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and social propensities, prevented the proper cultivation and devotion of his powers. He died on the 15th of July, 1839.
“Lillian,” with the exception of Drake's “ Culprit Fay,” is the most purely imaginative poem with which we are acquainted. Praed delighted in themes of this sort, and “ The Red Fisherman,” the “ Bridal of Belmont,” and some of his other pieces, show the exceeding cleverness with which he reared upon them his fanciful and beautiful creations. “The Belle of the Ball,” “ The Vicar,” “Palinodia,” and a few more of the lively and graceful compositions in this volume have been widely known in this country through our periodicals, and we hope they will be no less welcome now that they are sent out in a body, with their fellows, to enliven all who may greet them, with their gaiety and quiet humour.
Philadelphia, April, 1844.
THE reader is requested to believe that the following statement is literally true; because the writer is well aware that the circumstances under which Lillian was composed are the only source of its merits, and the only apology for its faults.
At a small party at Cambridge, some malicious belles endeavoured to confound their sonnetteering friends, by setting unintelligible and inexplicable subjects for the exercise of their poetical talents. Among many others, the Thesis was given out which is the motto of Lillian:
“A dragon's tail is flayed to warm
• A headless maiden's heart,” and the following poem was an attempt to explain the riddle.
The partiality with which it had been honoured in manuscript, and the frequent applications which have been made to the author for copies, must be his excuse for having a few impressions struck off for private circulation among his friends.
It was written, however, with the sole view of amusing the ladies in whose circle the idea originated ; and to them, with all due humility and devotion, it is inscribed.
Trinity College, Cambridge, October 26, 1822.