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My aim in the following pages has been to present the lover of English poetry with the best work of a neglected genius of a high order.
RICHARD CRASHAW, now nearly two and a half centuries dead, was scarcely known to general readers of poetry until the middle of the present century, when in a few anthologies he was appreciatively, but inadequately, represented. His poems ran through several editions during his lifetime, and were reprinted in 1652 and 1670, after which no issue appeared until they were included in the bulky collections of Chalmers and Anderson (1793-1810), with the exception of the selection made by Peregrine Phillips, published in 1785. Dr Johnson did not include Crashaw in his "Lives of the Poets," though he included the lives of much inferior poets in that work. Pope appreciated Crashaw, but his higher qualities seem to have been unperceived or ignored by the author of "The Dunciad." He said of him that "he was none of the worst versificators;" and considered his best pieces to be "the paraphrase of Psalm xxiii., On Lessius, Epitaph on Mr Ashton, Wishes to his supposed