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It is hoped that the title-page of this work will sufficiently indicate its general character, and render a lengthened preface unnecessary.

The Editor trusts that while it may be found specially adapted for Schools, as a Reading Book in English Poetry for the more advanced pupils, it may also be a welcome guest in the family and social circle ; in winter, a cosy friend when sitting otherwise lonely in the chimney-corner; and one with whom, in the more genial seasons of the year, we may hold pleasant converse by the breezy hill-side or on the sea-shore; and thus be alike useful as a school-book, a presentation-volume, or a pocketcompanion ;--that it may in some degree deepen the love of Nature, give a pure and healthful stimulus to the Imagination and Fancy, minister to habits of elevated Reflection and Sentiment, strengthen the Social and Domestic. Affections, favour the love of rational Freedom, and the growth of true Patriotism, and through all these lead the mind and heart onward and upward to Religion, which, pure and undefiled, is the perfect flower—the consummate and crowning excellence of human character.

If this volume at all answers the purposes for which it is designed, it is mainly due to the kind co-operation of the Authors and Publishers who have permitted the insertion of the numerous copyright pieces in this collection ; and to whom the thanks of the Editor and of his readers are due. While, however, borrowing largely from the works of living and recent Poets, their elder brethren have not been neglected; it being the Editor's object to present as many of the best passages and minor poems in the English language as could be given within the compass of a pocket volume.

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