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WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, ESQ.
THIS SELECTION OF SONNETS
WITH MUCH RESPECT AND ESTEEM,
THE Sonnet, first introduced into our language by Lord Surrey, continued to be a favourite species of writing with most of the eminent men who adorned our poetic annals, till the Restoration ; but, when that event had wrought a change in the character of our literature, it experienced a long period of neglect. French models became the study of our poets; and from the time of Milton* to that of Edwards, about the middle of the eighteenth century, this kind of composition muy be considered as entirely abandoned.
From the time of Edwards to the present,—our taste for Italian poetry having revived,—the Sonnet has been rendered popular in this country by a series of distinguished writers.
* Though Milton's Sonnets were not all published, they were all composed, before the Restoration.