PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
I have taken advantage of the publication of a Second Edition
of my translation of the Poems of Goethe (originally published in
1853), to add to the Collection a version of the much admired classical
Poem of Hermann and Dorothea, which was previously omitted by me
in consequence of its length. Its universal popularity, however,
and the fact that it exhibits the versatility of Goethe's talents
to a greater extent than, perhaps, any other of his poetical works,
seem to call for its admission into the present volume.
On the other hand I have not thought it necessary to include the
sketch of Goethe's Life that accompanied the First Edition. At the
time of its publication, comparatively little was known in this
country of the incidents of his career, and my sketch was avowedly
written as a temporary stop-gap, as it were, pending the production
of some work really deserving the tittle of a life of Goethe. Not
to mention other contributions to the literature of the subject,
Mr. Lewis's important volumes give the English reader all the information
he is likely to require respecting Goethe's career, and my short
memoir appeared to be no longer required.
I need scarcely add that I have availed myself of this opportunity
to make whatever improvements have suggested themselves to me in
my original version of these Poems.