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PREFACE.

So many collections of favourite poetical pieces have appeared of late years, appealing to nearly every variety of taste, that some apology may seem due to the public for adding another volume to the number already in existence.

But although there have been sentimental, humorous, lyrical, descriptive, and devotional collections, there is another kind of poetry which was more in vogue in the reign of Queen Anne, and indeed in Ante-Reform-Bill times, than it is at the present day; a species of poetry which, in its more restricted form, bears somewhat the same relation to the poetry of lofty imagination and deep feeling, that the Dresden China Shepherds and Shepherdesses of the last century do to the sculpture of Donatello and Michael Angelo; namely, smoothly written vers de société, where a boudoir decorum is, or ought always to be, preserved ; where sentiment never surges into passion, and where humour never overflows into boisterous merriment. The Editor is not aware that a collection of this peculiar species of exquisitely rounded and

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LYRA ELEGANTIARUM.

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