« PreviousContinue »
A great many poems in it were first published by Dr Grosart in his Fuller Worthies' edition of 1872-3; they were rearranged by him to fall in with the scheme of his edition, but in the following pages they will be found printed in the order in which they occur in the MS., the poems published by Crashaw being, of course, omitted. As indicated above (see II.), verbal differences between MS. and published text will be found in the notes to the latter.
The evidence that some poems other than those indicated in the MS. by the initials R.C. are Crashaw's is mainly based upon Abp Sancroft's table of contents to his volume, a photograph of which I have had made. I regret that in one case the evidence seems clear that a poem printed by Dr Grosart as Crashaw's cannot be his, and it does not therefore find a place in the present
Abp Sancroft's table of contents begins thus: 'Mr Crashaw's poëms transcrib'd fro his own copie, before they were printed; among wch are some not printed. Latin, on ye Gospels v. p. 7. On other subjects. p. 39. 95. 229. English sacred | poëms p. 111. on other subjects-39. 162. 164. v. 167. v. 196. 202. v. 206. 223. v. Šuspetto di Herode. | translat'd fro Car. Marino. p. 287 v.' The table then gives the titles of poems other than Crashaw's, and amongst these are indexed the two unsigned poems written on p. 205 of the MS., ‘On a Freind. On a Cobler': of these, Dr Grosart printed one as Crashaw's and not the other. Dr Grosart took '202. v. 206' to mean that all the poems on and between those pages were Crashaw's. If that were so then the verses On a Cobler' would be Crashaw's and these he omitted. But, apart from the fact that these two poems are indexed elsewhere among Abp Sancroft's miscellaneous and anonymous collection, they are preceded by a
poem to which Abp Sancroft affixed the initials R. Cr., are followed by one bearing the same initials, and are themselves unsigned.
Dr Grosart printed the following seven poems as Crashaw's Three 'On ye Gunpowder-Treason' (see pp. 349-354), two Upon the King's Coronation (PP. 355-6), Upon the birth of the Princesse Elizabeth (pp. 357-8) and An Elegie on the death of Dr Porter (pp. 362-3). The external evidence, however, is not so strong as Dr Grosart indicated on p. xxii of the Preface to Vol. I. of his edition of 1872. He says 'All entered thus 164 v. 167 are by him and so these being entered under his name in Index as 167 v. 196 must belong to him.' Of the poems in the MS. on pp. 164-167, the first, 'Upon a gnatt burnt in a candle,' though lacking the initials, I take to be Crashaw's, because it is the only one on that page and that page is credited to him in the Index. Pp. 165 and 6 contain 'Love's Horoscope,' signed R. Cr., p. 166 Ad amicam,' signed T. R. [Thomas Randolph]. On p. 167 begins the long poem Fidicinis et Philomelae' (Musicks Duell'), signed R. Cr., which extends to p. 171 and is followed by other poems, all bearing the initials R. Cr., on pp. 171179. On pp. 180-187 the five Gunpowder-Treason and King's Coronation poems are transcribed and they lack the initials. Pp. 187-190 contain the 'Panegyrick upon the Birth of the Duke of York,' with the initials. R.Cr., pp. 190-192 the poem Upon the birth of the Princesse Elizabeth,' mentioned above, and again lacking initials, pp. 192-195 contain poems certainly by other hands, whose authors are either there given or indexed by Abp Sancroft, and p. 196 contains Ex Euphormione' with the initials R. Cr. again.
The Elegie on the death of Dr Porter' is attributed to Crashaw by Dr Grosart because it is entered in Index
under Crashaw' (Grosart, ib. p. xxiii). But it will be seen by a reference to Abp Sancroft's contents given above that
229' seems to refer to Latin poems. Now p. 229 contains the Latin 'In Eundem Scazon,' with the initials R. Cr., and the beginning of the Dr Porter poem, which lacks the initials.
Against this negative evidence, which seems to me worthy of consideration, there is the fact that the poems in question are not elsewhere indexed by Abp Sancroft as anonymous or miscellaneous, and the internal evidence of their being from Crashaw's hand is not insignificant. I have therefore decided to print them, after stating the doubts concerning them.
This MS. volume of Abp Sancroft has many interesting poems in it, other than Crashaw's, and my photograph of his table of contents is at the service of other students who may be working at the literature of that period.
V. In 1887-8 Dr Grosart issued a supplement containing a collation of a small MS. volume, recently acquired by the British Museum (Addit. MS. 33,219), considered to be in the handwriting of Crashaw himself. The volume was evidently a transcript of some of his English poems, intended possibly as a gift, since it begins with a few dedicatory lines and a longer dedicatory poem. In his supplement Dr Grosart printed these lines and poem, together with a translation from Grotius and two more poems, as hitherto unprinted and unknown.' I have printed the two dedicatory poems and the Grotius, but the other two ('Midst all the darke and knotty snares' and 'Is murther no sin') were already printed by Crashaw in his Steps to the Temple,' 1646 and 1648, and will be found in Dr Grosart's own 1872-3 edition on pp. 47 Vol. I. and 144 Vol. II. respectively. In the notes to the various published English poems will be found, as in
the case of the Sancroft MS., variations between them and this British Museum MS.
A further acquisition by the British Museum in 1894 (Addit. MS. 34,692) contains a transcript of Crashaw's Loe heere a little volume' and 'Upon the Assumption.' It is dated 1642 and seems to have belonged to 'Thom: Lenthall: Pemb: Hall:' in which college Crashaw began his academical career. Its variations are recorded in the notes, as are those of the poems in Harl. MSS. 6917-8, and of the earliest appearances of some of Crashaw's verses in sundry volumes of contemporary verse and prose. Of these, attention may be called to the interesting alternative readings found in the lines under the portrait of Bp Andrewes (see pp. 134 and 372).
For assistance in the collation of the British Museum MSS. I am indebted to Mr Richard Askham, and Mr Albert Ivatt, of Christ's College, has very kindly prepared the indexes for me.
The copy of Carmen Deo Nostro used for the purpose of the present edition will rest in future in the library of Peterhouse, of which College Crashaw was made Fellow in 1637 and from which he was ejected, with others, six years later for refusing to accept the Solemn League and Covenant.