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American Sacred Song
NOTES EXPLANATORY AND BIOGRAPHICAL
SELECTED AND EDITED BY
W. GARRETT HORDER
EDITOR OF 'THE POETS' BIBLE,' ETC.
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS WAREHOUSE
NEW YORK: 91 & 93 FIFTH AVENUE
In seeking for the beautiful, poets meet with more truths than the philosophers in their researches after the true.
HIS is an attempt to give a fuller presentation of the Sacred Verse of America than has previously
During the progress of my researches I have again and again been reminded of the remark of Colonel Higginson
one of the most delightful of American poets-to Matthew Arnold: 'As I take it, Nature said some years since, "Thus far the English is my best race; but we have had Englishmen enough; we need something with a little more buoyancy than the Englishman; let us lighten the structure, even at some peril in the process. Put in one drop more of nervous fluid, and make the American."
In much of the sacred verse I have examined I have found one drop more of the nervous fluid,' which sometimes, perhaps, has been so quick in its operation as not to produce a structure as perfect as could be desired. My aim has been to select verse with the fullest native force, and at the same time the most finished form.
Readers may perchance, here and there, light on poems which seem scarcely suited for a collection of sacred verse; but in such cases the sacred character, which may at a first glance appear lacking, will nevertheless be found in the thoughts they suggest.
I have not cared to present any of the earliest verse of America, considering that it possesses only an antiquarian interest. Nor have I gone beyond the limits