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DURING more than twenty years' experience as a schoolmaster, I have proved the superiority of Lyrical Poetry over any other form of verse for those exercises in learning by heart which form so important a part in the mental and moral training of youth.
For boys, especially, the Lyric-telling its single, and often stirring tale of Truth and Faith, of Danger and of Duty, in musical and measured rhythm-has a peculiar charm, but I know of no selection of Poetry for boys composed solely of Lyrics of this class.
I have spared no pains in collating each poem in the present volume with editions having the most authority, and I venture to hope that, in this respect, it may bear favourable comparison with most existing selections, many of which are marked by great inaccuracy, and a too great readiness to accept readings which are themselves perpetuations of previous errors.
The poetry of Sentiment has, as will be seen, been made subordinate to the poetry of Action, and the value of almost every piece, as a fit subject for repetition, has been tested by experience.
I desire to tender my grateful acknowledgments to Mrs. Craik, Mr. Browning, Messrs. Longmans, Mamillan, and others, for their kind permission to insert copyright poems which have greatly added to the value of the selection.
BALLAD OF ROSABELLE
THE LADDER OF ST. AUGUSTINE
THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN
THE BALLAD OF CHEVY CHASE
POETRY FOR BOYS.
I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER.
I REMEMBER, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
He never came a wink too soon,
I remember, I remember,
I remember, I remember
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!