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Playful Poems   By: (1822-1894)

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This etext was produced by Les Bowler, St. Ives, Dorset.

PLAYFUL POEMS, (by various authors) EDITED AND WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY HENRY MORLEY.

CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTION

CHAUCER'S MANCIPLE'S TALE OF PHOEBUS AND THE CROW Modernised by LEIGH HUNT. CHAUCER'S RIME OF SIR THOPAS Modernised by Z. A. Z. CHAUCER'S FRIAR'S TALE; OR, THE SUMNER AND THE DEVIL Modernised by LEIGH HUNT. CHAUCER'S REVE'S TALE Modernised by R. H. HORNE. CHAUCER'S POEM OF THE CUCKOO AND THE NIGHTINGALE Modernised by WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. GOWER'S TREASURE TROVE Modernised from the fifth book of the CONFESSIO AMANTIS. LYDGATE'S LONDON LICKPENNY

LYDGATE'S BICORN AND CHICHEVACHE

DUNBAR'S BEST TO BE BLYTH

DRAYTON'S DOWSABELL

DRAYTON'S NYMPHIDIA

POPE'S RAPE OF THE LOCK

COWPER'S JOHN GILPIN

BURNS'S TAM O'SHANTER

HOOD'S DEMON SHIP

HOOD'S TALE OF A TRUMPET

GLOSSARY

NOTES

THE GAME OF OMBRE

INTRODUCTION

The last volume of these "Companion Poets" contained some of Chaucer's Tales as they were modernised by Dryden. This volume contains more of his Tales as they were modernised by later poets. In 1841 there was a volume published entitled, "The Poems of Geoffrey Chaucer Modernized." Of this volume, when it was first projected, Wordsworth wrote to Moxon, his publisher, on the 24th of February 1840: "Mr. Powell, my friend, has some thought of preparing for publication some portion of Chaucer modernised, as far and no farther than is done in my treatment of 'The Prioress' Tale.' That would, in fact, be his model. He will have coadjutors, among whom, I believe, will be Mr. Leigh Hunt, a man as capable of doing the work well as any living writer. I have placed at my friend Mr. Powell's disposal three other pieces which I did long ago, but revised the other day. They are 'The Manciple's Tale,' 'The Cuckoo and the Nightingale,' and twenty four stanzas of 'Troilus and Cressida.' This I have done mainly out of my love and reverence for Chaucer, in hopes that, whatever may be the merits of Mr. Powell's attempt, the attention of other writers may be drawn to the subject; and a work hereafter produced, by different persons, which will place the treasures of one of the greatest of poets within the reach of the multitude, which now they are not. I mention all this to you because, though I have not given Mr. Powell the least encouragement to do so, he may sound you as to your disposition to undertake the publication. I have myself nothing further to do with it than I have stated. Had the thing been suggested to me by any number of competent persons twenty years ago, I would have undertaken the editorship and done much more myself, and endeavoured to improve the several contributions where they seemed to require it. But that is now out of the question."

Wordsworth had made his versions of Chaucer in the year 1801. "The Prioress's Tale" had been published in 1820, so that only the three pieces he had revised for his friend's use were available, and of these the Manciple's Tale was withdrawn, the version by Leigh Hunt (which is among the pieces here reprinted) being used. The volume was published in 1841, not by Moxon but by Whitaker. Wordsworth's versions of "The Cuckoo and the Nightingale" (here reprinted), and of a passage taken from "Troilus and Cressida," were included in it. Leigh Hunt contributed versions of the Manciple's Tale and the Friar's Tale (both here reprinted), and of the Squire's Tale. Elizabeth A. Barrett, afterwards Mrs. Browning, contributed a version of "Queen Annelida and False Arcite." Richard Hengist Horne entered heartily into the venture, modernised the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, the Reve's Tale, and the Franklin's, and wrote an Introduction of more than a hundred pages, to which Professor Leonhard Schmitz added thirty two pages of a Life of Chaucer. Robert Bell, to whom we were afterwards indebted for an "Annotated Edition of the English Poets," modernised the Complaint of Mars and Venus... Continue reading book >>




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