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HARVARD COURSE LIGHÁLY
GIFT OF THE
MASSACHUSETTS IN STOMICAL SOCIETY
Entered according to the act of Congress, in the year 1835 by KEY & BIDDLE, in the clerk's office of the district cour of the eastern district of Pennsylvania.
SEPARATE editions of the three poems com prising this volume, in a style proportioned to the high estimation in which they are held, have long been required in this country; and their coincidence of design, in several important respects, renders the expediency of their united publication very obvious. Discrepancies are, indeed, observable in the manner in which the three bards have executed their several tasks; yet the delineation of Humanity has been their common aim; and the combined results of their labours afford us a rich and beautiful portraiture of her distinguishing attributes-Hope, Imagination, and Memory. The pictures are not, indeed, complete or perfect. Akenside has been justly censured for not more distinctly alluding to one of the sublimest themes towards which ideality tends the immortality of the soul; and no reader of just taste can fail to lament his untimely death, whereby his greatest production
was bereft of the finishing touches he designed to bestow upon it. Campbell's extreme devotion to mere diction, and the absence of true originality in the poetry of Rogers, have very properly furnished occasions for critical objection. Yet so interesting and delightful are the promient features of these poems, that we wonder not that they are enshrined amid the household lore of English literature. Genuine poetical talent characterizes them, if not equally, yet in no ordinary degree. The Book of Pleasures, therefore, is eminently calculated to subserve the great end of Poetry. A spirit of humanity, a grateful recognition of religious truth, and a holy love of nature, pervade its pages. The images it presents are fitted to refine as well as delight; the ideas it affords are suggestive as well as pleasing; for the subjects to which it is devoted, and the gratifications to which it ministers, are not extrinsic but spiritual-pertaining to, and addressing those inward and quenchless fountains of pleasure-Hope, Imagination, and Memory.
Philadelphia, September, 1835.