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The Editor of this Collection has not much to say on the present occasion. Truth is seldom verbose: the truest things are most easily expressed in the shortest periods.
POETRY is an Art of which no liberal or cultivated mind can, or ought to be, wholly ignorant. The pleasure which it gives, and indeed the necessity of knowing enough of it to mix in modern conversation, will evince the utility of the following Compilation, which offers, in a small compass, the very flower of English Poetry, and in which care has been taken to select not only such pieces as Innocence may read without a blush, but such as will even tend to strengthen that Innocence.
VOLTAIRE, speaking of the English Poets, gives them the preference in moral pieces to those of any other nation; and, indeed, no Poets have better settled the bounds of Duty, or more precisely determined the rules for Conduct in Life than ours.'
In this little Collection the Reader, therefore, may find the most exquisite pleasure, while he is at the same time learning the duties of life; and while he courts only En. tertainment, be deceived into Wisdom.
In a word, it is the peculiar property of Poetry to do good by stealth; to hide the thorny path of Instruction by covering it with flowers; and the veriest Infidel in polite Learning must be something more than abandoned, if he will not visit the Temple of Instruction when Pleasure leads the way to it.
But lost, dissolv'd in thy superior rays,
EDWIN AND ANGELINA.
RY DR. GOLDSMITU.
" Turn, gentle Hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way
With hospitable ray.
" For here, forloru and lost, I tread,
With fainting steps and slow;
Seem lengthening as I go."
· Forbear, my son,” the Hermit cries,
“To tempt the dangerous gloom;
To lure thee to thy doom.
Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay, A refuge to the neighbouring poor,
And strangers led astray.
No stores beneath its humble thatch
Requir'd a master's care;
Receiv'd the harmless pair.
And now when busy crowds retire
To take their evening rest, The Hermit trimm'd his little fire,
And cheer'd his pensive guest;
And spread his vegetable store,
And gaily prest, and smil'd, And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The ling’ring hours beguild.
Around in sympathetic mirth
Its tricks the kitten tries; The cricket chirrups in the hearth,
The crackling faggot flies.
But nothing could a charm impart
To soothe the stranger's woe; For grief was heavy at his heart,
And tears began to flow.