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BENEDICTION.

“ Blessings be with them, and eternal praise,

Who gave us nobler loves, and nobler cares!
The Poets, who on earth have made us heirs
Of truth, and pure delight, by heavenly lays.
O might my name be numbered among theirs,
Then gladly would I end my mortal days !

William WORDS WORTH.

PREFACE.

:

Reaper:- I have brought you here, as one who loves you might bring you pansies and forget-me-nots, such flowers of lyric tenderness and beauty as have long been precious to my own heart, in the hope that their names and symbols may find a favored place in yours; and I have added, here and there, some pretty waif, newly found by the wayside.

To fit your nobler emotions, each with its appropriate inspiration or sympathy - courage for courage, brotherhood for brotherhood, resignation for resignation, love for love, whatever may make the fireside dearer for every dear association that dwells, in the form or the spirit, near it — has been my pleasant office; and I have culled the several flowers that stand for these with a true heart of kindliness.

Reverend Sirs,

For you there's rosemary and rue; these keep
Seeming and savor, all the Winter long.
Grace and remembrance be to you!”

“ Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram,

The marigold, that goes to bed with the sun,
And with him rises, weeping: these are flowers
Of middle Summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age.”

PREFACE.

Y And, my Fairest Friend, I think I have some flowers o' the Spring that may become your time of day:

“ Daffodils,
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty ; violets dim,
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes,
Or Cytherea's breath ; pale primroses,
That die unmarried, ere they can behold
Bright Phæbus in his strength — a malady
Most incident to maids ; bold oxlips, and
The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds,

The flower-de-luce being one”.
with snowdrops of young purity and sinless death.

Take these, all of you, and lay them in your bosoms. You that have lost friend or fortune, love or a darling life, shall find your proper consolation here ; and turn a kindly thought to him who, in gathering them, has hoped but to find his way to your hearts by favor of what you like the best, having never a care for the mere method of his gift – which must perforce win you, since it is alto gether of pure love.

And as for those who, with pen or pencil, have helped to make my gift more charming, no thanks of yours or mine can half so well reward them as the sense of having joined to produce a thing of beauty and a joy forever, such as a writer in Blackwood hoped for, when, in an article on “ Picture-books," he wrote as follows:

“ Whether it will ever be possible to make verses and pictures to match,' without sacrificing one of the united arts, is a question which we will not undertake to answer. It does not seem at all unreasonable, howerer, to suppose that we, who do a great deal for money, might now and then be capable of doing a little

our very best

for love ; nor that, for

PREFACE.

their own sakes, as well as for the sake of the non-producing world, literature and art might not sometimes make a volume — the chef-d'ouvre, in little, of everybody employed upon it - which should remain to our chil

dren after us, the true ideal of gift-books, and console the workers in it with the comfortable thought of one true and worthy present, worthily accompanied, to those unknown friends for whom we make all our books and paint all our pictures. However, no one has attempted the experiment; nobody has tried to get up the ideal gift-book — the love-token worthy of all the authors and all the givers, and of the very love itself of which it should be a sign.”

J. W. P.

New YORK, August 12, 1860.

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