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THE REVEREND WILLIAM COWPER JOHNSON
RECTOR OF YAXHAM
AND HONORARY CANON OF NORWICH CATHEDRAL
OF THE POEMS OF HIS KINSMAN
IS GRATEFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED
BY HIS FRIEND
THE chief aims of this edition of the poems of Cowper have been to present a more accurate text than has hitherto been accessible, to record such various readings as are afforded by manuscripts or by the different editions, and to add some illustrations both of the poems and of the poet's life from unpublished papers which have been placed at my disposal.
Three new pieces of verse are included, the humorous lines addressed to Joseph Hill, given on p. 10, and the two additional translations from Milton, given on pp. 596, 597. These have never been printed before. The same is true, so far as I know, of the four lines intended by Cowper to be inserted in Anti-Thelyphthora, which are here given in the notes to that poem, as well as of a large number of other new versions and various readings given in the notes. The present edition also includes a number of pieces which, though previously printed in magazines, or in Mr. Thomas Wright's little book, The Unpublished and Uncollected Poems of William Cowper, have not hitherto appeared in any collected edition of the poems. Such are A Song of Mercy and Judgment, p. 30; On the Trial of Admiral Keppel, p. 412; An Address to the Mob on the Occasion of the late Riot at the House of Sir Hugh Palliser, p. 412; The Bee and the Pineapple, p. 413; the "Fragment," on p. 414; the lines To Sir John Fenn, on p. 488; the new stanza in the lines To Mary, p. 503; the alternative version of the opening of The Doves given in the note to that poem (p. 685), and the fragment, Against Interested Love, given in the note on p. 719.
On the other hand, beside the translation of Homer, the omission of which was necessitated by consideration of space