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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by
WHILE school education especially aims to develop the understanding and form good mental habits, it must not neglect to interest the imagination and refine the taste. There is a delicacy of taste and of sentiment, and an intellectual richness, which can be perfected only by an intimate acquaintance with nature and art, and the human soul; and the foundation of these may be most successfully laid in childhood by the study of poetry, -of the finest thoughts clothed in the most attractive garb.
It is with this design of presenting beauty, both moral and natural, in its manifold shapes, as it is shown to us in the universe, that the present collection has been made. The pieces chosen are, with very few exceptions, entire, because passages are always injured by being taken from their connection, and because young persons like to know the whole of a thing. They are short, and selected from the whole range of English and American standard authors; it being thought better to offer sentiments as they arise in a great variety of minds, and “mould themselves into gentle verse.” They are not exclusively of one school or time, –for beauty is not to be prisoned. The artist finds it not complete in one model, but studies it in all its appearances, and then, though he paint but one face or one landscape, he gives us the wealth of a world.
iv NOTE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
In matters of taste and genius we should not limit our children; we should rather rejoice that their larger souls perceive a beauty where ours find none. We must not say, “The trees of the forest may be beautiful, but I first learned beauty from my stately poplars, and they must satisfy my children.” Nor should we reject the flora of a new world, because rumor says that Eden also has its weeds.
It is not necessary to make known to teachers the want of a collection like the one now offered. The best book of the sort has been for some time out of print, and was intended exclusively for older pupils. While this collection has many pieces which must delight persons of any age, it has some for the youngest readers, and is as well adapted to the family circle as to the school. It gives to children all they could cull from many volumes, and, if inwoven with their earliest recollections, will be remembered with delight in future years.
NOTE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
A new edition of the Poetry for Home and School being called for, it was desirable to reduce its contents sufficiently to form with the Second Part a volume of convenient size. For this reason, the Robin Hood Ballads, and some other pieces of limited interest, have been omitted.
The Second Part, being designed for pupils and readers of more mature minds, contains poems of a more imaginative cast than those in the former collection.
The Beggar Man, . . . . . . . . . . Miss Lamb. . . . . .
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