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PREFACE.

The appreciation of the varied beauties of the Poets springs froin a taste as widely diffused as the love of flowers, or the intelligent admiration of nature, in all her varied phases of grandeur and loveliness. To provide, therefore, a pleasing selection from the voluminous stores of song and poesie, with which the literature of the English language abounds, is at once a most agreeable and popular task, and one to which some of the most gifted writers of the age have lent their genius and refined taste.

The present volume comprises, in its poetical selections, the beauty, the pathos, the keen satiric wit, and the humourous pleasantry of England's best Poets, with sketches and pencilings of their character and lives, while the whole is linked together, as by the endearing bonds of social union, preserving a picture of home, and fireside scenes, so sweetly depicted by our native songstress:

The merry homes of England!

Around their hearths by night,
What gladsome looks of honsehold love

Meet in the rnddy light!
There woman's voice flows forth in song,

Or childhood's tale is told,
Or lips more tunefully alor:g

Some glorious page of old

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