Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

PREFACE.

NINE years ago this month this work was commenced, principally to while away the long winter evenings, which threatened to hang heavily on the Editor's hands, and now it is with feelings akin to those felt at parting with an old and valued friend that he pens these prefatory lines, which mark the completion of his task.

It has been his aim to present a comprehensive collection-an ENCYCLOPÆDIA, in fact—of the best poetry in the English language; one that will be a welcome companion at every FIRESIDE; and, while representing all that is best and brightest in our poetic literature, should contain nothing that would tend to undermine any one's faith or destroy a single virtuous impulse.

Fully aware of the danger of trusting to the caprices or fancies of any individual judgment, the Editor has diligently consulted the works of the best critics and reviewers, and has not hesitated to accept such pieces as have received their united commendation, or such as, through some peculiar power, have touched the popular heart. Each poem has been given complete, and great care has been taken to follow the most authentic and approved editions of the respective authors; and though the quantity of space assigned to each and the selections made may not, and probably will not, satisfy every judgment, it is believed that few of the most famous minor poems of the English language will be found missing from these pages.

At the very outset it was deemed best to discard the chronological arrangement followed by most compilers, and to adopt the plan of classifying each poem according to its subject-matter, originated by Mr. Charles A. Dana in his excellent Household Book of Poetry. In many cases this has been found exceedingly difficult; as often, under-currents so run in opposite directions as to threaten the entire foundation upon which the title of a poem is based; and in many poems the “moral” is dwelt on at greater length than the tale itself, so that the Editor has often been sorely tempted to end his perplexity by throwing them into those convenient “olla podridas,” “ Poems of Sentimentand

" Moral and Didactic Poetry.But with all these drawbacks the advantages of the system are so great that there has been no hesitation in adopting it. By it, every taste may be gratified, all moods and humors the better served. Here are “Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs ” for Sunday reading, Poems of Home Life and Domestic Bliss for the cold winter nights when the logs are blazing brightly on the cozy hearth, Poems on Nature for the bloom

[ocr errors]

a

ing Spring-time and melancholy Autumn, Poems for the lover, and Historical Poems, Old Legends, and Ballads for all. From the days when

Adam delved and Eve span”. to the present, human nature has been ever the same. Kingdoms have risen and been forgotten, languages been formed and fallen into disuse, but love, patriotism, sorrow and death, are the same in all ages and climes. The language may be different and the allusions seem strange to our ears, but the same old, old story was told by gallant knight to high-bred dame in the good old days of Queen Bess as is now whispered into the ear of rustic beauty or ball-room belle.

“ Each heart recall’d a different name, but all sang 'Annie Laurie.'” The same impulses animated Horatius as he faced Lars Porsena's army on the banks of the Tiber centuries ago, and the brave boys who flocked to their country's standard during the late civil war; while the bereaved parent even now mourns for his erring child in the same heart-language as did the sweet Singer of Israel over his lost Absalom. Though long cycles have intervened between Shakespeare and Tennyson, Sir Walter Raleigh and Longfellow, Herrick and Burns, Herbert and Whittier, rare Ben Jonson and Mrs. Browning, one animating purpose breathes alike through the voices of the poets of the past and the present.

As many poems are founded upon some historical fact or some interesting incident or legend, a knowledge of which greatly aids the reader in his appreciation of them, Explanatory and Corroborative Notes have been appended at the end of the volume. This plan has been adopted in preference to placing the notes at the bottom of the page; as many readers, who are familiar with their substance, naturally object to such an arrangement as distracting their attention and marring the continuity of the poem.

The compiler would express his thanks to the various authors and pubJishers who have so kindly permitted him to use the copyright poenis contained in this collection, and especially to Messrs. Houghton, Osgood & Co., who, notwithstanding that they publish excellent works of a similar character, generously granted the use of the various poems by Longfellow, Whittier, Emerson, Lowell, Holmes, Bret Harte, Saxe, Bayard Taylor, Stedman, Stoddard, Trowbridge, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Parsons, Lucy Larcom, Julia Ward Howe, and Phæbe Cary, the brightest galaxy of names ever collected together by any American publishing-hɔuse. He would also acknowledge his obligation to Mr. N. Clemmons Hunt for the assistance rendered in the selection and arrangement of many of the poems in this work.

