Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/14

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vi
PREFACE TO THE POEMS.

but in others passed over. For the purposes of the present edition the printed text has been collated with all the MSS. which passed through Moore's hands, and, also, for the first time, with MSS. of the following plays and poems, viz. English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers; Childe Harold, Canto IV.; Don Juan, Cantos VI.–XVI.; Werner; The Deformed Transformed; Lara; Parisina; The Prophecy of Dante; The Vision of Judgment; The Age of Bronze; The Island. The only works of any importance which have been printed directly from the text of the first edition, without reference to the MSS., are the following, which appeared in The Liberal (1822–23), viz.: Heaven and Earth, The Blues, and Morgante Maggiore.

A new and, it is believed, an improved punctuation has been adopted. In this respect Byron did not profess to prepare his MSS. for the press, and the punctuation, for which Gifford is mainly responsible, has been reconsidered with reference solely to the meaning and interpretation of the sentences as they occur.

In the Hours of Idleness and Other Early Poems, the typography of the first four editions, as a rule, has been preserved. A uniform typography in accordance with modern use has been adopted for all poems of later date. Variants, being the readings of one or more MSS. or of successive editions, are printed in italics immediately below the text. They are marked by Roman numerals. Words and lines through which the author