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THE following collection has been entitled SIBYLLINE LEAVES; in allusion to the fragmentary and widely scattered state in which they have been long suffered to remain. It contains the whole of the author's poetical compositions, from 1793 to the present date, with the exception of a few works not yet finished, and those published in the first edition of his juvenile poems, over which he has no controul. They may be divided into three classes: First, A selection from the Poems added to the second and third editions, together with those originally published in the LYRICAL
BALLADS, which after having remained many years out of print, have been omitted by Mr, Wordsworth in the recent collection of all his minor poems, and of course revert to the author. Second, Poems published at very different periods, in various obscure or perishable journals, &c. some with, some without the writer's consent; many imperfect, all incorrect, The third and last class is formed of Poems which have hitherto remained in manuscript. The whole is now presented to the reader collectively, with considerable additions and alterations, and as perfect as the author's judgment and powers could render them.
In my Literary Life, it has been mentioned that, with the exception of this preface, the SIBYLLINE LEAVES have been printed almost two years; and the necessity of troubling the reader with the list of errata, which follows this preface, alone induces me to refer again to the circumstance, at the risk of ungenial feelings, from the recollection of its worthless causes.
A few corrections of later date have been added. -Henceforward the author must be occupied by studies of a very different kind.
Ite hinc, CAMONE! Vos quoque ite, suaves,
Revisitote sed pudenter et raro!
VIRGIL. Catalect. vii.
At the request of the friends of my youth, who still remain my friends, and who were pleased with the wildness of the compositions, I have added two school-boy poemswith a song modernized with some additions from one of our elder poets. Surely, malice itself will scarcely attribute their insertion to any other motive, than the wish to keep alive the recollections from early life.--I scarcely knew what title I should prefix to the first. By imaginary Time, I meant the state of a school boy's mind when on his return to school he projects his being in his day dreams, and lives in his next holidays, six months hence: and this I contrasted with real Time,