no fewer than ninety-four places.), and sometimes punctuatescapriciously. In the very act of transcribing his mind was apt tostray from the work in hand to higher things; he would lose himself incontemplating those airy abstractions and lofty visions of which alonehe greatly cared to sing, to the neglect and detriment of the merelyexternal and formal element of his song. Shelley recked little of thejots and tittles of literary craftsmanship; he committed many a smallsin against the rules of grammar, and certainly paid but a haltingattention to the nice distinctions of punctuation. Thus in the earlyeditions a comma occasionally plays the part of a semicolon; colonsand semicolons seem to be employed interchangeably; a semicolon almostinvariably appears where nowadays we should employ the dash; and,lastly, the dash itself becomes a point of all work, replacingindifferently commas, colons, semicolons or periods. Inadequate andsometimes haphazard as it is, however, Shelley's punctuation, so faras it goes, is of great value as an index to his metrical, or attimes, it may be, to his rhetorical intention--for, in Shelley'shands, punctuation serves rather to mark the rhythmical pause andonflow of the verse, or to secure some declamatory effect, than toindicate the structure or elucidate the sense. For this reason theoriginal pointing has been retained, save where it tends to obscure orpervert the poet's meaning. Amongst the Editor's Notes at the end ofthe Volume 3 the reader will find lists of the punctual variations inthe longer poems, by means of which the supplementary points now addedmay be identified, and the original points, which in this edition havebeen deleted or else replaced by others, ascertained, in the order oftheir occurrence. In the use of capitals Shelley's practice has beenfollowed, while an attempt has been made to reduce the number of hisinconsistencies in this regard.To have reproduced the spelling of the manuscripts would only haveserved to divert attention from Shelley's poetry to my own ingenuityin disgusting the reader according to the rules of editorialpunctilio. (I adapt a phrase or two from the preface to "The Revolt ofIslam".) Shelley was neither very accurate, nor always consistent, inhis spelling. He was, to say the truth, indifferent about all suchmatters: indeed, to one absorbed in the spectacle of a worldtravailing for lack of the gospel of "Political Justice", the study oforthographical niceties must have seemed an occupation for Bedlamites.Again--as a distinguished critic and editor of Shelley, ProfessorDowden, aptly observes in this connexion--'a great poet is not of anage, but for all time.' Irregular or antiquated forms such as'recieve,' 'sacrifize,' 'tyger,' 'gulph,' 'desart,' 'falshood,' andthe like, can only serve to distract the reader's attention, and marhis enjoyment of the verse. Accordingly Shelley's eccentricities inthis kind have been discarded, and his spelling reversed in accordancewith modern usage. All weak preterite-forms, whether indicatives orparticiples, have been printed with "ed" rather than "t", participialadjectives and substantives, such as 'past,' alone excepted. In thecase of 'leap,' which has two preterite-forms, both employed byShelley (See for an example of the longer form, the "Hymn to Mercury",18 5, where 'leaped' rhymes with 'heaped' (line 1). The shorter form,rhyming to 'wept,' 'adapt,' etc., occurs more frequently.)--one withthe long vowel of the present-form, the other with a vowel-change (Ofcourse, wherever this vowel-shortening takes place, whether indicatedby a corresponding change in the spelling or not, "t", not "ed" isproperly used--'cleave,' 'cleft,'; 'deal,' 'dealt'; etc. The formsdiscarded under the general rule laid down above are such as 'wrackt,'