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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the years 1857 and 1867, by
TICKNOR AND FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by
FIELDS, OSGOOD, & Co., in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the years 1870 and 1872, by
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER,
UNIVERSITY Press : WELCH, BIGELOW, & Co.;
NOTE BY THE AUTHOR
TO THE EDITION OF 1857.
In these volumes, for the first time, a complete collection of my poetical writings has been made. While it is satisfactory to know that these scattered children of my brain have found a home, I cannot but regret that I have been unable, by reason of illness, to give that attention to their revision and arrangement which respect for the opinions of others and my own afterthought and experience demand.
That there are pieces in this collection which I would “willingly let die,” I am free to confess. But it is now too late to disown them, and I must submit to the inevitable penalty of poetical as well as other sins. There are others, intimately connected with the author's life and times, which owe their tenacity of vitality to the circumstances under which they were written, and the events by which they were suggested.
The long poem of Mogg Megone was, in a great measure, composed in early life ; and it is scarcely necessary to say that its subject is not such as the writer would have chosen at any subsequent period.
J. G. W. AMESBURY, 18th 3d mo., 1857.
LOVE the old melodious lays
Which softly melt the ages through,
Arcadian Sidney's silvery phrase,
Yet, vainly in my quiet hours
I feel them, as the leaves and flowers
In silence feel the dewy showers, And drink with glad still lips the blessing of the sky.
The rigor of a frozen clime, The harshness of an untaught ear,
The jarring words of one whose rhyme
Beat often Labor's hurried time, Or Duty's rugged march through storm and strife, are
Of mystic beauty, dreamy grace, No rounded art the lack supplies ;
Unskilled the subtle lines to trace,
Or softer shades of Nature's face,
Nor mine the seer-like power to show The secrets of the heart and mind;
To drop the plummet-line below
Our common world of joy and woe,
Yet here at least an earnest sense Of human right and weal is shown;
A hate of tyranny intense,
And hearty in its vehemence,
O Freedom ! if to me belong Nor mighty Milton's gift divine,
Nor Marvell's wit and graceful song,
Still with a love as deep and strong As theirs, I lay, like them, my best gifts on thy shrine !
AMESBURY, Iith mo., 1847.