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knot of youthful associates, which contains my earliest effusions. But my pursuits have been determined in other directions; and poetry has long ceased to be with me more than a record of feeling, and a source of quiet enjoyment.
66 The Star in the East” is, to the extent of about ninety lines, a republication of a poem, published in 1812, under the ill-chosen title, " Gloria in Excelsis Deo." The British Critic was, with one exception, the only journal which did me the honour of noticing it, and the unknown Reviewer shewed both his judgement and his kindness in selecting one of the few passages which I have felt anxious to rescue. The poem is but little known, the greater part of the impression having been given away; but I have thought it necessary to guard myself against the charge of plagiarism from any other writer than myself.
The Psalms in this volume are an attempt to give a metrical form to some of those sacred
compositions, with as little deviation as possible from the letter, but more especially from the spirit of the text, as given by the best translators. They are not all adapted to our singing metres, because my object has not been to furnish hymns for public worship, so much as to do what justice I could to the specific character of the particular psalm ; which, in the attempt to accommodate them indiscriminately to psalmody, has, I think, too generally been lost sight of. Some (as, for instance, the Second Psalm, and others of a prophetical nature) do not appear to me applicable, without violence, to such a purpose. The omission of Psalms xxxiv. and cxlv. in Mr. Montgomery's “ Songs of Zion,” first suggested the experiment. But our object has been so different, that I trust I shall not be thought to have ventured upon any unequal competition.
“ The Reverie" was given in the second edition of “ The Associate Minstrels;" but, as
that publication has been for some time out of print, and many imperfect copies of the poem have been circulated in manuscript, I hope I shall be excused for inserting it among the Sacred Poems in this volume.
I am bound to confess that some few of these productions (including one which was inserted in an early volume of the Edinburgh Annual Register, with the signature E.) are not my own. But it was made the condition of their appearing, that they should meet the public eye under the protection of that name, for which their author has been content to resign her own.