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SINGLE FAMOUS POEMS
Does he paint! he fain would write a poem ;
There are wide differences in the fame of the poems here
collected, as well as in their merits. Some are familiar to everybody who reads poetry at all ; others find reputation and perpetuity only with particular classes. A few, like those of Bishop Berkeley and Michael Barry, have been saved from oblivion by a single happy line or quatrain; while the richness and perfection of many leave us in wonder
that their authors produced no more.
If critical judgment
in such matters is worth anything when opposed to a popular
verdict, some of these authors have written better poems for
no reward at all, than those which have given them fame. However this may be, the present volume is intended to represent popular rather than critical taste, and to include all the poems in the language which fairly come under its title, -excepting only those numerous anonymous ballads belonging to the early centuries of our literature, which are
preserved in Percy's and other collections.
In cases of
doubt, I have generally decided in favor of; insertion. It is