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as to carry one away and make one forget that the greater part of the poem was mere verse:

"O thou undaunted daughter of desires! By all thy dower of lights and fires; By all the eagle in thee, all the dove;

By all thy lives and deaths of love;
By thy large draughts of intellectual day,
And by thy thirsts of love more large than they;
By all thy brim-fill'd bowls of fierce desire,

By thy last morning's draught of liquid fire;

By the full kingdom of that final kiss

That seized thy parting soul, and seal'd thee His;
By all the Heaven thou hast in Him
(Sweet sister of the Seraphim!)
By all of Him we have in thee;
Leave nothing of myself in me.
Let me so read thy life, that I
Unto all life of mine may die."

Perhaps, however, the finest of his poems as a whole is the "Hymn to the Name and Honour of St. Teresa," to which "The Flaming Heart" is a kind of postscript. It never sinks below the level of poetry; it is often poetry of a high order, and the intolerable conceits of some of his pieces are altogether absent. This piece was written "when he was yet among the Protestants," as he explains in a very charming apology to St. Teresa for having invoked her name while still a "heretic.".

"The Weeper," a poem on St. Mary Magdalene,

is the most fantastic of his poems; it is full of the most intolerable conceits and petty sillinesses, and yet at times is so marvellously delicate that, as Mr. Saintsbury has somewhere well said, "only Blake in a few snatches has ever equalled" these


It will be seen, then, that Crashaw is occasionally, and not so rarely after all, beyond any religious poet in the English language, and on the other hand occasionally below even some of the more tiresome gush of Herbert. He is never dull, and even at his worst one may be sure of a delightful surprise in a few lines if one will only have the patience to read on. And withal, there are few men in all literature more lovable. It is the effect, I think, of his sincerity. To him the Virgin is a lady of some great romance, a Princess whom he worships afar off. In Saint Teresa he has a more terrible joy; she appears to him as a great warrior Saint, an "undaunted daughter," and the influence of her books is, I venture to think, clearly visible in Crashaw's work.

The intellectual imagination was the chief characteristic of Richard Crashaw, and it is with a perfect confidence of his immortality in literature we may say:

"If you think

"Tis but a dead face Art doth here bequeath, Look on the following leaves, and see him breathe."

The text of this edition of Crashaw's poems is chiefly that of 1648, in which year Steps to the Temple was issued in a second edition with pieces not before printed.

I have to acknowledge, like every other student of seventeenth-century poetry, my indebtedness to the Rev. A. B. Grosart for his edition, privately printed in 1873, of The Complete Works of Crashaw. That is nearly thirty years ago now. Since then Mr. J. R. Tutin has done good service in printing The English Poems of Richard Crashaw. His is, I think, the only edition even professing to be complete, that has been issued since 1873.

To Dr. Garnett, C.B., I am indebted for notes 2, 3, 5, 9 on page 89, and for note 3, page 90, also for great kindness and courtesy on many occasions. Below is given a list of the English poems not included in this volume. They may be found in Rev. A. B. Grosart's edition in the British Museum, and in the Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian Library.

Pieces not included from the Tanner MSS.

Sacred Poems

(1) Mary seeking Jesus when lost.

(2) The wounds of our Lord Jesus.

(3) On the Gunpowder Plot (three pieces).

(4) Out of Grotius' Tragedy of Christ's sufferings.


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Secular Poems

(1) Upon the King's (Charles I.) coronation.






(3) Upon the birth of the Princess Elizabeth. (4) Upon a gnat burnt in a candle.

(5) From Petronius.

(6) From Horace (Ille et ne fasto te posuit die). (7) Ex Euphormione.

(8) Elegy on the Death of Mr. Stanninow. (9) Upon the Death of a friend.

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(10) An Elegy on the Death of Dr. Porter. (11) "At the ivory tribunal of your hand." (12) "Though 'tis neither May nor June."

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