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ITALY is the land of poetry.
No other country has so touched men of genius to their best issues; and just as mankind has been introduced to English history mainly by the art of Shakspere and Scott, so Italy has come chiefly to be known and loved in the lines of Virgil, Dante, Shakspere, Byron, Shelley, the Brownings and their descendants. In every part of the peninsula the shades of poets dead and gone hover vaguely about the traveler, and at every turn of the road he is exasperated by some elusive, halfremembered line, until he comes to long for a pocket friend who shall do for his soul what the potent Baedeker does for body and mind.
In traveling last year the editor found this need so pressing that he determined to gather compactly together the most precious poems on Italy from the different nations and centuries, arranging them in the order of a natural tour from Verona and Milan across the lakes to the Riviera, down the western side through Florence, Rome and Naples to Reggio, the toe of the “boot,” and up the eastern side, thro Taranto, Ancona and Venice to Asolo.