Page images


I HAVE at last the pleasure of seeing half-fulfilled a longcherished wish and intention, by the issue of the present Volume, being Vol. I. of the first really worthy edition of the complete Poetry of RICHARD CRASHAW, while Vol. II. is so well advanced that it may be counted on for Midsummer (Deo favente).

This Volume contains the whole of the previouslypublished English Poems, with the exception of the Epigrams scattered among the others, which more fittingly find their place in Vol. II., along with the Latin and Greek originals, and our translation of all hitherto untranslated. Here also will be found important, and peculiarly interesting as characteristic, additions of unprinted and inedited poems by Crashaw from Archbishop SanCROFT's mss., among the Tanner Mss. in the Bodleian. These I have named · Airelles,' after the little Alpine flowers that are dug out beneath the mountain masses of snow and ice, with abiding touches of beauty and perfume, as though they had been sheltered within walls and glass. The formerly printed Poems have been collated and recollated anxiously with the original and other early and authoritative editions, the results of which are shown in Notes and Illustrations at the close of each poem. Many

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]


of the various readings are of rare interest, and collation las revealed successive auditions and revisions altogether unrecorded by modern editors. In their places I have pointed out the flagrant carelessness of the last Editor, W. B. TURNBULL, Esq., in Smith's Library of Old Authors.'

Is was meet, I have adhered to the first titles of * Steps to the Temple' and ' The Delights of the Muses,' the former embracing the SACRED), and the latter the SEXULAR Poems. The original Editor (whoever he was), not the Author, gave these titles. In the Preface to *the learned Reader,' he says, we stile his sacred Poems, Steps to the Temple. At one time I was disposed to assign the editorship of the volumes of 1016 and 1618 to SINCROLT; but inasmuch as both contained Bp. RuisBuw's verses prefixed to sucson's Chronologie,' while the piece is not in the SunTROFT MS., it seems he could not have been the editor. Ilis pathetic closing words reveal much love : I will conclude all that I have impartially writ of this learned young Gent. (nous dead to 18) as hee himselfe doth, with the last line of his poem upon Bishop Andrewes' picture before his Sermons, Porte primus-- Look on his following leaves, and see him breath.'

I would now give an account of previous editions of our Worthy, and our use of them. The earliest of his publications---excluding minor pieces in University ('ollections as recorded in our Essay was a volume of Latin Epigrams published at Cambridge in 1631 in : small 850. The name of ('1i1971.11 nowhere appears, but his initial R. (! are appended to the Dedication to his friend LINT). The title page was as follows: 'Epigrammatum Sacrorum Liber. Cantabrigiæ, ex Academiæ celeberrime typographo, 1634. Besides the Epigrams, this now rare volume contained certain of his * Poemata' before the Epigrams. A second edition was published in 1670 with a few additional Epigrams, and those in Greek. A third edition appeared in 1674. Fuller details, with collation of each, are given in Vol. II. in their places.

Nothing more of any considerableness was published until 1646, two years after the Poet's ejection. Then appeared a small volume of Poems, chiefly English, arranged in two distinct classes, Sacred and Secular, the latter with a separate title-page. In the Note which follows this Preface, the title-pages of the volume will be found, along with those of the subsequent editions of 1648 and 1670. With reference to the volume of 1646, a mistake in the printing was thus pointed out: ‘Reader, there was a sudden mistake ('tis too late to recover it): thou wilt quickly find it out, and I hope as soone passe it over; some of the humane Poems are misplaced amongst the Divine.' These “humane' poems, that be

' longed not to the Steps' but the Delights of the Muses, were fifteen in all. They were assigned their own places in the new edition of 1648. With two exceptions, we have adhered to the classification of the 1648 edition : the exceptions are, that we have placed •Vexilla Regis' immediately after the Office of the Holy Crosse,' as belonging properly to that composition; and the 'Apologie for the Hymn to TERESA after the first, not after the second Hymn, seeing the Apologie' is only for the first. The new edition bore on its title-page the announcement: * The second Edition, wherein are added divers pieces not

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »