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The dates in italic figures, at the left, give the date of writing; those in Roman, at the right, the date of publication. To make these dates as accurate as possible has involved, in most cases, not only a thorough study of the biographies of the poets, but also a great deal of research among the files of periodicals to which they may have contributed. In a few cases, where I have felt that a poem had perhaps been published in a periodical before the year of its appearance in a volume, but have not been able to trace it, I have indicated this by placing in parentheses the ate of first publication in book form.
In making the selections I have tried to follow not so much my individual taste as the consensus of opinion, now pretty well formed, as to which poems of our elder authors are the best and most representative. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the ready generosity with which so many critics and teachers have given me the help of their advice and have put their special knowledge at my service. I have to thank, in the first place, Professor Charles F. Richardson of Dartmouth, and Professors W. P. Trent and Brander Matthews of Columbia, — three of the chief historians of American literature; and next Professor George R. Carpenter of Columbia, who has written the best biographies we have of more than one of our chief poets. The present volume was first thought of as a companion to Professor Carpenter's American Prose; and while I have departed considerably from the plan and method of that book, I have had throughout Professor Carpenter's generous approval and coöperation. I am also under special obligation to Mr. W. R. Thayer, to whose sure taste and thorough knowledge of our poets I have often appealed; to Mr. Ferris Greenslet, who has helped me with the selections and the reference-list for Lowell; and to Mr. Laurens Maynard, who has put at my service his remarkable collection of Whitman books, and given freely of his time and knowledge in helping me to trace each poem of Whitman to its earliest publication, and to compare its text with that of the original edition.
I gladly take this opportunity to thank also Professor Charles W. Kent, of the University of Virginia, whose edition of Poe's poems in the Virginia Edition of the Complete Works is invaluable, and who has also generously given his personal help; Professor Edwin Mims, of Trinity College; Professors W. L. Phelps, F. C. Prescott, A. H. Quinn, Henry N. Snyder, Charles L. Young, W. C. Thayer, G. Herbert Clarke, Richard Jones, J. H. Chamberlin, William B. Cairns, A. B. Milford, Frank C. Lockwood, Arthur P. Hall, Enoch Perrine, Vernon P. Squires, and Benjamin Sledd; Mr. Clyde Furst, of Columbia; Miss Jeannette Marks, of Mount Holyoke; Miss Lucy Tappan, the author of an excellent manual, Topical Notes on American Authors; and others who have kindly made suggestions or gone over my lists of selections. I wish also to thank the authorities of the Columbia, Harvard, and Cornell libraries, especially Mr. T. J. Kiernan, who have shown me many courtesies; and others without whose help the volume could not have been begun or completed.
For the use of copyrighted material, I am under obligation to Dr. Edward W. Emerson; Messrs. D. Appleton & Co.; Messrs. Harper & Bros.; Mrs. Sidney Lanier, and Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons; Mr. Horace Traubel and Mr. Thomas B. Harned, the literary executors of Whitman, and Messrs. Small, Maynard & Co., his authorized publishers; and of course, most of all, to Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., without whose coöperation no book of selections from the chief American poets could be undertaken.
CURTIS HIDDEN PAGE. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, NEW YORK City.
October 1, 1905.
-(*I HEED NOT THAT MY EARTHLY THE SPHINX
1 The pooms of each author are arranged in chronological order. Exact dates will be found at the en
MASSACHUSETTS TO VIRGINIA
The Lost OCCASION
Songs OP LABOR, DEDICATION
To E. C. S.
THE LAST EVE OF SUMMER .
THE HEIGHT OF THE RIDICULOUS
THE LAST LEAF
ON LENDING A PUNCH-Bowl
TO AN ENGLISH FRIEND.
FOR THE MEETING OF THE BURNS CLUB
THE DEAD SHIP OF HARPSWELL
FOR THE BURNS CENTENNIAL CELEBRA-
IN MEMORY OF John GREENLEAF WHIT-
AN INDIAN-SUMMER REVERIE .