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age have been transferred to these pages; the gleams of intellect only are preserved. The slow progress which the language made in its early stages, renders it difficult to distinguish each minute step of the process by which it was transformed from the Saxon to the English, but this is not material, as the great features of the change are sufficient to determine the nature of our language; and whatever existed, or, has taken place in ages past, which produced no result, does not belong to history or philosophy of any kind.

It has become so common to raphsodise about the old English poets, that a dispassionate review of them may appear insipid: they are however considered in the following work, more particularly with regard to their influence upon the language, and what they have really added to our poetry. The extracts have been made with a view to illustrate the gradual development of the language, rather than to bring to light new specimens and detect new beauties; yet none but the most beautiful specimens of each age have been admitted. In this respect this work differs from all others of the same nature ; yet an attempt has been made to combine in it the peculiar merits of the following works, and it is believed that it is at least free from their chief defects. Mr. Warton's learned work, which

may be considered the pi eer in historical collection of the kind, commences at too late a date, and is too volumnious and digressive, and excludes the drama. Mr. Ellis' is a chronological collection from the minor poets; without any particular illustration of their genius; Hazlitt's consists entirely of ELEGANT EXTRACTS, and Mr. Campbell's, which is the most complete, is too volumnious; as, in a work of this kind, no specimen is of any consequence which has not the particular characteristic of the author to distinguish it from all others, while a few of this kind are sufficient for the purpose; and his essay on the language and poetry is principally historical.

The literature of the eighteenth century is analysed in a few words, as it embraced but a single school. Mr. Griswold's complete work on the Poets and Poetry of England in the nineteenth century has rendered any thing further on the English literature of this age, unnecessary.

The statement has been made thus explicit, inasmuch as it is believed the design of this work is original; and it would be a poor reward for the labor that has been expended upon this small volume, should it be considered in any other light than as an original production, whatever its style of execution may be. And it may not be altogether impertinent to state, that the maxim ;-it is unwise to publish, because it reveals the extent of one's knowledge,-does not rigidly refer to this, as but a small part of the matter is published which was prepared in the investigation of the subject, and it had been easier to have made a folio out of it than this small volume. The work was commenced at an early day, and continued till it became a passion; therefore distrusting its merit, it has been submitted to the examination of men, whose names it would be needless to mention, who have commended it and advised its publication. A part of the manuscript, that particularly which treats of the origin and philosophy of the language, has been submitted to the examination of Mr. J. H. Perkins who has pointed out whatever he thought worthy of alteration in its matter and style.

It would be the dictate of a wise discretion to await the decision of the public before making any disclosures with regard to any circumstances connected with the work, and the time that has been employed in its composition; but no desire is felt to escape the responsibility of the undertaking, and it is delivered into the hands of an impartial community with the fullest confidence that it will be regarded with all the liberality that it deserves.

CINCINNATI, March 1, 1846.

CONTENTS

.......80

.71

Caedmon's Paraphrase,,...... .78 Good Night,..

88

The First Day.......

An old Man's Sorrow,..........89

Soliloquy of the Rebel Angel,...81 The Exile's Song,..

89

Parallel lines from Milton,...

Alfred's Meter,.................91

Temptation of Eve,..... .84 Excursiveness of the Mind,......92

Sailing of Beowulf,...

87

Formation of the English Language,.

.94

Romance,....

115

Gest of King Horn,..

.127

Poetry and Prose,..

. 129

Robert de Prunne,.............138 John Wickliffe,... ........142

Sir John Mandeville,... .140

.....83

ENGLISH

POETS AND GEMS OF

POETRY.

GEOFFREY CHAUCER ........147

Versification of Chaucer,...,154

The Canterbury Tales....... 162

The Prologue,....

163

The Knight,..

165

The Squire,...

The Yeoman,..

.167

The Prioress,

.168

The Monk,

....168

The Friar,....

.170

Sergeant of the Law,.......171

Doctor of Physic...... 172

The Parson.........

.......173

The Squire's Tale,..........173

The Brass Steed,...... 174

The Magic Glass,.........

1.176

The Ring,....

176

The Sword,...

..176

The Falcon's complaint,.....178

..166

....186

..187

........247

LYDGATE, GOWER CAXTON, The rich Jew of Malta,........240

SURREY, HARRINGTON, Dr. Faustus,....

.241

GASCOIGNE,..

.184 SAMUEL DANIEL,

.244

JOHN 1.YDGATE,......

Sonnet,..

..244

The Bower,

Sonnet,

.245

WILLIAM CAXTON,

.187 Pastoral,....

.245

SURREY, Henry Howard,. 189 MICHAEL DRAYTON,.. ....247

A praise of his love,........

189 The Baron's wars,.

.247

The frailty of Beauty,.........

..191

The Castle,...

GEORGE GASCOIGNE,........191 Edward's entrance to the Castle, 248

Gascoigne's Good-morrow,,.... 191 The Queen and Mortimer,...... 250

Swiftness of Time,....... ..193 Nymphidia, the Court of Fairy,

The Lover's Arrangement,.... 194

.252

Sir JOHN HARRINGTON,..... .196 The Shepherd's Daffodil. 253

Verses of a stony-hearted maiden,196 Ode, .

Sonnet on Isabella Markham,..197 Sir PHILIP SIDNEY,.......

.256

EDMUND SPENSER,...

Astrophel and Stella, ......... .285

Versification of Spenser, ,

Sonnet,

The Fairy Queen,.....

.206 Song,

.258

The Red Cross Knight,.. 207 Sir WALTER RALEIGH, ....260

Una,...

.208

The Shepherd to the Flowers,..260

The Bower of Bliss,........ .209

The Silent Lover,...... 261

The Fountain,.........

212 A vision upon the Fairy Queen,262

A Nymph Bathing,.

.213 Verses found in his Bible,..

Enchanted Music,......

JOSHUA SYLVESTER,. .263

Prince Arthur,...

.218 A contented mind,...

263

and the Soldan,.. 221 The soul's errand......... 264

Belphebe,

.222

WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE,..

Florimel,......

.224 Cordelia and King Lear........271

Pastorella and Calidore,.

Music and Moonlight,

Charissa,

226 Gallery of Beauty,..

277

Fancy,

.227 Miranda,..

277

Hope,

Song,

.278

The Butterfly,

.230

Julia,,......

278

Sonnet,

..232

Silvia,......

.279

Earthly Glory,

232 Song,

.280

MARLOWE, DANIEL, DRAY.

Olivia,...

280

TON, SIDNEY, RALEIGH, Song,

281

and SYLVESTER,.........

236 Song,

.282

MARLOWE,

.236 Portja,..

The Passionate Shepherd,.

Song,

283

Edward the Second,... 239 Juliet,.

283

.....267

223

........273

228

..282

...238

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