Rev. George Gilfillan, The Book of British Poesy, Ancient and Modern: being Select Extracts from our best Poets, arranged in chronological order. With an Essay on British Poetry. (London: William Tegg & Co., for John Walker, 1851)

Information about the collection: The frontispiece is an engraving of Poets's Corner in Westminster Abbey, surrounded by miniatures of Chaucer, Milton, Burns, and Shakespeare (clockwise, beginning at the top) and smaller masks of tragedy and comedy. There is no preface other than the essay on British poetry. The headnotes are short, contain dates of birth and death, and are broadly critical, as in the entry for Milton: "By many of our ablest critics, the first place in British poesy has been given to Milton. If Shakspere [sic] excelled in versatility of genius, and nice discrimination of human character, Milton soared high above all in grandeur and sublimity of imagination." Each page in the volume is framed by an ornate border, as in the kind one can find in contemporary collections of "Victorian" clip-art. Finally, the collection is divided up into uncannily familiar sections: earliest period to age of Shakespeare; Shakespeare to Milton; Milton to Cowper; Cowper to the present.

Table of Contents: 

Introductory Essay on British Poetry

Section I.

From Earliest Period to Age of Shakespeare

Robert Manning. 13th Century
Praise of good Women
Fabulous account of the first Highways in England

Richard Rolle, D.D. 1340
What is in Heaven

Robert Langland. 14th Century
On Covetousness
On the Priesthood

Story of King Estmere

Geoffrey Chaucer. 1328 to 1400
Character of the Night
The Nun
The Monk
The Franklin, or Country Gentleman
The good Wife of Bath
The Miller
The good Parson

Robert Barbour
The Battle of Bannockburn
Apostrophe to Freedom

Andrew Wyntoun
Interview of St. Serf with Sathanas

Blind Harry
The Death of Wallace

The Ancient Ballad of Chevy Chase. 1400 to 1450

Robert Henryson. 1450
The Garment of good Ladies

William Dunbar. 15th Century
Ode to Gladness
Of Discretion in Taking

Earl of Surrey. 1547
The means to attain a Happy Life
Reflections in Prison

Sir Thomas Wyatt. 1503 to 1541
Blame not my Lute

Thomas Tusser. 1523 to 1580
Housewifely Physic

Richard Edwards. 16th Century
The falling out of faithful Friends renewing is of Love

Sir David Lyndsay. 1490 to 1555
A Carman's Account of a Lawsuit

The Ballad of King Leir and his Three Daughters

Thomas Sackville. 1536 to 1600

Sir Philip Sidney. 1554 to 1586

Richard Marlow
The Passionate Shepherd's Addrss to his Mistress

Joshua Sylvester. 1553 to 1618
The Soul's Errand

Sir Walter Raleigh. 1552 to 1618
The Nymph's Reply to the Passionate Shephered
Written the night before his death

Richard Barnfield
Address to the Nightingale

Ballad of Sir Lancelot du Lake

Henry Constable. 16th Century

Section II.

From Shakespeare to Milton

William Shakespeare. 1564 to 1616
Deceit of Ornament
Song. From "Cymbeline"
Night in a Camp
The World compared to a Stage
Othello's relation of his Courtship to the Senate
Mark Antony's Oration
Hamlet's Soliloquy
The quality of Mercy

Edmund Spenser. 1553 to 1599
The House of Sleep
From "The Epithalamion"

Robert Southwell. 1560 to 1596
Times go by turns
Scorn not the least

Sir John Harrington. 1560 to 1612
Against Writers that carp at other Men's Books
A precise Tailor

Sir Henry Wotton. 1568 to 1639
Farewell to the Vanities of the World
The character of a Happy Life

The Story of the Wandering Jew

Sir John Davies. 1570 to 1626
The Dignity of Man

John Donne. 1570 to 1630
Valediction -- Forbidding Mourning
The Will

Ben Jonson. 1574 to 1637
To Celia
On my first Daughter
To the Memory of my beloved Master, William Shakspere
Advice to a Reckless Youth

Richard Corbet. 1582 to 1635
Farewell to the Fairies

Sir John Beaumont. 1582 to 1628
Richard the Third's Address to his Soldiers
On my dear Son, Gervase Beaumont
To the Memory of F. Pulton, Esq.

