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LONDON
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS

BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
NEW YORK: 9 LAFAYETTE PLACE

1883

250. j. 544

846.

ROUTLEDGE'S RED LINE POETS.

COWPER.
MILTON.
WORDSWORTH.
SOUTHEY.
GOLDSMITH,
BURNS.
MOORE.
BYRON.
POPE.
SCOTT.
HERBERT.
CAMPBELL.
SHAKSPERE.
CHAUCER.
WILLIS.
SACRED POEMS.
FAMILIAR QUOTATIONS.
MRS. HEMANS.
SHELLEY.
COLERIDGE.
HOOD.
COMIC POETRY.
THE BOOK OF BALLADS.
LORD LYTTON'S POEMS.
LORD LYTTON'S DRAMAS.

To my Readers.

Nay, blame me not; I might have spared

Your patience many a trivial verse, Yet these my earlier welcome shared,

So, let the better shield the worse. And some might say, “ Those ruder songs

Had freshness which the new have lost; To spring the opening leaf belongs,

The chestnut-burs await the frost." When those I wrote, my locks were brown,

When these I write-ah, well-a-day ! The autumn thistle's silvery down

Is not the purple bloom of May ! Go, little book, whose pages hold

Those garnered years in loving trust; How long before your blue and gold

Shall fade and whiten in the dust ? O sexton of the alcoved tomb,

Where souls in leathern cerements lie, Tell me each living poet's doom.!

How long before his book shall die? It matters little, soon or late,

A day, a month, a year, an age,
I read oblivion in its date,

And Finis on its title-page.
Before we sighed, our griefs were told ;

Before we smiled, our joys were sung ; And all our passions shaped of old

In accents lost to mortal tongue.
In vain a fresher mould we seek,

Can all the varied phrases tell
That Babel's wandering children speak

How thrushes sing or lilacs smell ?

Caged in the poet's lonely heart,

Love wastes unheard its tenderest tone ;
The soul that sings must dwell apart,

Its inward melodies unknown.
Deal gently with us, ye who read !

Our largest hope is unfulfilled,-
The promise still outruns the deed, -

The tower, but not the spire, we build.
Our whitest pearl we never find ;

Our ripest fruit we never reach ;
The flowering moments of the mind

Drop half their petals in our speech.
These are my blossoms ; if they wear

One streak of morn or evening's glow,
Accept them ; but to me more fair

The buds of song that never blow.

April 8, 1862.

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