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A NEW LIBRARY OF POETRY AND
STANDING by general consent in the front rank of its class, since its first issue in 1870, Bryant's “Library of Poetry and Song" is one of the perennial standards.
The name “Library," which was given it, indicates the principle upon which the book has been made, namely: that it might serve as a book of reference; as a comprehensive exhibit of the history, growth, and condition of poetical literature; and, more especially, as a companion, at the will of its possessor, for the varying moods of the mind.
Mr. Bryant's broad sympathies and pure taste secured in the original edition a selection at once full and choice. Yet, in the desire to better it and keep it fresh, almost the latest literary labor of his life was a thorough revision and enlargement of this “Family Library,” as he was wont to call it; and since that time it has been again revised, and made more useful by the addition of certain valuable features and representative poems from authors of more recent fame. In all this labor, the chief aim of the collection—to present an array of good poetry so widely representative and so varied in its tone as to offer an answering chord to every mood and phase of human feeling-has been carefully kept in view, both in the selection and the arrangement of its contents. So that, in all senses, the realization of its significant title has been an objective point.
In pursuance of this plan, the highest standard of literary criticism has not been made the only test of worth for selection, since many poems have been included which, though less perfect than others in form, have, by some power of touching the heart, gained and maintained a sure place in the popular esteem.
In its present form, this "Library” is believed to be the most complete of all the anthologies.
Perhaps the most notable of the new features, aside from the new poems, is the addition to each of the Departments (as “Childhood and Youth,” “Love,” “Nature," etc.) of a number of briefer poetical quotations under the general head of "Fragments." These, in their careful classification, include, together with the complete poems in the work, nearly every wellknown passage and phrase in the poetical literature of the language, being the result of much original reading, as well as consultation of Addington, Mrs. Hale, Watson, Allibone, Bartlett, and other collections of such passages, Bartlett being easily the chief. To make them readily accessible, – either in finding a specific "fragment” or in searching for quotations on particular subjects,—there is also an analytical index, or Dictionary of Poetical Quotations, giving some fifteen thousand references under alphabetically-arranged key-words.
The Publishers desire to return their cordial thanks for the courtesy freely extended to them, by which many copyrighted American poems have been allowed to appear in this collection. In regard to a large number of them, permission has been accorded by the authors themselves; other poems, having been gathered as waifs and strays, have been necessarily used without a special authority; and, where due credit is not given, or where the authorship may have been erroneously ascribed, future editions will afford opportunity for correction, which will be gladly made. Particular acknowledgments are offered to Messrs. D. APPLETON & Co. for extracts from the works of Fitz-Greene Halleck and from the poems of William Cullen Bryant ; to Messrs. HARPER & BROS., for poems of Charles G. Halpine and Will Carleton; to Messrs. J. B. LIPPINCOTT & Co., for quotations from the writings of T. Buchanan Read; to Messrs. CHARLES SCRIBNER's Sons for extracts from Dr. J. G. Holland's poems; to Messrs. ROBERTS BROTHERS, for poems by John W. Chadwick, Louise Chandler Moulton, and Joaquin Miller, besides certain English poets for whom they are the authorized American publishers,-Sir Edwin Arnold, Jean Ingelow, William Morris, the Rossettis, and others; and more especially to the house of Messrs. HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & Co., for their courtesy in the liberal extracts granted from the writings of Aldrich, Emerson, Holmes, Longfellow, Lowell, Florence Percy, Saxe, Mrs. Stowe, Stedman, Bayard Taylor, Bret Harte, Trowbridge, Mrs. Thaxter, Whittier, and others of their unequalled list of poetical writers.
In the present edition, poems from a number of writers, whose chief fame has grown during recent years, or who were inadequately represented in the earlier editions, have been included. By way of giving a special attractiveness to them, these poems have been illustrated, either pictorially or by portraits of the writers. In this connection, thanks are rendered to the following houses for permission to use poems by the authors whose names are given: Messrs. HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & Co., -Helen Gray Cone, Margaret Deland, Edgar Fawcett, Louise Imogene Guiney, Emma Lazarus, Edna Dean Proctor, Sarah M. B. Piatt, James J. Roche, E. R. Sill, Edith M. Thomas, and George E. Woodberry; THE CENTURY COMPANY, -Charlotte Fiske Bates, Richard Watsor. Gilder, Robert U. Johnson, Irwin Russell; Messrs. ROBERTS BROTHERS,-Arlo Bates, Emily Dickinson; Messrs. CHARLES SCRIBNER'S Sons,-H. C. Bunner, Eugene Field, Sidney Lanier, Robert L. Stevenson; Messrs. STONE & KIMBALL, ---Bliss Carman, Richard Hovey, George Santayana; Messrs. G. P. PUTNAM'S Sons,-Elaine and Dora Goodale; Mr. David MackAY,—Walt Whitman, Charles H. Lüders; THE BOWEN-MERRILL COMPANY,-James Whitcomb Riley; THE FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY,-Dr. Samuel Minturn Peck and Clinton Scollard; Messrs. HARPER & BROTHERS,—Dr. John Allan Wyeth; Messrs. MACMILLAN & Co.,-William Watson; THE W. B. CONKEY COMPANY, Ella Wheeler Wilcox; while some of the selections representing the Dominion of Canada have been drawn from Mr. George B. Roberts's Canadian Appendix to “Younger American Poets,” edited by Mr. Douglas Sladen, and published by the CASSELL PUBLISHING COMPANY, New York.
Messrs. D. APPLETON & Co. and the author have granted permission to insert “The Coastwise Lights of England," by Rudyard Kipling, from his book of poems, “The Seven Seas.”
The DOUBLEDAY & MCCLURE Co. and the author allow the insertion of “The Man with the Hoe,” by Edwin Markham.
In addition to the above acknowledgments, readers will see in the “Index of Authors” references enabling them to find the publishers of the works of American writers to whom their attention has been called by any fragment or poem. This “Library” contains specimens of many styles, and it is believed that, so far from preventing the purchase of special authors, it serves to draw attention to their merits; and the courtesy of their publishers, in granting the use of some of their poems here, will find a practical recognition.
With these explanations and acknowledgments, BRYANT'S FAMILY LIBRARY OF POETRY AND Song is placed anew before the public. In this revised and enlarged form, it represents above seven hundred authors by their best productions.
NEW YORK, 1960.