PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION. by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I have taken advantage of the publication of a Second Edition of my translation of the Poems of Goethe (originally published in 1853), to add to the Collection a version of the much admired classical Poem of Hermann and Dorothea, which was previously omitted by me in consequence of its length. Its universal popularity, however, and the fact that it exhibits the versatility of Goethe's talents to a greater extent than, perhaps, any other of his poetical works, seem to call for its admission into the present volume.
On the other hand I have not thought it necessary to include the sketch of Goethe's Life that accompanied the First Edition. At the time of its publication, comparatively little was known in this country of the incidents of his career, and my sketch was avowedly written as a temporary stop-gap, as it were, pending the production of some work really deserving the tittle of a life of Goethe. Not to mention other contributions to the literature of the subject, Mr. Lewis's important volumes give the English reader all the information he is likely to require respecting Goethe's career, and my short memoir appeared to be no longer required.
I need scarcely add that I have availed myself of this opportunity to make whatever improvements have suggested themselves to me in my original version of these Poems.