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“Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose.”
280. s. 101.
There are certainly many “ Books of Poetry” already before the world ; but the taste of the public is fastidious or capricious : no one volume has ever won universal suffrage, and there still exists a " longing after something unpossessed.” It is this unsatisfied craving which encourages me to cast another little book on the waters.
Fifty years ago, “ Aikin's Poetry” stood unrivalled as a simple, pure, and elegant selection of pieces adapted for youthful minds. But the rapid progress of education in the last half-century has rendered a higher standard of poetry requisite even in the schoolroom ; and the schoolboy, whose father wept over “ The Beggar Man," and enjoyed the mingled humour and pathos of the “ Mouse's Petition,” repeats with delight the bold lyrics of Campbell, or aspires to emulate the glorious lays of Macaulay. The 19th century has been rich in poetic genius; the discoveries of science, the wide diffusion of useful knowledge, have failed to quench the pure and ennobling flame of poetry. A long catalogue of immortal names-Byron,