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The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: And 2

by (Library of Alexandria)

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In this edition of Herrick quotation is for the first time facilitated by the poems being numbered according to their order in the original edition. This numbering has rendered it possible to print those Epigrams, which successive editors have joined in deploring, in a detachable Appendix, their place in the original being indicated by the numeration. It remains to be added that the footnotes in this edition are intended to explain, as unobtrusively as possible, difficulties of phrase or allusion which might conceivably hinder the understanding of Herrick's meaning. In the longer Notes at the end of each volume earlier versions of some important poems are printed from manuscripts at the British Museum, and an endeavour has been made to extend the list of Herrick's debts to classical sources, and to identify some of his friends who have hitherto escaped research. An editor is always apt to mention his predecessors rather for blame than praise, and I therefore take this opportunity of acknowledging my general indebtedness to the pioneer work of Mr. Hazlitt and Dr. Grosart, upon whose foundations all editors of Herrick must necessarily build. It is singular that the first great age of English lyric poetry should have been also the one great age of English dramatic poetry: but it is hardly less singular that the lyric school should have advanced as steadily as the dramatic school declined from the promise of its dawn. Born with Marlowe, it rose at once with Shakespeare to heights inaccessible before and since and for ever, to sink through bright gradations of glorious decline to its final and beautiful sunset in Shirley: but the lyrical record that begins with the author of "Euphues" and "Endymion" grows fuller if not brighter through a whole chain of constellations till it culminates in the crowning star of Herrick. Shakespeare's last song, the exquisite and magnificent overture to "The Two Noble Kinsmen," is hardly so limpid in its flow, so liquid in its melody, as the two great songs in "Valentinian": but Herrick, our last poet of that incomparable age or generation, has matched them again and again. As a creative and inventive singer, he surpasses all his rivals in quantity of good work; in quality of spontaneous instinct and melodious inspiration he reminds us, by frequent and flawless evidence, who above all others must beyond all doubt have been his first master and his first model in lyric poetry -- the author of "The Passionate Shepherd to his Love

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  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 725 Pages
  • File Size: 1,565 KB

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