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or an assistance to the study of the history of this; but having quite another as its primary object, it is one which may very well be borne, while the advantages of such a rule of selection are undoubted.
I have attached a few notes to this volume. I had intended to add many more, but under the pressure of events which now claim, and for a long time to come are likely to claim, nearly all one's thoughts and leisure, have been obliged to renounce the carrying of this intention out, and only to print those which were ready. If in them there is little or nothing with which professed students of English literature are not already familiar, I can only urge that this volume was not designed, and still less were the notes designed, for such; but for readers who, capable of an intelligent interest in the subject, have yet had neither time nor opportunity for special studies of their own in it, and who must therefore rely more or less on the hand-leading of others; nor I trust shall I be found fault with that I have sometimes taken upon me in these notes to indicate what seemed worthy of special admiration; or sought in other ways to plant the reader at that point of view from which the merits of some poem might be most deeply felt and best understood. If I am, I must plead in excuse that for myself in other regions of art, as in music or painting, where I have comparatively little or no confidence in my own judgment, I have been and often am most thankful to those, being persons whom I could trust, who have told me what to admire, and given me the reasons for
so doing. If we set aside a few intuitive geniuses, it is only thus that any of us can ever hope to be educated into independence of judgment; and I am sure that some, acknowledging this, will be grateful for notes of admiration, by which I have sometimes called their attention to that which otherwise might not obtain it, or might not obtain it to the full of its deserts.
LONDON: May 8th, 1868.
Who loaths exchange of loss with gain?
What woeful wight would wish his woe?
For life is short, and learning long,
All pleasure mixt with woe;
And joys do come and go.
Thus learning is but learned by halves,
And joy enjoyed no while;
That serves to show thee what thou want'st,
This helps thee to beguile.
But after death is perfect skill,
And joy without decay;
When sin is gone, that blinds our eyes,
And steals our joys away;
No crowing cock shall raise us up,
To spend the day in vain ;
No weary labour shall us drive
To go to bed again.
But for we feel not what we want,
Nor know not what we have ;
We love to keep the body's life,
LOVE THE ONLY PRICE OF LOVE.
The fairest pearls that northern seas do breed,
For precious stones from eastern coasts are sold ;
Where goodness wants an equal change to make,
No mortal thing can bear so high a price,
But that with mortal thing it may be bought;
The corn of Sicil buys the western spice;
French wine of us, of them our cloth is sought. No pearls, no gold, no stones, no corn, no spice, No cloth, no wine, of Love can pay the price.
What thing is Love, which nought can countervail ?
Divine is Love, and scorneth worldly pelf,
A POESY TO PROVE AFFECTION IS NOT LOVE.
Conceit, begotten by the eyes,
Is quickly born, and quickly dies;
For as the seeds, in springtime sown,
Affection follows Fortune's wheels,
Her liking still is turned to hate;
For all affections have their change,
And Fancy only loves to range.