Originality cannot be claimed for a work of this character, notwithstanding the labor and thought bestowed upon it; all the glory, all the praise, belongs to the poets themselves. In the words of Montaigne: “Here is a nosegay of culled flowers, to which I have brought nothing of my own but the thread that ties them.

H. T. C. PHILADELPHIA, October 18th, 1878.

a

a

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

INDEX OF AUTHORS.

PAGE
AYTON, SIR ROBERT (1570-1638).
To his Forsaken Mistress...

148
Woman's Inconstancy.

.................................... 141

......... 314

........ 567

AYTOUN, WILLIAM EDMONDSTOUNE (1813–

1865).
Edinburgh after Flodden.......

303
The Burial-March of Dundee.... .................... 318
The Execution of Montrose

The Massacre of the Macpherson.. ............... 944
BACON, FRANCIS, BARON VERULAM (1561-

1626).

Life ..................
BAILIE, JOANNA (1762-1851).
Morning Song.

503
Song—“Oh welcome, bat and owlet gray"

485
The Kitten..........

488

........... 633

.....

PAGE
ADAM, JEAN (1710-1765).
The Mariner's Wife

10
ADAMS, SARAH (FLOWER), (1805–1848).
“Fatber, Thy will be done".

564
"Nearer, my God, to Thee".

584
ADDISON, JOSEPH (1672–1719).

An Ode—"The spacious firmament on high".. 565
" How are thy servants blest, O Lord!" 578
Paraphrase of Psalm XXIII...

581
"When all thy mercies, O my God!"'.
AKENSIDE, MARK (1721-1770).

Inscription for a Statue of Chaucer....... 227
AKERMAN, LUCY EVELINA (1816-1874).
Nothing but Leaves..............

598
ALDRICH, JAMES (1810-1856).
A Death bed........

645
ALDRICH, THOMAS BAILEY (1836- -).
Baby Bell

30
On an Intaglio Head of Minerva.................. 778
ALEXANDER, CECIL FRANCES (1823- --).
The Burial of Moses...

600
There is a green hill.....

632
ALFORD, HENRY (1810–1871).
Raptismal Hymn..

583
Thanksgiving Hymn......

578
ALISON, RICHARD (1606?_).
"There is a garden in her face".

....................... 185
ALLEN, ELIZABETH AKERS (1832-—).

Endurance
My Ship........
Rock me to Sleep...

74
ALLINGHAM, WILLIAM (1828–1889).
A Wife.......

12
Lovely Mary Donnelly..

142
Robin Redbreast...

481
The Fairies. A Child's Song..

802
The Touchstone.......

685

BAKEWELL, JOHN (1721-1819).
“Hail! Thou once-despised Jesus!".

558
BALLANTYNE, JAMES (1808–1877).
Castles in the Air

37
BAMPFYLDE, JOHN CODRINGTON (1754-1796).
Sonnet-To the Redbreast

481

.........

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

....... 637

... 787

BARHAM, RICHARD HARRIS (1788–1845).

Mr. Barney Maguire's account of the Corona-
tion

965
The Execution.......

951

BARNARD, LADY ANNE (LINDSAY),(1750–1825).
Auld Robin Gray.....

137
BARNFIELD, RICHARD (1574-1627).
The Nightingale...........

484
“Whilst as fickle Fortune smiled ".

776
BARRY, MICHAEL JOSEPH (1815—- ).
The Place to Die

700

[blocks in formation]

BARTON, BERNARD (1784-1849).

Not ours the Vows.........
“There by Those".

101
637

BAXTER, RICHARD (1615-1691).

Resignation

..... 586

BAYLY, THOMAS HAYNES (1797-1839).
My Dejeuner à la Fourchette..

898
The Mistletoe Bough.

.................... 412
The Pilot. .........

607
The Poppy..

89%
To My Wife..

568

« AnteriorContinua »