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PREFACE.

TAE want of a selection of Modern Poetry for the use of young persons must be felt by all who are engaged in the work of education ; and it is with the view of supplying this deficiency that the present volume has been compiled. The greatest care has been bestowed on the selection; and, bearing in mind the lasting impression that may be made by pieces thus committed to memory, the compiler has rigorously excluded all passages, however beautiful, which contain anything objectionable in either word or sentiment. As regards the religious portion of the work, the most jealous scrutiny has been exercised in rejecting much which, though passing current as “sacred” poetry, has been found to contain doctrine at variance with Scriptural truth. Should anything in the following pages appear contradictory to this statement, a ready solution will be found in the circumstances of the supposed speaker. A Hebrew, for instance, under the Mosaic dispensation, may be permitted to speak with doubt on matters now clearly revealed; an untaught savage may use the language of pride and revenge; but nothing, it is hoped, will be found set forward as Christian sentiment which will not bear the test of the Word of God. Of the remaining and larger number of pieces, there are many which, without being exclusively religious, tend to cultivate the social and domestic affections, or lead to a contemplation of the beauties and wonders of creation.

The compiler has to express her gratitude to the authors and proprietors through whose very great kindness and liberality she is enabled to offer so large a selection from copyright works. She has, in most instances, consulted the latest editions of the various authors, and, aiming at great correctness, has not willingly altered a single word without printing the substitute in italics. The omission of any lines in an extract is also marked by asterisks.

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