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with that which tells how Night,
deep-drenched in misty Acheron, Heaved up her head, and half the world upon
Breathed darkness forth'; from Robert Greene two lines of a lovely passage:
‘Cupid abroad was lated in the night,
His wings were wet with ranging in the rain'; from Ben Jonson's Hue and Cry (not throughout fine) the stanza :
• Beauties, have ye seen a toy,
He is Venus' run-away'; from Francis Davison :
'Her angry eyes are great with tears'; from George Wither:
• I can go rest
On her sweet breast
That is the pride of Cynthia's train’; from Cowley:
• Return, return, gay planet of mine east'! The poems in which these are cannot make part of the volume, but the citation of the fragments is a relieving act of love.
At the very beginning, Skelton's song to ‘Mistress Margery Wentworth' had almost taken a place; but its charm is hardly fine enough. If it is necessary to answer the inevitable
question in regard to Byron, let me say that in another Anthology, a secondary Anthology, the one in which Gray's Elegy would have an honourable place, some more of Byron's lyrics would certainly be found; and except this there is no apology. If the last stanza of the ‘Dying Gladiator' passage, or the last stanza on the cascade rainbow at Terni,
'Love watching madness with unalterable mien,' had been separate poems instead of parts of Childe Harold, they would have been amongst the poems that are here collected in no spirit of arrogance, or of caprice, of diffidence or doubt.
The volume closes some time before the middle of the century and the death of Wordsworth.