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[27] it should be preserved. The verse beginning

By those unpractised accents of young speech

began originally as follows:

By that sweet voice which who could understand
To frame to sounds of love and love divine,
Not thou.

This was abandoned and the following substituted:
By those pure accents which at my command
Should have been framed to love and lore divine,
Now like a lute, fretted by some rude hand,
Uttering harsh discords, they must echo thine.

This also was erased, and the present form substituted, although I confess it seems to me both less vigorous and less tender. Prof. Woodberry mentions the change, but does not give the cancelled verse. In this and other cases I do not venture to blame him for the omission; since an editor must, after all, exercise his own judgment. Yet I cannot but wish that he had carried his citation, even of cancelled variations, a little further; and it is evident that some future student of poetic art will yet find rich gleanings in the Harvard Shelley manuscript.


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George E. Woodberry (1)
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1893 AD (1)
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