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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 4.djvu/15

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PREFACE TO THE FOURTH VOLUME.

The poems included in this volume consist of thirteen longer or more important works, written at various periods between June, 1816, and October, 1821; of eight occasional pieces (Poems of July—September, 1816), written in 1816; and of another collection of occasional pieces (Poems 1816-1823), written at intervals between November, 1816, and September, 1823. Of this second group of minor poems five are now printed and published for the first time.

The volume is not co-extensive with the work of the period. The third and fourth cantos of Childe Harold (1816-1817), the first five cantos of Don Juan (1818, 1819, 1820), Sardanapalus, The Two Foscari, Cain, and Heaven and Earth (1821), form parts of other volumes, but, in spite of these notable exceptions, the fourth volume contains the work of the poet's maturity, which is and must ever remain famous. Byron was not content to write on one kind of subject, or to confine