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Harvard College Library
Georgina Lowell Putna.
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,
1857, 1866, 1882.
THIS collection was first published in 1857, and has now for the second time been carefully revised and enlarged. Some two hundred poems, mostly modern, are now for the first time included in its pages; and, while a number that were included in the previous editions have been omitted, it is not believed that any one which can justly be described as of the very highest quality will be missed.
The public approbation of the work having been evinced, not only in the popular favor with which it has been received, but in the numerous other collections which have been more or less modelled upon it, the original purpose and arrangement have been carefully preserved in preparing it in the present more comprehensive form.
This purpose is, to comprise within the bounds of a single volume whatever is truly beautiful and admirable among the minor poems of the English language. In executing this design, it has been the constant endeavor of the editor to exercise a catholic as well as a severe taste, and to judge every piece upon its artistic merits solely, without regard to the name, nationality, or epoch of its author. An especial effort has also been made to give every poem entire and unmutilated, as well as in the most authentic version which could be procured; though the earliest edition of an author has sometimes been preferred to a later one, in which the alterations have not always seemed to be improvements.
The arrangement of the book may be thought somewhat peculiar, but it is hoped that it will be found convenient for the reader, and not altogether devoid