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498 & 500 BROADWAY




Entered according to Act of Congress, In the year 1870,


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Stereotyped by LITTLE, RENNIE & Co.,

647 Broadway, New York.


79 John Street, New York.


THE purpose of this volume is suggested by its title. It is not intended to be a repository of waifs and estrays, nor again a thesaurus of minor English poetry; but simply to bring together in a single, convenient, and attractive volume as many as possible of those lesser poems, secular and sacred, in our language, with which the lover of poetry is, or would gladly become, conversant. A large number of the pieces are therefore the familiar household poems of the language ; others, not a few, are of rarer occurrence, and some will probably greet most readers for the first time. That the compiler has come near to exhausting the class of pieces to which the volume is dedicated, that he has always made the best selections, or that any lover of poetry will not look in it in vain for some of his special favorites, he does not for a moment flatter himself. A work of triple the size would be inadequate to exhaust the rich treasures in this department of English literature. Many fine pieces have been reluctantly excluded. Some excellent authors he has left unrepresented; but it is his comfort, as it will be theirs, that they are not dependent on this volume for either their fame or their usefulness.

The editor has endeavored to secure a correct text of the poems given, but could not always assure himself of perfect accuracy. In some instances a Babel of different readings has thrown him back upon his discretion. The poems are nearly all given entire, although his plan allowed in this respect a little latitude. A very few extracts indicate them-
selves; two pieces are starred to mark the lacunæ; and in two
or three the omissions are not indicated. Quarles' fine poem
on delight in “God,” drops off two or three closing stanzas,
and a few charming stanzas are taken from Owen Meredith's
“Love-letter,” which seemed too long for entire insertion.
As to the character of the pieces, while the editor could not
of course be responsible for every sentiment admitted, he has
felt bound to exclude alike what was vitally erroneous in
teaching, or irreverent in spirit. Some otherwise admirable
pieces have yielded to the application of this same principle.
The purpose of the book has not seemed to require, or even
admit, any very rigid classification of its contents. Harmony
of general tone has been studiously consulted, and in some
instances the grouping of pieces by similarity of subject has
been carried further than was originally contemplated.

The editor submits his work cheerfully, though not with
unqualified pleasure, to the poetry-loving public. Aware
that he has failed to realize his ideal, he yet knows that most
of the contents of this volume have ministered, and will yet
minister, to the delight of thousands. Poetry is a powerful

The “vision and the faculty divine” are God's rich gift to
the few for the culture and enjoyment of the many. Pity
that the possessors of this enviable gift are so rarely sensible
of its high responsibility! But none can contemplate the
rich mantle of material beauty with which God has invested
the universe, or that still deeper fountain of beauty that wells
up in the human soul, and unites in the sacred trio of “the
True, the Good, and the Beautiful," and then disparage
either the inspirations of song, or even the humble function
of him who judiciously aids in their wider diffusion,

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