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THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
G. P. PUTNAM & COMPANY,
HOPE no apology is needed for having brought to
gether, in a presentable form, a few of the many beautiful things that the poets have written on the Garden and its accompaniments. The impulse was a natural one, originating in love of the subject, and a desire that others, especially the young, should feel its beauty, and enjoy the pleasure of familiarity with the best and highest thoughts upon it. The idea of such a collection once entertained, the only difficulty was what to omit. No one who has not examined English poetry with an especial view to the Garden, could imagine the extent to which that rich theme has inspired the sons of song. Only Love has prompted more verses; and even that universal topic is so indebted to the illustration of flowers, that we cannot but perceive their claim to be almost equal in extent. Add to flowers all else that helps to
make the Garden charming, and the amount of beautiful poetry that offers itself is overwhelming.
Whatever may seem capricious in the selection is therefore to be ascribed to redundance and excellence of material. I should have been glad to make my book hold twice as many poems, and have left out not a few favorites, sorely against my will. The plan required that variety of topics and treatment should be a leading object, and this excluded some of the most charming flower-poetry. Then, again, some pieces of that kind had, from their very excellence, already found their way into every school reading-book, and it seemed superfluous to reprint them here. And more than all, the quantity of verses which I had supposed could be contained in a good-sized volume, proved so much beyond the capacity of any volume of tolerable proportions, that a great mass of dearly beloved poems were absolutely crowded out pell-mell ; thus disturbing considerably the regular arrangement at first contemplated. I think, however, there will be found something for all tastes, as well as for all seasons; and I sincerely desire that my readers may enjoy Garden Walks with the Poets as much as I have done.
One apology I feel bound to make: it is for the omission, in some cases, of the author's name, where I ought
to have known it. I am ashamed to print "Anonymous," where every body but myself, perhaps, could supply the name; but a large part of the pieces in this volume have been cut from newspapers, where no author was indicated; and others copied from books, by young scribes who sometimes forgot the acknowledgment due to the author until it was too late to search him out. I beg that this explanation may be accepted by those who might justly feel themselves aggrieved by appropriations seemingly so ungrateful.
C. M. K.