The Gutenberg edition is based upon a 'gift' edition from 1926, of which the illustrations must have been a major element, although only the captions (lines from the poem) are transmitted here.
The poem itself is not very long, and starts at the 70 percent mark. but Father Daly's introduction is well-written, if a bit florid for 21st Century tastes. It gives a very interesting account of the poem's reception, and the author's life:
The reading-world dipped curiously into the pages about which there was so much conflict of opinion; it was startled and bewildered by a novel and difficult form of verse; and finally it agreed with the majority of critics that it was mostly nonsense—too Catholic to be catholic. [...]Even Thompson's coreligionists were cold. Indeed, it may be said they were the coldest. If the general reading-public of the nineties suspected Thompson of being a Victorian reactionary of ultra-montane mould, the Catholic public feared him for his art. It was a wild unfettered thing which took strange liberties with Catholic pieties and could not be trusted to run in divine grooves. One can afford to extenuate the attitude of reserve. It was a period when brilliant heterodoxies and flaunting decadence were in the air. The fact is, that critics and public delivered Thompson over to the Catholics; and the Catholics would have nothing to do with him.
After such a build-up ("The poem might have been written in the days of Shakespeare, or, in a different speech, by Dante or Calderon."), could I help being a little disappointed in the poem itself? Nonetheless, it was stirring:
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.
Yea, faileth now even dream
The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist;
Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist
I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,
Are yielding; cords of all too weak account
For earth, with heavy griefs so overplussed.