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THE following Collection of Poems chiefly consists of the minor and “fugitive” pieces of various authors, interspersed with a few original poems. The object in compiling them has been to select such only, as seem likely to fix the attention of young persons, and to develop a taste for works of fancy and imagination.
It is in youth that the memory, generally speaking, is strongest and most retentive. A few verses read or learned at that time, often leave a lasting impression ; and the pages of the “Speaker,” or even of a less aspiring collection, have, with many, become companions for life.
The only characteristic of this book, as distinguished from others of the same kind, is that the choice of poems has been confined to such as are complete in themselves; whether this rule is a recommendation or otherwise, may be a matter of doubt; but, in either case, the difficulties of what is expressively termed an “embarras de richesses ” have been thereby avoided.
In respect to the order in which the poems are printed, it is sufficient to state, that although no formal arrangement has been attempted, the most difficult have generally been placed last. Great pains have been taken to prevent those errors which, from want of care, have crept into some other collections ; with this view the poems are nearly all printed from the best original editions of their respective authors.
Faversham, 29th July, 1856.