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PREFACE.

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.

POETRY

FOR

SCHOOL AND HOME.

1. INTRODUCTION TO “ SONGS OF INNOCENCE.”

PIPING down the valleys wild,

Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud, I saw a child,

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,"
So I sung the same again,

While he wept with joy to hear.

Piper, sit thee down and write,

In a book, that all may read.”—
So he vanish'd from my sight,

And I pluck'd a hollow reed.

THE LAMB.

And I made a rural pen,

And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs,
Every child may joy to hear.

BLAKE.

2. THE LAMB.

LITTLE lamb, who made thee?

Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By the stream, and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice :

Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little lamb, I'll tell thee;

Little lamb, I'll tell thee.
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild,
He became a little child :
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.

Little lamb, God bless thee,
Little lamb, God bless thee.

BLAKE.

THE CHILDREN.

3. THE CHILDREN.

BEAUTIFUL the children's faces !

Spite of all that mars and sears :
To my inmost heart appealing;
Calling forth love's tenderest feeling;

Steeping all my soul with tears.

Eloquent the children's faces

Poverty's lean look, which saith, Save us ! save us! woe surrounds us ; Little knowledge sore confounds us ;

Life is but a lingering death !

Give us light amid our darkness;

Let us know the good from ill; Hate us not for all our blindness; Love us, lead us, show us kindness

You can make us what you will.

We are willing; we are ready;

We would learn, if you would teach ; We have hearts that yearn towards duty; We have minds alive to beauty;

Souls that any heights can reach !

Raise us by your Christian knowledge :

Consecrate to man our powers;
Let us take our proper station ;
We, the rising generation,
Let us stamp the age as ours !

THE CHILDREN.

We shall be what you will make us :

Make us wise, and make us good! Make us strong for time of trial; Teach us temperance, self-denial,

Patience, kindness, fortitude !

Look into our childish faces;

See you not our willing hearts ?
Only love us--only lead us;
Only let us know you need us,

And we all will do our parts.

We are thousands—many thousands!

Every day our ranks increase; Let us march beneath your banner, We, the legion of true honour,

Combating for love and peace ! Train us! try us! days slide onward,

They can ne'er be ours again : Save us, save! from our undoing ! Save from ignorance and ruin ;

Make us worthy to be MEN !

Send us to our weeping mothers,

Angel-stamped in heart and brow ! We may be our fathers' teachers : We may be the mightiest preachers,

In the day that dawneth now!
Such the children's mute appealing,

All my inmost soul was stirred ;
And my heart was bowed with sadness
When a cry, like summer's gladness,
Said, “ The children's prayer is heard !"

MARY HOWITT.

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