Page:The seven great hymns of the mediaeval church - 1902.djvu/15

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INTRODUCTION.


THE firſt edition of the Seven Great Hymns was publiſhed anonymouſly, years ago, because I did not wiſh to aſſume a ſcholarſhip which I did not poſſeſs. In framing the book the proceſs of ſelection and rejection was inſtinctive or intuitive rather than the operation of a well-informed judgment. It was the caſe of one reaching out for ſomething which he intenſely deſired to find with the reſult of finding it. The purpoſe of the book was what might be termed expoſition—to give to American readers an expoſition of the ſubject by placing before them the greateſt of the mediæval hymns, and an expoſition of each hymn by appending to it its beſt tranſlation. Since then there have been immenſe additions to the English branch of the subject in the form of translations and commentaries; and it would be an eaſy taſk now with the material at hand to make this volume