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AN ANTHOLOGY

of PURE POETRY

INTRODUCTION

I

ALTHOUGH deflowered thirty or forty years ago in Confessions of a Young Man, the incident that led me to poetry must be related here, so significant does it seem to me to be of every man's adventures among books.

When I was a child of nine, ten, or eleven, the family coach, a coach hung upon Cee springs, came round to the front door to take us to the County of Galway, and as we had promised to arrive at Headfort in time for breakfast our Start was an early one, not later than half-past six or seven in the morning. My father and mother lay back talking in a deep, cushioned seat; and I remember envying them, for I was seated with my brother on a hard bench, our backs to the horses; and the swinging of the coach and the shining of the sun through the glass on my face caused a sickness to rise up in me. I was about to ask my parents to lower the window-blind when a kindly cloud veiled the sun, and it was at that moment I heard my father telling my mother about Lady Audley. Maurice was too young to be interested in a beautiful name and in the story of a woman who ran away with her groom for he had violet

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