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Fourteen small broidered berries on the hem
THIS anthology has no claim to be other than a personal choice, nor does it aim at an impossible completeness. The criterion of selection has been beauty of diclion, together with adequacy of motive. Many striking pieces, of a political nature, or otherwise not "simple and sensuous" have been omitted. Nor has the choice been dominated by any rigid formal theory of the sonnet. Such irregular forms as have justified themselves by their poetic accomplishment have been given a place. The precisian is answered in the spirit of the words of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: "a Shakespearian sonnet is better than the most perfec t in form because Shakespeare wrote it." It may be pointed out that this anthology, while it contains fewer sonnets than any recent collections is at the same time wider in its range. The compiler has preferred to err on the side of exclusiveness, and while he cannot pretend to have printed everything of the best, he has endeavoured to include nothing that is not of the best. No doubt the reader will have his favourite sonnets, which he may not always find in the following pages; but it may be said perhaps without immodesty that the book contains some imperishable poetry, set forth with befitting simplicity.
For permission to print copyright sonnets the Editor tenders his humble thanks to the following authors, publishers, and others: Mr. Hilaire Belloc, Mr. A. C. Benson, Mr. Wilfrid Blunt, Mr. Robert Bridges, Mr. Austin Dobson, Mr. Laurence Housman, Mr. Andrew Lang, Mr. Eugene Lee-Hamilton, Mrs. Meynell, Mr. Ernest Myers, Mr. John Payne, Mr. Swinburne, Mr. Watts-Dunton, Mr. Arthur Symons, literary executor of Mathilde Blind; Miss Harriet Jay, for sonnets by Robert Buchanan; Messrs. Smith, Elder and Co., for sonnets by W. M. Call, and J. A. Symonds; Messrs. Burns and Oates, for a sonnet by Aubrey De Vere; Mr. John Murray, for sonnets by Julian Fane, excerpted from "Julian Fane: A Memoir," by Lord Lytton, 1871; Mr. Edward Garnett, for the sonnet "Age" by the late Dr. Garnett; Mr. David Nutt, for a sonnet by W. E. Henley; Messrs. Longmans, Green and Co., for the sonnet by Jean Ingelow; Mr. John Lane, for sonnets by Ernest Dowson, Mr. William Watson, and Mr. Le Gallienne; Mrs. Birrell, for "Love, Death and Time" by F. Locker-Lampson; Messrs. Patrick Geddes and Colleagues for the sonnet by "Fiona Macleod "; Mr. Coulson Kernahan, on behalf of Mrs.