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The collection of this little volume was undertaken by the compiler, to occupy the leisure of a few weeks not otherwise appropriated. The design, though we believe entirely novel, needs but a word of explanation. It is a Bowdoin Bock:-the united offering of her poets at the shrine of ile Bowdoin MUSE ;--and presented to her Alumni
a memento of their cherished Alma Mater A thing of local interest, and principally intended to meet the partial eye of its friends, it was not fashioned exclusively in reference to the taste, or the criticism, of the literary Public. Yet in allowing it to pass beyond the circle for which it was especially intended, we must plead guilty to the charge of believing that its appearance abroad will be respectable ;-a vanity, pardonable perhaps, in one so little removed from college lise, as not to have entirely lost in the levelling of the great world, the student's peculiar regard for his own institution. We mean however, to claim for it no excellence su
perior to that which any similar book might possess, had one the idle curiosity to compile it. And indeed, from the circumstances in which this volume has been prepared, we cannot offer it as a perfect specimen of our own poetical literature.
The selection of the materials composing the volume, has been attended with many difficulties. Not the least of these, was that of deciding how far.a. rigid criticism should yield to a regard for othee interest, which a larger number of contributors would give the book, as intended for Bowdoin read
Again, the little time allowed us after the ject. was conceived, before it was necessary to blish the book-if published at all-obliged us
commence the printing before all the materials were communicated. For this reason, the arrangement of the poems will be found wholly miscellaneous—no regard having been paid to subject or style-or priority of age in the writers, farther than, where it was convenient, to mingle “the green leaves with the dry."-Owing to the late date of many of the communications, a very disproportionate selection has been made from the different contributors.-It will be noticed that we have drawn largely upon the published articles of some of our writers. If the peculiar excellence of any pieces, has made them familiar to the public eye, it is not
perhaps to our discredit, that we can claim them as our offspring
Should individuals look in vain for names they expected to find in the volume, we have only to assure them of our intention to do impartial justice. We have spared no pains to ascertain the address of all who are entitled to a representation upon its pages, but fear that some have been overlooked. From a large number also to whom our Circular was sent, no answer has been received ; leaving us to suppose that the communication, upon one side or the other, miscarried. Some articles furnished, have been necessarily excluded; and in others, their authors will notice a few slight alterations.
In the case of several individuals to whom the Circular was sent, the Editor regrets that their modesty has led them to decline occupying the pages offered them. We would with pleasure have added to our list of contributors, besides others, the names of Charles S. Daveis and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Esquires ;-the Hon. Messrs. Bellamy Storer, Robert P. Dunlap, George Evans and S. S. Prentiss ;-and the Rev. Messrs. Thomas T. Stone, Calvin E. Stowe, George B. Cheever and Horatio Southgate; all of whom are remembered by their college contemporaries as “Bowdoin Poets."
It will be perceived from the names starred in
the following pages, that five of the contributors have already passed to their immortality.
Quos dei amant, immature moriuntur.' They have erected their own monuments ; not all of them perhaps in the public avenue, where the unfeeling wonder and pass on ; but each in his own green retreat, trodden at eve-fall by the loved and the left, and hallowed by their tears.
We had intended to present a Proem, wherein the Spirits of Bowdoin,
“Black spirits and white, blue spirits and gray,”
assembled from all her borders
From old Bungo-nungo-nock,
Of the sea
should have whispered to her Poets as of old, and borne them tidings of their once familiar haunts,
Where the giant night-wind marches
Solemnlyand where in time past,
As beneath the stars they wended,
From on high.
But, reminded by our Publisher that we have already transgressed the stipulated limits, we are obliged to abandon the design ; leaving the hallowed memories of Bowdoin and Pegepscot to be suggested by the pages that follow.
From this little labor of alternate pleasure and perplexity, we turn to severer duties ; and have only to ask, in concluding these unnecessarily protracted remarks, that our brethren will accept at our hands this humble effort to afford them an hour's entertainment. Should they call for a periodical offering of like nature, may the labor of its preparation fall into abler hands.
E. P. W.
BRUNSWICK, AUGUST, 1840.