respect a little latitude. A very few extracts indicate them-
selves; two pieces are starred to mark the lacunæ; and in two
or three the omissions are not indicated. Quarles' fine poem
on delight in "God," drops off two or three closing stanzas,
and a few charming stanzas are taken from Owen Meredith's
"Love-letter," which seemed too long for entire insertion.
As to the character of the pieces, while the editor could not
of course be responsible for every sentiment admitted, he has
felt bound to exclude alike what was vitally erroneous in
teaching, or irreverent in spirit. Some otherwise admirable
pieces have yielded to the application of this same principle.
The purpose of the book has not seemed to require, or even
admit, any very rigid classification of its contents. Harmony
of general tone has been studiously consulted, and in some
instances the grouping of pieces by similarity of subject has
been carried further than was originally contemplated.
The editor submits his work cheerfully, though not with
unqualified pleasure, to the poetry-loving public. Aware
that he has failed to realize his ideal, he yet knows that most
of the contents of this volume have ministered, and will yet
minister, to the delight of thousands. Poetry is a powerful
The "vision and the faculty divine" are God's rich gift to
the few for the culture and enjoyment of the many. Pity
that he possessors of this enviable gift are so rarely sensible
of its high responsibility! But none can contemplate the
rich mantle of material beauty with which God has invested
the universe, or that still deeper fountain of beauty that wells
up in the human soul, and unites in the sacred trio of "the
True, the Good, and the Beautiful," and then disparage
either the inspirations of song, or even the humble function
of him who judiciously aids in their wider diffusion.