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The earliest pieces in these Juvenile and Minor Poems were written before the writer had left school; between the date of these and of the latest there is an interval of six and forty years: as much difference, therefore, may be perceived in them, as in the different stages of life from boyhood to old age.
Some of the earliest appeared in a little volume published at Bath in the autumn of 1794, with this title:-“Poems, containing the Retrospect, &c. by Robert Lovell and Robert Southey, 1795;” and with this motto
At the end of that volume, Joan of Arc was announced as to be published by subscription.
Others were published at Bristol, 1797, in a single volume, with this motto from Akenside:
Goddess of the Lyre,
with thee comes
A second volume followed at Bristol in 1799, after the second edition of Joan of Arc, and commencing with the Vision of the Maid of Orleans. The motto to this was from the Epilogue to Spenser's Shepherds' Calendar :
The better, please; the worse, displease: I ask no more.
In the third edition of Joan of Arc, the Vision was printed separately, at the end ; and its place was supplied in the second edition of the Poems by miscellaneous pieces.
A separate volume, entitled “Metrical Tales and other Poems,” was published in 1805, with this ad. vertisement:~" These Poems were published some years ago in the Annual Anthology. (Bristol, 1799, 1800.) They have now been revised and printed in this collected form, because they have pleased those readers whom the Author was most desirous of pleasing. Let them be considered as the desultory productions of a man sedulously employed upon better things."
These various pieces were re-arranged in three volumes, under the title of Minor Poems, in 1815, with this motto,
Nos hæc novimus esse nihil ;
and they were published a second time in the same form, 1823.
The Ballads and Metrical Tales contained in