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The object the Editor of this volume has in view in its compilation, is to bring into a focus, some of the bright“ Poetic GEMS” of our ancient and modern Poets, and to form them into a shrine of religious and moral POESIE.
In making the selection, he has therefore been guided by a desire to select only such pieces as would elevate the mind, purify the affections, and inspire the reader with religious emotions, a devotion to Nature-to Home-to Country, and embue him with the spirit of universality and charity, and a pure and holy love for every living thing.
It has also been the Editor's object to avoid as much as possible, the insertion of those hackneyed pieces, which are to be found in almost every selection of POETRY, and to introduce those which are recommended by their rarity as well as their beauty; and it gives him great pleasure to in. troduce many original Poems by an author of distinguished celebrity as a prose writer on education, and of books for the young.
The Poems alluded to are from the pen of Mr. William Martin; and they are introduced into this selection, not merely on the Editor's own responsibility, but in agreement with opinions expressed by some of the first Poetical Authorities of the day, namely, Campbell, Montgomery, and the Rev. Thomas Dale. In their opinions the Editor fully coincides, and therefore subjoins them in justification of his own judgment.
OPINION OF THE LATE THOMAS CAMPBELL “The Poems abound in passages of high poetical excellence, by no means common to Poetry of a religious character, and possess an elegance of diction and refined simplicity, worthy of the sacred subjects they are intended to illustrate."
OPINION OF JAMES MONTGOMERY. "I am glad that I can bear testimony to the talent which has produced these Poems, and the success with which it has been exercised. Many of the descriptions are minutely beautiful, and the imagery brilliant, graceful, elegant, and carefully elaborated."
OPINION OF THE REV. THOMAS DALE. “I have no hesitation in expressing my opinion, that these Poems are very far above the average standard of sacred Poetry, being generally chaste in expression, musical in rhyme, and pure in sentiment. It is no mean praise to say that at times they remind the reader of George Herbert."
In conclusion, the Editor has only to add that he trusts his little volume will prove an acceptable offering to the “Lovers of Poetry," and be found especially serviceable in the moral and religious education of young persons.