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TO THE PARENTS OF MY PUPILS.
THIS little book is an humble attempt to supply, in some degree, the want which is felt by the com piler, of some collection of poetry appropriate for the use of girls in school.
When the rhythmical flow of Mother Goose and other nursery verse, and the wondrous disclosures of Fairy Tales, have ceased to delight the ear by their harmony, or excite the imagination by their enchantments, then the young awakening mind waits to receive those images of beauty, which shall become to it a life-treasure, garnered among the stores of the yet unburdened memory. The multiform magnificence and loveliness of outward nature speak to the heart, while the expression of pure feeling and simple sentiments meets there a ready response.
To assist the imagination at such period is the design of this work, and the selections from vari ous poets have been made to that end. While avoiding, in general, the expressions of such states of thought and feeling as do not come within the hori zon of girlhood, it has not been intended to offer merely such as could be fully understood; for "it is on the unascended that we learn to climb"; and the young apprehension may seize, delighted, some
idea too vast for its dormant capacities yet to comprehend. The false glitter and distortion of sentiment, not its loftiness, are repulsive to the child; and the innocence of the young heart often detects this, where more learned heads pass it unnoticed. Then, in the Eden of childhood, God's voice is heard among the trees, He walks in the garden, and the consciousness of His intimate presence springs from the depths of the soul by means of creation's beauty. For, as has been so eloquently said, "Every where in nature we are carried straightway back to Him. The fern, green and growing amid the each little grass and lichen is a silent memen
The first bird of spring, and the last rose of summer; the grandeur and the dulness of evening and morning; the rain, the dew, the sunshine; the stars that come out to watch over the farmer's ri
sing corn; the birds that nestle contentedly,- all these have a religious significance to a thinking soul. Each violet blooms of God; each lily is fragrant with the presence of the Deity." The mind of the young is apt to entertain this truth, and then an unbounded field is opened for the purest exercise of the imaginative faculty. To find our Father's step in every green field, His voice in every utterance of our conscience, His hand in every event of daily life, then little space is left for the eating cares and trifling follies, which, alas, so often occupy the chief part of woman's existence !
Whenever, in any piece not strictly an Extract, one or more stanzas have been omitted, an asterisk is affixed to its title. In the extract from Cowper, entitled 'The Happiness of Animals,' four diffuse lines are condensed into one, the closing one; and, in 'The Mariner's Dream,' the words, flashing far o'er the sky," are substituted for an expression rather shocking than sublime to a child.