This volume offers an abundant and representative selection of the verse of Ben Jonson and the Cavalier poets.
Jonson is represented by a wide selection from the Epigrams, including the mock epic "On the Famous Voyage"; The Forest
, complete; extensive selections from Underwood
, including such well-known pieces as "A Celebration of Charis" and the Cary-Morison ode, together with the "Epithalamion" on the Weston-Stuart nuptials and "An Execration Upon Vulcan"; and more.
Also included is a copious selection from the works of Richard Corbett, Robert Herrick (eighty-two poems from Hesperides
and fifteen from His Noble Numbers
), Thomas Carew, James Shirley, Mildmay Fane, Thomas Randolph, Edmund Waller, William Harbington, Sir John Suckling, Sidney Godolphin, William Cartwright, James Graham (Marquis of Montrose), Sir John Denham, Richard Lovelace, Abraham Cowley, Henry Vaughan, and Thomas Stanley.
The spelling and punctuation of the poems have been made consistent with modern practice. These and other alterations are discussed in the Textual Notes. Footnotes serve primarily to gloss unfamiliar terms, to clarify syntax, and to explain allusions to mythological and historical figures and episodes.
Among the critics represented are Ben Jonson, Francis Beaumont, Edmund Bolton, James Howell, Thomas Fuller, Edward Hyde, Samuel Butler, John Dryden, Samuel Johnson, William Hazlitt, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Patrick Cruttwell, Joseph Summers, Earl Miner, Geoffrey Walton, G. A. E. Parfitt, L. A. Beaurline, Stephen Orgel, Ronald Berman, Bruce King, Hugh Richmond, Earl Wasserman, D. C. Allen, T. S. Eliot, and Hugh Maclean.