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Drawn by Tho: Stothard R.A

Engraved

by J. Horskghi

There hinds and shepherd-girls shall dress
With simple hands thy rural tomb.

Page 325.

EDINBURGH, Published by Oliver & Boyd.

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OF THE

LYRICAL, DESCRIPTIVE, AND

NARRATIVE

POETS OF GREAT BRITAIN,

FROM

CHAUCER TO THG PRESENT DAY:

WITH

A PRELIMINARY SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF EARLY
ENGLISH POETRY, AND BIOGRAPHICAL AND

CRITICAL NOTICES,

BY JOHN JOHNSTONE,

EDITOR OF SPECIMENS OF SACRED AND SERIOUS POETRY,

EDINBURGH:
OLIVER & BOYD, TWEEDDALE-COURT.

1828.

48.

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ADVERTISEMENT.

This little volume, like the SPECIMENS OF SACRED AND SERIOUS POETRY, has been selected on views somewhat different from those which have guided the editors of the various agreeable compilations known under the name of Beauties, Elegant Extracts, &c. &c. Instead of “ orient pearls at random strung,” among which are sometimes interspersed not a few French pastebeads, recommended solely by fashion, smooth. ness, and glitter, the design of this volume, so far as compatible with its limits, is to exhibit the de. velopment and progress of English poetry by a selection of specimens of its fairest productions arranged in order ; and to form as it were an index to our poetical literature out of its own choicest materials.

The occasional appearance of cheap reprints of valuable old works, and of selections like the present, is one of the most important features in modern literature. It is that careless scattering of the good seed by the way-side, which must delight the casual traveller with an unexpected flush of blooms and buds, even where the soil has not sufficient depth and vigour to put forth fruit after

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