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THE TREASURY

OF

AMERICAN SACRED SONG

OXFORD: HORACE HART

PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY

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London

HENRY FROWDE
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS WAREHOUSE

AMEN CORNER, E.C.
NEW YORK: 91 & 93 FIFTH AVENUE

1900

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In seeking for the beautiful, poets meet with more truths than the philosophers in their researches after the true.

JOUBERT.

PREFACE

THIS is an attempt to give a fuller presentation of

1 the Sacred Verse of America than has previously existed.

During the progress of my researches I have again and again been reminded of the words of Colonel Higginson -a physiological caution to his countrymen, not a bit of brag, as Matthew Arnold fancied-As I take it, Nature said some years since, “ Thus far the English is my best race; but we have had Englishmen enough; we need something with a little more buoyancy than the Englishman; let us lighten the structure, even at some peril in the process. Put in one drop more of nervous fluid, and make the American.”,

In much of the sacred verse I have examined I have found 'one drop more of the nervous fluid,' which sometimes, perhaps, has been so quick in its operation as not to produce a structure as perfect as could be desired. My aim has been to select verse with the fullest native force, and at the same time the most finished form.

Readers may perchance, here and there, light on poems which seem scarcely suited for a collection of sacred verse; but in such cases the sacred character, which may at a first glance appear lacking, will nevertheless be found in the thoughts they suggest.

I have not cared to present any of the earliest verse of America, considering that it possesses only an antiquarian interest. Nor have I gone beyond the limits

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