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any very rigid classification of its contents A little freedom in this respect has been deemed desirable, while yet, in the grouping of the pieces, harmony of general tone has been studiously consulted. In this second edition especially, the Editor has sought to remedy some defects in the arrangement of the first, as well as by some carefully-chosen additions, to bring the book somewhat nearer to the desired perfection. He has to add his acknowledgments for the generous liberality of many of the American authors here represented, and especially for the kindness of Messrs. Osgood & Co., the enterprising publishers of Boston, in allowing a free selection from the wide range of works of which they hold the copyrights.
The Editor, finally, submits his work with cheerful confidence to the poetry-loving public. Aware that he has not fully realized his ideal, he yet knows that most of the contents of this volume have ministered, and will yet minister, to the instruction and delight of thousands. Poetry is a powerful educator. The "vision and the faculty divine” are God's rich gift to the few for the culture and enjoyment of the many. Pity that the 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 clothed the universe, or the still richer fountain of beauty that wells up in the human soul, and unites in the sacred triad 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.