Dr. Henry King
Sic Vita
The Dirge

Francis Beaumont. 1585 to 1616
On the Tombs in Westminster
An Epitaph

Phineas Fletcher
Happiness of the Shepherd's Life

George Wither. 1588 to 1667

Thomas Carew. 1589 to 1639
Disdain returned
Approach of Spring

William Drummond. 1585 to 1649
To his Lute
Praise of a Solitary Life
To a Nightingale

Sir Robert Ayton. 1570 to 1638
Woman's Inconstancy

George Buchanan
The First of May

Francis Quarles. 1592 to 1644
Shortness of Life

George Herbert. 1593 to 1632
From "The Church Porch"
The Holy Scriptures
An Epitaph, upon the Honourable George Herbert

Sir John Suckling. 1608 to 1641
Detraction execrated

Robert Herrick. 1591
To Blossoms
To Daffodils
Twelfth Night, or King and Queen
Thanksgiving for his House
To find God
Cherry Ripe

James Shirley. 17th Century
Death's final conquest

Richard Crashaw. 17th Century
"I've seen, indeed, the hopeful bud"
Temperance, or the Cheap Physician

Section III.

From Milton to Cowper

John Milton. 1608 to 1674
Man's Disobedience
The Son's Address to the Father
The Angels' Song
Satan's Address to the Sun
Morning Prayer
The expulsion from Paradise
Michael's Reply
Sonnets. On his own blindness. In memory of his second Wife.

Edmund Waller. 1605 to 1687
Go, lovely rose
The British Navy
A panegyric on Cromwell

Andrew Marvell
The Emigrants in Bermudas

Charles Cotton. 1630 to 1687
Invitation to Isaak Walton

Abraham Cowley. 1618 to 1667
The Grasshopper
On Lord Bacon

Stanzas on Oliver Cromwell
The Swallow
On Milton

Matthew Prior. 1664 to 1721
The Garland
The Cameleon

Joseph Addison. 1672 to 1719
Ode to Liberty
Cato's Soliloquy

Jonathan Swift. 1667 to 1745
Imitation of Horace
Rhapsody on Poetry

Alexander Pope. 1688 to 1744
From the "Essay on Man"
From the "Satires"
The Man of Ross
The Dying Christian to his Soul

John Gay. 1688 to 1732
Black-eyed Susan

Thomas Parnell. 1680 to 1718
The Church Yard
From "The Hermit"

Allan Ramsay. 1686 to 1756
Lochaber no more

Robert Blair. 1699 to 1746
The Grave

Isaac Watts. 1674 to 1748
The Rose
True Riches

Edward Young. 1681 to 1765
From "Night Thoughts"
Thoughts on Time

James Thomson. 1700 to 1748
Summer Morning
Summer Evening
Reflections on Winter
Rule Britannia

William Collins. 1720 to 1756
From "Ode on the Passions"
Ode to Liberty
Ode on the Death of Thomson

William Shenstone. 1714 to 1763
From "The Schoolmistress"
Song, on Capt. James Dawson

Thomas Gray. 1716 to 1771
Elegy written in a Country Church Yard

Oliver Goldsmith. 1728 to 1774
Description of Auburn
The Village Preacher
The Village Teacher

William Falconer. 1730 to 1769
Evening on Shipboard
The Ship in Danger
Death of Albert

John Logan. 1748 to 1788
To the Cuckoo

James Beattie. 1735 to 1803
From "The Minstrel"
The Hermit

Thomas Moss. Died 1808
The Beggar's Petition

Section IV.

From Cowper to Present Time

William Cowper. 1731 to 1800
Voltaire and the Lace-worker
To Winter
On the receipt of my Mother's Picture
English Liberty

Robert Burns. 1759 to 1796
The Cotter's Saturday Night

Mrs. Barbauld. 1745 to 1825
Hymn to Content

Robert Bloomfield. 1766 to 1823
The Farmer's Life
Description of a Blind Youth

James Grahame. 1765 to 1811
From "The Sabbath"

George Crabbe. 1754 to 1832
A Noble Peasant

Henry Kirke White. 1785 to 1806
To an early Primrose
The Star of Bethlehem

Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1772 to 1834
A Dungeon
Love, Hope, and Patience in Education

Lord Byron. 1788 to 1824
Picture of modern Greece
She walks in beauty
The destruction of Sennacherib

Sir Walter Scott. 1771 to 1832
Love of Country
Far, far from love and thee, Mary
Beat Song

Robert Tannahill. 1774 to 1810
The Flower o' Dumblane

James Hogg. 1772 to 1835
The Shepherd's Evenings in Youth
The Skylark

Robert Pollok. 1799 to 1827
The Maiden's Prayer

Felicia Hemans. 1793 to 1835
The Homes of England

Reginald Heber. 1783 to 1826
Miriam's Song
Missionary Hymn

Thomas Campbell. 1777 to 1848
The Harper
Song -- "Men of England"
The Soldier's Dream

Burial of Sir John Moore

D.M. Moir (Delta)
Casa Wappy

From "The Excursion"

Bernard Barton
Power and Gentleness

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