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Viz. LYCIDAS, L'ALLEGRO, IL PENSEROSO, AR-
WITH NOTES CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY,
AND OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS,
BY THOMAS WARTON,
FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE
AND LATE PROFESSOR OF POETRY AT OXFORD,
PRINTED FOR JAMES DODSLEY IN PALL MALL.
HE poems which compofe the present volume were published almost thirty years before the appearance of the PARADISE LOST. During that interval, they were fo totally difregarded, at least by the general reader, as scarcely to have conferred on their author the reputation of a writer of verses; much less the distinction and character of a true poet. After the publication of the PARADISE LOST, whofe acknowledged merit and increasing celebrity might have naturally contri>buted to call other pieces of the same author, and of a kindred excellence, into a more confpicuous point of view, they long continued to remain in their original state of neglect and obfcurity. At the infancy of their circulation, and for some years afterwards, they were overwhelmed in the commotions of faction, the conflict of religious difputation, and the profeffional ignorance of fanaticism. In fucceeding years, when tumults and ufurpations were at an end, and leisure and literature returned, the times were still unpropitious, and the public taste was unprepared for their reception. It was late in the prefent century, before they attained their just measure of efteem and popularity. Wit and rhyme, fentiment and fatire, polished numbers, fparkling couplets, and pointed periods, having fo long kept undisturbed poffeffion in our poetry, would not easily give way to fiction and fancy, to picturesque description, and romantic imagery.