W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets Bible: New Testament. 1895.
THE AIM and scope of The Poets Bible are so fully set forth in the Old Testament part of this work that I may refer readers, who desire to acquaint themselves therewith, to the Preface of that volume.
All that is necessary here is to express my acknowledgments to the many authors, publishers, and friends, to whom I am indebted in various ways for assistance, without which this volume could not have been what it is.
My special thanks, however, are due to my friend Dr. George MacDonald for the great interest he has taken in the book, enriched as it is by his poems on The Gospel Women, and for Zacchæus, which, at my request, he kindly wrote for its pages; also to Dr. Plumptre, who readily placed at my disposal his collection of unpublished poems on the Gospels and Epistles for the Year, from which I have drawn those which bear his name, marked as they are by great fulness of Scripture knowledge, and deep spiritual insight; the whole collection well deserves publication, and will, before long, I trust, be given to the world. For them, as well as for much generous counsel, I must here record my warmest thanks. I am indebted, in like manner, to the late Dean Stanley, whose genial presence we have lost, for sending me his own collection of his poems, with many manuscript additions and revisions, which will account for variations from already published versions of them. Mr. Robert Browning with great readiness responded to my request for permission to use some of his own and of Mrs. Barrett Brownings beautiful poems. Cardinal Newman was good enough to place at my disposal many of his poems, full as they are of searching analysis of Scripture character. Archbishop Trench kindly gave his consent to my using any of his poems that I needed, with the significant remark, I wrote them to be read. Dr. Walter C. Smith has revised the poems I have selected from his works, which he readily permitted me to use. Dr. A. B. Grosart has kindly granted me the use of translations by himself and others of Sacred Epigrams, by Crashaw, in his charming edition of his works.1
The Earl Lytton has been good enough carefully to revise for me his striking poem A Vision of Virgins, which has long been out of print, and is known to but very few in our day. Mrs. Clough readily placed at my disposal the poems of her late husband, Mr. A. H. Clough, and Mrs. Lynch those of the Rev. T. T. Lynch, the richly gifted author of The Rivulet. The Rev. W. A. Newman kindly placed at my service lines by his father, the late Dr. Newman, Dean of Capetown.
It would be impossible to refer in detail to all the generous helpers I have found in this work. I must, however, record my special thanks to the following, to whose suggestions and counsel much of the value of the book is dueMiss Dora Greenwell, Mrs. Charles, Miss Christina G. Rossetti, Miss C. M. Yonge, Mr. W. M. Rossetti, Mr. D. G. Rossetti, the Rev. Canon Dixon, the Rev. A. Middlemore Morgan, the Rev. Orby Shipley (editor of the Lyræ Mystica, Messianica, and Eucharistica), the Earl Nelson, Dr. H. R. Reynolds, Professor Owen Whitehouse, the Rev. Benjamin Waugh, the Rev. G. T. Coster, and the Rev. A. Carter.
My thanks are due to the following publishers:to Messrs. Cassell, Petter, & Galpin, who have allowed me to use Dr. Plumptres translation of The Four Evangelists, by Adam of St. Victor, from their New Testament Commentary; to Mr. J. T. Hayes, for the use of Dr. J. M. Neales translations and poems; to Mr. J. H. Parker for poems from the Lyra Innocentium and The Childs Christian Year; and to Messrs. Strahan & Co. (Limited) for The Gospel Women, by Dr. George MacDonald.
In the present edition I have been enabled, through the kindness of Messrs. Macmillan & Co., to insert the well-known verses on Mary, and Lazarus in the In Memoriam, and those on Stephen in The Two Voices, by Lord Tennyson, for which I offer my grateful thanks.
To show through moonless skies that there is light in heaven.
FOR the inspiration of poets is divine, and often in their strains by the aid of the Muses and the Graces they attain truth. FOR all good poets, epic as well as lyric, compose their beautiful poems not as works of art, but because they are inspired and possessed. FOR the poet is a light and winged and holy thing, and there is no invention in him, until he has been inspired, and is out of his senses, and the mind is no longer in him; when he has not attained to this state, he is powerless, and is unable to utter his oracles.
THIS is not to be obtained but by devout prayer to that Eternal Spirit that can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends His seraphim with the hallowed fire of His altar to touch and purify the lips of whom He pleases.
Note 1. The letter (G.) indicates that they are by Dr. Grosart; (C.) by Rev. J. H. Clark; (W.) by the Rev. R. Wilson; (B.) by C. Parksdale; those without any letter appended were originally English, or translated by Crashaw himself. [back]