This book is not a philological work. Only by courtesy can it be said to be a study in comparative literature. I am interested in poetry. I have attempted to examine certain forces, elements or qualities which were potent in the mediaeval literature of the Latin tongues, and are, as I believe, still potent in our own. The history of an art is the history of masterwork, not of failures, or of mediocrity. The omniscient historian would display the masterpieces, their causes and their inter-relation. The study of literature is hero-worship. It is a refinement, or, if you will, a perversion of that primitive religion.