Item #1003628 The Beauties of Ancient Poetry. Intended as a Companion to the Beauties of English Poetry. POETRY.
The Beauties of Ancient Poetry. Intended as a Companion to the Beauties of English Poetry
The Beauties of Ancient Poetry. Intended as a Companion to the Beauties of English Poetry

The Beauties of Ancient Poetry. Intended as a Companion to the Beauties of English Poetry

London: E. Newbery, 1794. Twelvemo, measuring 5 x 3 inches: [2], xii, 204. Contemporary tree calf, spine ruled and decorated in gilt, red morocco spine label, boards decoratively ruled in gilt, blue-green marbled endpapers. Engraved pictorial title page. Early owner signature “H. Cotton” to preliminary blank; ink note to table of contents, identifying Henry Harington as the author of “The Witch of Wokey.” A few signatures roughly opened; scuff to upper board, lightest shelfwear.

First and only edition of this anthology dedicated to “the martial and heroic stile of our ancient Bards,” featuring early English and Scots ballads, a selection of medieval and early modern verse (some Arthurian), and later poems written in imitation of traditional styles. Highlights include a series of folk songs quoted by Shakespeare, poems written by Elizabeth I and Walter Raleigh, and James Grainger’s modern West Indian ballad, “Bryan and Pereene,” which features an unintentionally comic shark attack off St. Kitt’s: “Then through the white surf did she haste, / To clasp her lovely swain: / When, ah! A shark bit through his waste: / His heart’s blood dy’d the main!” Roscoe A26. A curious and compelling poetic miscellany, in a handsome contemporary binding.

Price: $375.00

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