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to the student, are absolutely debarred on account of their length, yet a little judicious pruning would render them available. The copying of such selections means more work for the teacher, yet it is necessary, unless she prefer the bringing to school of her own books, to be handled and possibly mutilated by the children.
So many teachers find it "a perfect nuisance," and so many requests were made to me by friends and acquaintances in the profession, whose interests lie in the direction of Mathematics, Music, or Drawing, rather than Literature, to furnish them with pieces (“My class has to recite in a few days and I don't know a thing to give"), and I, personally, have found it so irritating, the forgetting to look up until the last moment, the hasty selection, and then the listening to some pointless, inappropriate, or inferior poem, with the mortified consciousness of being responsible for it, -- that the idea suggested itself, what an immense convenience a book of selections suitable for assembly recitations would be to teachers, as well as to students old enough to choose for themselves.
The instinct for poetry, though often dormant, is entirely lacking in but few, and a particularly happy selection will sometimes kindle in more than one listener a desire for further reading of the author and lead ultimately to genuine love for Literature where none has been felt before.
The endeavor has been to include in this compilation only selections of high literary value, to have them of suitable length, complete if possible, but always containing a complete thought, and always general in application and independent of the context. It has been the endeavor, too, to have them sufficiently numerous to make unnecessary the repetition to the point of weariness, and to have them suitable for both boys and girls in any grade of the Elementary and Secondary Schools. The teacher may, I think, feel free to make a selection almost at random and feel safe in so doing.
Many reference books in themselves require so much research in the gleaning of what oftentimes is of real aid to them in their
work, that teachers have come to view them askance. I have tried to make this a "Convenience Book;” it is my sincere hope that teachers
find it one. The selections from H. W. Longfellow, T. B. Aldrich, John Burroughs, Alice Cary, Phoebe Cary, R. W. Emerson, O. W. Holmes, J. R. Lowell, Lucy Larcom, E. R. Sill, E. C. Stedman, Bayard Taylor, Celia Thaxter, J. G. Whittier, and F. D. Sherman are used by permission of, and by special arrangement with, Houghton Mifflin Company, the authorized publishers.
Thanks are due to Edwin Markham, Rudyard Kipling, and William Dean Howells for kind permission to use selections from their works; to Small, Maynard & Co. for selections from Bliss Carman; Charles Scribner's Sons for selections from Eugene Field, Sidney Lanier, Henry van Dyke, R. H. Stoddard, and H. Bunner; Whitaker & Ray Co. for selection from Joaquin Miller; Longmans, Green & Co. for selection from Andrew Lang; Little, Brown & Co. for poem by Helen Hunt Jackson; Edgar S. Werner & Co. for poems by Nixon Waterman and J. A. Wclcott; th Century Company for selection from John Kendrick Bangs; John Lane Co. for poem by Gabriel Setoun; and David McKay for “The Riddler," by Charles Godfrey Leland, from "Hans Breitmann's Ballads."
Scythe Song Andrew Lang
A Prayer – Edwin Markham
At Little Virgil's Window – Edwin Markham