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HIS is a volume of inspirational poems. Its pur
pose is to bring men courage and resolution, to cheer them, to fire them with new confidence when they grow dispirited, to strengthen their faith that THINGŠ ČAN BE DONE. It is better for this purpose than the entire works of any one poet, for it takes the cream of many and has greater diversity than any one writer can show.
It is made up chiefly of very recent poems—not such as were written for anthologies of poetical "gems," but such as speak directly to the heart, always in very simple language, often in the phrases of shop or office or street. Included, however, with the poems of the day are a few of the fine old pieces that have been of comfort to men through the ages.
Besides the poems themselves, the volume contains helps to their understanding and enjoyment. The pieces are introduced by short comments; these serve the same purpose as the strain played by the pianist before the singer begins to sing; they create a mood, give a point of view, throw light on the meaning of what follows. Also the lives of the authors are briefly summarized; this is in answer to our natural interest in the writer of a poem we like, and in the case of living poets it brings together facts hardly to be found anywhere else.
Finally, the book is not one to be read and then cast aside. It is to be kept as a constant companion and an unfailing recourse in weariness or gloom. Human companions are not always in the mood to cheer us, and may talk upon themes we dislike. But this book will converse or be silent, it is never out of sorts or discouraged, and so far from being wed to some single topic, it will speak to us at any time on any subject we desire.
To many authors and publishers acknowledgment is due for generous permission to use copyright material.