A Collection of Poems in Two Volumes. By Several Hands. A Collection of Poems. Vol. I.
George Pearch, compiler
1 In an age like the present wherein literary merit of every kind so much abounds, and is at the same time so much encouraged; many poetical performances which deserve a longer remembrance than fugitive pieces usually meet with; are daily thrown upon the public, and left to perish in oblivion. To select these from the trifling productions of the day, has ever been considered as a useful employment: and the favourable reception which Mr. Dodsley's elegant Collection of Poems obtained from the public, is sufficient to encourage any person who has the means in his power to continue that deservedly esteemed Miscellany. Several attempts of this sort have been made, but non have acquired so much reputation as to render the present undertaking useless or unnecessary. Ten years are now elapsed since the last volumes of that work were published, in which time it is not to be supposed that there has been so great a dearth of genius, but that many pieces have made their appearance which are not inferior to the best preserved in that Miscellany. Of the truth of this observation, the Editor appeals to the following Collection, which is compiled from the best productions published within that time, which Mr. Dodsley had not the opportunity of seeing, with the addition of many other pieces which with all his diligence were overlooked by him. With what degree of judgment this Collection is made the Editor submits to the determination of the public; the greater part of the poetical pieces of the last thirty years have passed through his hands, and as of them the following Volumes are composed, he hopes they will not be considered as an improper Supplement to the work of which they are designed as a Continuation. He flatters himself that he has not suffered this Collection, which is un- worthy of the rest, and great care has been taken to prevent the insertion of any performance, which has not been approved by gentlemen of distinguished reputation; but as he is sensible that the task of persons is very different, he expects not after all that every piece will meet with equal applause, being convinced of the truth of Mr. Dodsley's observation, "That it is impossible to furnish out an entertainment of this nature where every part shall be relished by every guest."
Elegy written at the Approach of Spring [anon.] 249 1