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Armenian Legends and Poems [1916] at

p. vii p. viii


IN preparing this book of Armenian Legends and Poems my principal object was to publish it as a Memorial to an unhappy nation.

The book does not claim to represent Armenian poetry adequately. Many gifted and well-known authors have been omitted, partly from considerations of space, and partly because of the scope of the work. For instance, I should have liked to include some of the Sharakans (rows of gems) of Nerses Shnorhali; but the impossibility of reproducing their characteristic forms in another language, and doing them any justice, made me decide not to translate any of them. I have only given a few typical legends and poems, endeavouring, as far as possible, to convey the local colouring by adhering closely to the form, rhythm, and imagery of the originals in my translations. I have also largely based the decorative scheme of the illustrations upon Ancient Armenian Art as we see it in mediæval missals and illuminations.

Should this anthology create an interest in Armenian literature the Armenian Muses have still many treasures in their keeping which cannot be destroyed; and another volume could be compiled.

In conclusion, I wish to express my sincerest gratitude to Miss Alice Stone Blackwell, of Boston, U.S.A.--one of Armenia's truest friends--for allowing me to reprint several of her renderings of Armenian poems; to G. C. Macaulay, M.A., and the Delegates of the Oxford University Press, for permission to reprint the "Tale of Rosiphelee" from their edition of Gower's Confessio Amantis; to Mr. William Watson and Mr. John Lane for permission to reprint the sonnet on Armenia, "A Trial of Orthodoxy," from The Purple East; and to the heirs of Vittoria Aganoor Pompilj for permitting me to reprint two of her poems, "Pasqua Armena" and "Io Vidi," from the Nuova Antologia. I wish also to thank Mr. M. E. Galoustiantz for designing the cover of this book.

The proceeds of the present edition will be handed over to the Armenian Fund.



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