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THE forerunner of the present edition of Selected Poems was published by Messrs. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd., in their Dryden Library, in 1905. It was reprinted in 1909, and the residue of that edition was transferred to, and issued by the Oxford University Press, in the World's Classics Series, in 1923. The exhaustion of that edition affords a suitable opportunity for issuing a selected edition completely representative of the Author's Poetical Works.
The identical editions of 1905 and 1909 consisted of fifty-one poems, selected by the Author himself, and were based on a comparatively early edition of his Collected Poems, issued by the Publishers first above mentioned.
The present edition, which may be regarded as the final edition of Selected Poems, contains all the poems appearing in the previous issues, and some thirty-seven poems in addition. It is based on the Author's Complete Poetical Works, published by the Oxford University Press in December 1923, and contains roughly one-quarter of the poems comprised in that volume.
The poems follow the same order as in the Complete Poetical Works, and the Contents page shows the various sections of that volume from which they have been selected. At the foot of each poem is inserted the date of its first appearance in print. When the date of its composition is known to have been earlier, that date is also shown in brackets. In view of the very full notes appended to the complete edition, no notes are included in the present volume.
The pen and ink drawing made by the late G. H. Boughton, R. A., in the Poet's own copy of At the Sign of the Lyre, to illustrate the poem Love in Winter (see p. 65) is again reproduced as a frontispicce.
Quot homines, tot sententiae is eminently
true of Austin Dobson's poems. If therefore the present selection, for which I must take full responsibility, fails to satisfy all those who take up this little volume, I can only hope that they will have recourse to the complete volume of the Author's Poetry, to which previous reference has been made.