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In accordance with the general plan of the Athenæum Press Series, the aim of the present volume is to afford a suitable selection of Shelley's Poems for the student and the general reader, and to give some help towards the understanding and appreciation of a writer whose spirit and whose power are confessedly not always apparent on a merely casual perusal.
The text of the poems is, with a few variations, that of Mr. Forman's latest edition of Shelley's poetical works in the Aldine Series. The arrangement of the selections is as nearly as may be chronological. It has been deemed advisable to limit the choice to complete poems; fragmentary pieces and extracts have been excluded, with the exception of three passages from Hellas, which lose little by separation from their context.
In a volume of this nature the editor is at every step under great obligations to his predecessors, obligations which often cannot be traced and acknowledged. Apart from particular cases of indebtedness indicated throughout the volume, the editor is conscious of having received great assistance from the editions of Mr. Forman and of Professor Woodberry, from Professor Dowden's Life of the
poet, from the various contributions to Shelley literature of Mr. W. M. Rossetti, from the Essays of Mr. Stopford Brooke, Mr. Bagehot, and Mr. R. H. Hutton, from Professor Hale's annotations to the Adonais, and from the suggestions of Professor Winchester, one of the general editors of the Athenæum Press Series.
TORONTO, Sept. 12, 1897.