Page images
PDF
EPUB

poem is learned, and "in the air," so that it may be recited in concert, or different verses by individuals or classes, to afford variety. Everybody is awake with pleased interest, and surprised to find himself, it may be without having looked at a book, reciting from memory a choice thing which brief hour before was utterly unknown. Has the hour been well spent which brings gain of thought and enjoyment for a life-time ?

The white pebbles that the hero of the nursery tale shrewdly put into his pocket when he heard that he and his little brothers were to be taken off into the forest and lost, and which he dropped along the way from home to guide himself and them on their return, may stand for these key-words in orderly succession.

This exercise is a fine drill in attention, without which little can be done in school or out of it. What is imperfectly remembered must be repeated accurately, read again and again, until it is “ letter perfect" and one's own. An authority upon this subject says: If the first impression is not deep, and the record has become obliterated, the remedy is not to attempt by sheer force of will to revive it, but simply to repeat the impression until it becomes indelible.”. Clear, sharp, definite memory work is needed, The teacher who does it, choosing the best there is in the Bible and in general literature, grows and grows day by day; his pupils grow with him, and feel the old truth, “ It is good for us to be here!"

We have done this work for some years, and know how much gratification there is in it to all parties. Mnemonics is no doubt helpful to many people, but, having tried various systems, we have come to regard the matter of committing to memory as so much work to be done, in which advantage may be taken of any help to be had from the order of words, or phrases, or rhymes, or length of lines in the poem ; or strong words, striking thoughts, or number of lines in the paragraph; always trying to project the picture of the verse or paragraph, the poem or prose, so as to look at it, see its parts, and, as it were, read it from the air. The question of the great gain which results from this work—which should be done everywhere in the schools and out of them-cannot here be discussed. Something is said as to this in Good Memory Work (p. 540) and The Better Way (549) in the present volume.

The copyrighted poems of Longfellow, Lowell, Whittier, Holmes, Emerson, Bret Harte, Lucy Larcom, Mrs. Stowe, Mrs. Sangster, and others, found in this book, are used by permission of, and by special arrangement with, Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., publishers of the works of these authors. We are indebted also to Charles Scribner's Sons for poems of J. G. Holland and others; to the Macmillan Company for “After All," fromWanderers,” by William Winter ; to Parke Godwin, for “ The Flood of Years,” by Bryant; to the Century Company for “Dear Country Mine ; ;' to thé Lippincott Company for “ The Brave at Home;' to Scott, Foresman & Company, for poems of B. F. Taylor; and to Prof.W. H. Venable and others, both authors and publishers,-to all of whom we are grateful for courtesies extended.

[ocr errors]

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Hugh Miller. 474

Francis Mahony. 539

W.R. Spencer. 302

Alexander Smart. 449

7. P. McCaskey. 549

Francis Wayland. 536

Caroline E. Norton. 105

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Anonymous. 284

Mary Howitt. 282

Theodore O'Hara. 270

John Fawcett. 314
Wm. Wordsworth. 338

F. M. Finch. 562
Ellen H. Flagg. 369
Emily H. Miller. 280

Wm. Cowper. 423
Robert Burns. 356

Robert Southey. 216

Walter Scott. 371

N. P. Willis. 194

O. W. Holmes. 235

T. B. Read. 272

Alfred T’ennyson. 411

H. W. Longfellow. 62

Reginald Heber. 417

Anonymous. 569

Bernard Barton. 384

Anonymous. 281

Wm. Shakspeare. 147

Alfred Tennyson. 411

Č. F. Alexander. 422

Charles Wolfe. 271

William Wirt. 327
Reginald Heber. 313

E. R. Sears. 415

Joseph Addison. 55

B. F. Taylor, 269

0. W. h'olmes. 496

Wm. Robertson. 525

Alfred Tennyson. 268

Anonymous. 404

H. B. Stowe. 223

Charles Kingsley. 407

W.B. Bradbury. 359

Anonymous. 396

Mrs. E. R. Charles. 567

George Eliot. 500

7. G. Holland. 416

Anonymous. 54

P. B. Shelley. 196
Geo. D. Prentice. 479
David 7'. Shaw. 91

Isaac Watts. 319
Philip Sidney. 172
Thomas Moore. 317
Edward Brooks. 405

Jane Taylor. 359
7. G. Percival. 28

Walter Scott. 175
E. B. Browning. 264

.

7. R. Lowell. 160
Fean Ingelow. 521
Reginald Heber. 311

M. S. Pike. 353
Anonymous. 358

7. H. Payne. 350
T. B. Macaulay. 266

Wm. Shakspeare. 69

Felicia Hemans. 461

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »