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School Books of Poetry are seldom distinguished by much variety, as they are generally mere reproductions of certain favourite pieces, which from being so frequently used, have come to be regarded as the only ones fit for such compilations. In the present work I have ventured to break through a rule which has hitherto restricted the choice of the compiler to a number of extracts, which, beautiful as they may be, have become hackneyed from constant repetition. While retaining some old favourites, I have introduced many poems never before used in the same class of book, but which I feel assured will be welcomed not less for their novelty than for their intrinsic merit.
Care has been taken to secure a due proportion of examples of every kind of subject and mode of treatment, so that dramatic, descriptive, narrative, moral, and religious poetry are all well represented.
Preference has been given to extracts which fill the mind with pictures of natural scenery and historic incident, or inspire the heart with noble and patriotic feeling. It is in connection with such subjects that poetry
appeals with the greatest force to the young; ; enriching the imagination with thoughts and images of beauty, which in after-life become memories exercising an enduring influence, and forming a never-ending source of delight.
The effect of such a work as the present should be to implant in those who use it a love of poetry, which shall lead them to desire to make acquaintance with the other writings of the authors of whose works only a few specimens are here given. That this selection may have such a result is the earnest desire of the editor, for of poetry it may be almost as truly said, as Wordsworth says of nature, in his grand lines “Composed on Revisiting the Wye,” that she
“ Never did betray
Addison, Joseph (b. 1672, d. 1719).
Battle of the Baltic
Live in Love, 'Tis Pleasant Liring 183
The Baby's K?
Freiligrath, Ferdinand (b. 1810, living).
Picture Bible (translated)
Translation of the Sally of the Cid 16
God Provideth for the Morrotu
Ode to the Cuckoo
Homeric Ballads. The Dog Argus. 125