the landscape, will always be wearisome and hurtful to the sense of Beauty. The poems have been therefore distributed into Books corresponding, I to the ninety years closing about 1616, II thence to 1700, III to 1800, IV to the half-century just ended. Or looking at the Poets who more or less give each portion its distinctive character, they might be called the Books of Shakespeare, Milton, Gray, and Wordsworth. The volume, in this respect, so far as the limitations of its range allow, accurately reflects the natural growth and evolution of our Poetry. A rigidly chronological sequence, however, rather fits a collection aiming at instruction than at pleasure, and the Wisdom which comes through Pleasure : -- within each book the pieces have therefore been arranged in gradations of feeling or subject. The development of the symphonies of Mozart and Beethoven has been here thought of as a model, and nothing placed without careful consideration. And it is hoped that the contents of this Anthology will thus be found to present a certain unity, ‘as episodes,' in the noble language of Shelley, “to that great Poem which all poets, like the co-operating thoughts of one great mind, have built up since the beginning of the world.'

As he closes his long survey, the Editor trusts he may add without egotism, that he has found the vague general verdict of popular Fame more just than those have thought, who, with too severe a criticism, would

confine judgments on Poetry to the selected few of many generations. Not many appear to have gained reputation without some gift or performance that, in due degree, deserved it: and if no verses by certain writers who show less strength than sweetness, or more thought than mastery in expression, are printed in this volume, it should not be imagined that they have been excluded without much hesitation and regret, far less that they have been slighted. Throughout this vast and pathetic array of Singers now silent, few have been honoured with the name Poet, and have not possessed a skill in words, a sympathy with beauty, a tenderness of feeling, or seriousness in reflection, which render their works, although never perhaps attaining that loftier and finer excellence here required, better worth reading than much of what fills the scanty hours that most men spare for self-improvement, or for pleasure in any of its more elevated and permanent forms.

And if this be true of even mediocre poetry, for how much more are we indebted to the best! Like the fabled fountain of the Azores, but with a more various power, the magic of this Art can confer on each period of life its appropriate blessing : on early years Experience, on maturity Calm, on age, Youthfulness. Poetry gives treasures more golden than gold,' leading us in higher and healthier ways than those of the world, and interpreting to us the lessons of Nature. But she speaks best for herself. Her true accents, if the plan has been executed with success, may be heard throughout the following pages : - wherever the Poets of England are honoured, wherever the dominant language of the world is spoken, it is hoped that they will find fit audience.

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