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may strike an inferior judge as commonplace, something to which the broad poetical nature may respond.
In poetry, as in other forms of art, tastes must differ widely, not only among different persons, but among the same persons at different periods of their lives. The youth, in whose estimate the verse of Byron once had the highest place, often finds himself, as he grows older, transferring his affections to Coleridge or Wordsworth. Then, too, it frequently happens that our fondness for a certain poem may lie unconsciously in some early association with it, or in the fact that it was admired by some one near and dear to us. We shut our eyes to minor flaws, and are "pleased we know not why and care not wherefore," wholly regardless of the critic's shrug or even the grammarian's objection. All, then, that the compiler can do is, while admitting largely what he may regard as best and highest, to remember still that in the exercise of his individual taste he must not arbitrarily rule out the representation of any legitimate style or topic. Some of our best humorous poems, like Thackeray's "Ballad of Bouillabaisse,” have in them an element of pathos which redeems their character as poetry.
There are many minor poets who, by some felicity of subject or of treatment, have produced one successful piece, but never repeated the achievement. Like the boy who shot an arrow through a ring, but would not make a second trial lest he should fail, they have been constrained to rest their fame on the one little waif by which they have been made known. This class, and such anonymous writers as have produced pieces that the world does not allow to become obsolete, are largely represented in the present volume; and our Index of First Lines will be found a convenient concordance for the discovery of many a poem which everybody remembers, but few know where to find.
In the introductory notices of poets, in reference to the most distinguished, the aim has been to condense, or to sum up briefly, the most interesting incidents of their lives, and the choicest characteristics of their writings. In doing this, occasional forms of expression, not designated by quotation - marks, have been adopted, with alteration or abridgment, from biographer or critic; but credit has been given in cases of any importance. Original matter has been largely introduced; but, inasmuch as the license of a compiler has been used to enrich the work with all that is most apt in the way of facts and of criticism, whether new or old, no pretensions to uniform originality in these respects are made.
BOSTON, December, 1880.
THE concluding pages of this volume were put in type only a few days before the genial and cultured editor passed away from the scene of his labors. It was the crowning work of a life devoted to literature. Projected several years ago, it engrossed Mr. Sargent's thoughts and time almost to the very last day of his life, and every page passed under his careful supervision. Although he did not live to see it published, he had the pleasure of putting the final touches to it, and of knowing that his work was finished.
Mr. Sargent was eminently fitted for the preparation of a work of this kind. Few men possessed a wider or more profound knowledge of English literature, and his judgment was clear, acute, and discriminating. He designed this volume especially for household use; and he could have desired no kindlier remembrance than that associated with the innocent pleasure and refining influence it will carry to many a domestic fireside.
HARPER & BROTHERS.
FRANKLIN SQUARE, NEW YORK,
Anonymous and Miscellaneous-Continued.
Love Me Little, Love Me Long.
Lines by One in the Tower, by Chidiock Tychborn 84
Bonnie George Campbell....
Silent Music, by Thomas Campton
The Heavenly Jerusalem....
Helen of Kirkconnell....
Anonymous and Miscellaneous Poems of the
17th and 18th Centuries.
Love's Remonstrance, by James Kenney. Sonnet
The Pauper's Drive, by Thomas Noel...
Sonnet: December Morning, by Anna Seward... 528 Song of Birth ...
Song of Death...
The Crocus's Soliloquy, by Miss H. F. Gould.... 530 The Managing Mamma..
A Riddle on the Letter H, by Miss Catherine M.
Sweet Tyrant, Love, by James Thomson..
The End of the Drought....
Three Kisses of Farewell
The Sailor's Consolation, by William Pitt Where is He? by Henry Neele.....
Heaving of the Lead.....
Coming Through the Rye.
Oh! Say Not Woman's Heart is Bought, by
Thomas Love Peacock...
Love and Age, by Thomas Love Peacock Go, Sit by the Summer Sea...
The Song of the Forge.
Sunrise Comes To-morrow..
Where Are Ye?..
Come, Sunshine, Come! (from the French of Charles Vincent)..
When the Grass Shall Cover Me..
Battle Hymn and Farewell to Life (from the Ger
man of Theodore Korner)......
The Going of My Bride .....
Erin, by Dr. William Drennan
Hymn to the Stars
With a Rose in Her Hair..
A Hundred Years to Come, by William G. Brown. 546 Lines on a Skeleton.....
Sonnet: The Seen and the Unseen..
Thou Wilt Never Grow Old, by Mrs. Howarth... 547 Happiest Days.... 547
I Am the Lord; I Change Not, by Arrah Leigh. 547 Invocation of Earth to Morning... 548 ..... 549
Ode to Washington, by Mrs. A. B. Stockton.
549 549 550
"I Would Not Live Alway," by Rev. William Augustus Muhlenberg.
The Beautiful, by E. H. Burrington..
Uncrowned Kings, by Berkeley Aiken.
The Place to Die, by Michael Joseph Barry
To My Wife, by William Smith...
Love and Absence, by James Ashcroft Noble.... 555 Dreams....
Epigram, by S. T. Coleridge
The First Spring Day, by John Todhunter.
On a Virtuous Young Gentlewoman Who Died Suddenly, by William Cartwright...
The Way, by William S. Shurtleff..
The Fairy Child....
The Days of Youth (from Goethe)
The Soul of Eloquence (from Goethe)....