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Entered according to Act of Congress, In the year 1870,
BY SHELDON & COMPANY,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Stereotyped by LITTLE, RENNIE & Co.,
647 Broadway, New York.
Printed by the UNION PRINTING HOUSE,
79 John Street, New York.
THE purpose of this volume is suggested by its title. It is not intended to be a repository of waifs and estrays, nor again a thesaurus of minor English poetry; but simply to bring together in a single, convenient, and attractive volume as many as possible of those lesser poems, secular and sacred, in our language, with which the lover of poetry is, or would gladly become, conversant. A large number of the pieces are therefore the familiar household poems of the language ; others, not a few, are of rarer occurrence, and some will probably greet most readers for the first time. That the compiler has come near to exhausting the class of pieces to which the volume is dedicated, that he has always made the best selections, or that any lover of poetry will not look in it in vain for some of his special favorites, he does not for a moment flatter himself. A work of triple the size would be inadequate to exhaust the rich treasures in this department of English literature. Many fine pieces have been reluctantly excluded. Some excellent authors he has left unrepresented; but it is his comfort, as it will be theirs, that they are not dependent on this volume for either their fame or their usefulness.
The editor has endeavored to secure a correct text of the poems given, but could not always assure himself of perfect accuracy. In some instances a Babel of different readings has thrown him back upon his discretion. The poems are nearly all given entire, although his plan allowed in this
respect a little latitude. A very few extracts indicate them-
The editor submits his work cheerfully, though not with
The “vision and the faculty divine” are God's rich gift to