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THE

BOOK OF ENGLISH ELEGIES.

*Ah! Sir Launcelot,” said he, “thou wert head of all Christian knights.”

And now I dare say,” said Sir Bors, “that, Sir Launcelot, there thou liest that wert never matched of none earthly knight's hands; and thou wert the courtliest knight that ever bare shield; and thou wert the truest friend to thy lover that ever bestrode horse; and thou wert the truest lover, of a sinful man, that ever loved woman; and thou wert the kindest man that ever strook with sword; and thou wert the goodliest person that ever came among press of knights; and thou wert the meekest man, and the gentlest, that ever ate in hall among ladies; and thou wert the sternest knight to thy mortal foe that ever put spear in the rest.”

(Morte d'Arthur.)

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SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON,
CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET.

1879.
[All rights reserved.]

280,

354,

LONDON : GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS,

ST. JOHN'S SQUARE.

PREFACE.

The aim of the Editor of the following selection has been to collect in a popular form the best and most representative Elegiac Poems which have been written in the English tongue, during past generations, by inhabitants of these islands.

This plan excludes, on the one hand Welsh and Erse poetry, with which the Editor is unacquainted; and on the other American poetry, which is excluded because, although the greater American poets are as well known here as there, the Editor has found that it happens with Elegiac more than with other poetry, that some of the most beautiful or striking pieces have been written by men whose other works are quite forgotten, and whose names could never have been known out of their own country; and he therefore feels that a

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