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FOR SCHOOL AND HOME,
FROM THE BEST AUTHORS.
SECRETARY OF THE WORKING MEN'S COLLEGE.
POETRY for School and Home-such poetry as children may delight to read, need neither be frivolous nor insipid ; there is no reason why their judgment and taste should not be early educated by a familiarity with some of the best pieces of our best poets. The poetry which we read in youth cannot fail to make a deep impression on the mind, and should, therefore, be of a kind which may be recalled with pleasure and profit in afterlife. This, at least, is the view which has chiefly governed my selection of the pieces in the present volume. While they are all, I trust, level to the capacity of an average schoolboy, it is hoped that many may prove not uninteresting to his seniors.
Should some of the humorous poems inserted be deemed disproportionately long, I can only plead that they are established favourites, or that they only require to be known in order to become so, and that they are sure to win the suffrages of my friends of the school-room and the play-ground,
for whom they are principally intended. May they derive from the volume at least some of the pleasure which I have experienced in compiling it. For the vanity which has prompted the introduction of a few short pieces of my own, I have no defence: that they are retained at the instance of my Publisher, is, I am aware, no valid apology, but I have no better to offer.
To the Authors and Publishers who have kindly permitted me the insertion of their copyright poems, I beg to express my warmest obligations ; and, in particular, to Mary HOWITT, ELIZA COOK, ALFRED TENNYSON, ROBERT BROWNING, the Rev. CHARLES KINGSLEY, the Rev. THOMAS T. LYNCH, CHARLES SWAIN, JOHN HUGHES, W. C. BENNETT, Thomas MILLER, the executors of the late LORD MACAULAY, Messrs. MoxoN AND Co., DARTON AND Co., KENT AND Co., and COCKS AND Co.
SCHOOL AND HOME.
1. INTRODUCTION TO “SONGS OF INNOCENCE.”
PIPING down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
And he, laughing, said to me,
“Pipe a song about a lamb,”
So I piped with merry cheer; “Piper, pipe that song again,"
So I piped; he wept to hear.
“Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe,
Sing thy songs of happy cheer,”
While he wept with joy to hear.
“Piper, sit thee down and write,
In a book, that all may read.”—
And I pluck'd a hollow reed.