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PETERBOROUGH : J. S. CLARKE, MARKET PLACE,
TO THE LITTLE BOYS,
(MY OWN PUPILS,)
TUIS VOLUME, CONTAINING MANY OF THEIR FAVOURITE PIECES,
IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED
FRIEND AND TEACHER,
The following selection of Poetry has been arranged and published in a cheap form for the use of schools. The book is divided into two parts and the pieces are classified according to the ages and capacities of the Pupils. Many of them are selected from our best poets, both ancient and modern, and even the simpler rhymes have been chosen with some regard to taste, and with a view to create and foster in the youngest child a love for true poetry.
How early the mind may be influenced through such agencies we all know, and these reminiscences of our childish and youthful days, associated as they are with our best and holiest feelings, recur to us in after life with exquisite freshness and beauty.
Like the memories of dear departed friends, they steal over our spirits, soothing us in the hour of sorrow, strengthening us in the time of temptation, and whispering to us in angel strains of something more bright and enduring than the dark and evervarying scenes through which we are called to pass.
Let none fear any ill result from the inculcation
of the true spirit of poetry. An inordinate love of it indeed may be deemed a failing, and a highly poetic temperament, unless accompanied with a well-balanced and wisely regulated mind, may be a dangerous, though splendid gift. Still it must be acknowledged that true poetry and true religion are closely allied ; and surely there is enough in this “work-a-day-world” of ours, with its sober realities and sorrowful conflicts, to wean us from an overstrained sentimentality, and to deaden the perception of the beautiful and the ideal within us.
Happy they who, in the Autumn of life, retain a heart fresh with “ the dew of their youth ;" whose natures, softened and purified in the crucible of sorrow, conceal in their hidden depths, some chord that attunes itself to the melody of “the dear familiar strains” that were learned in happy school-days, or amid the sacred charms of home and the domestic hearth. To such, especially amongst the the teachers of the young, we offer our little volume, assured that with them it will meet with a due appreciation and just criticism.
Huddersfield, Dec. 3rd., 1854.