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Introduction reader who studies the arrangement thoughtfully will see that it passes from one subject to another by a gradation which is simple and natural: first, the poet's ideal of life; then some of the joys of living; then, the home and the fireside, with songs of children; then, good fellowship and merry company; then, the memories of Auld Lang Syne"; then, sadness and parting, toil, disappointment and sorrow; and last of all the comforting faith and the uplifting hope. Several of these last poems might, perhaps, have been classed with the hymns; but again I can only say that I have put them into this volume because they seemed to me more clearly lyrical, more emotional and simple; and because without some expression of just these human feelings the volume would be incomplete as an utterance of the inner life of man in song.

The Odes and Sonnets have been reserved for a separate volume, which must also be regarded as belonging to lyrical verse. But in the ode, the lyric is enlarged and expanded, and the progressive treatment of a single subject lends both variety to the emotions and a peculiar loftiness to the expression. In the sonnet, the strict limitations of the form almost always result in bringing in a larger element of thought and reflection, and there is usually a contrast, or at least a change, of feeling between the octave and the sestet.

Nowhere have I regretted more than in these two volumes, the restriction which precludes the use of the work of poets who are living. For there is no department of poetry in which better work is being done to-day than in the lyrical. And though the world knows it not, many of these modern lyrics will some day find a place among the little masterpieces.




SUMER is icumen in,

Lhude sing cuccu !
Groweth sed, and bloweth med,
And springth the wude nu--

Sing cuccu !

Awe bleteth after lomb,

Lhouth after calve cu;
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth,

Murie sing cuccu !

Cuccu, cuccu, well singes thu, cuccu :

Ne swike thu naver nu;
Sing cuccu, nu, sing cuccu,
Sing cuccu, sing cuccu, nu!



c. 1250.


HEY! now the day dawis;
The jolly cock crawis;
Now shroudis the shawis

Thro’ Nature anon.

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