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HUNDRED BEST POEMS
IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
ADAM L. GOWANS, M.A.
Glasgow: GOWANS & GRAY, LTD.
London: R. BRIMLEY JOHNSON
John G. Stewart
I have been deeply gratified by the large circulation which the first series of 'Hundred Best Poems (Lyrical)' has already attained in less than twelve months from its publication, and am confident, from the many letters of thanks and appreciation which have reached me, that the present series is already assured of a warm welcome.
This second collection, while not containing such supremely great lyrics of the language as does the first, draws its riches, nevertheless, from a treasure-house which is still very far from being exhausted, and will, I believe, prove as interesting to lovers of the best poetry as the other; giving prominence, as it does, to many splendid poems, which, to some extent because of the operation of the law of copyright, are not yet as universally familiar as they will, I believe, in time become. In this volume, as in its predecessor, I have not included poems by living authors. With regard to texts, titles, etc. I have gone on the same principles as before.
I have again to acknowledge with deep gratitude the kindness of many publishers and editors. Messrs Macmillan & Co., Ltd., in particular, have allowed me to reprint Matthew Arnold's 'The Last Word' and Christina Rossetti's 'A Royal Princess,' while I am indebted to Messrs. Chatto & Windus for permission to include a famous stanza from Stevenson's 'Songs of Travel,' and to Messrs. Ellis & Elvey for the same privilege in respect to D. G. Rossetti's 'Sudden Light.' Everyone who knows these four poems, or makes his first acquaintance with them now, will realize their great importance to the volume. I must also thank the following gentlemen who have allowed me to use copyright texts of non-copyright poems from editions published by then:—Messrs. Chatto & Windus (Sidney), Mr. Buxton Forman (Keats and Shelley), Mr Henry Frowde (Wordsworth), Messrs. T. C. & E. C. Jack (Burns), Messrs. Macmillan & Co., Ltd. (Arnold, Christina Rossetti, Shakespeare, and Tennyson), Mr. John Murray (Byron), Messrs Smith, Elder & Co. (Browning), Messrs. Ward, Lock & Co., Ltd. (Coleridge).