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My soul is full of other times: the joy of my youth returns.
M.D., D.C.L., LL.D., F. A.S.,
ETC. ETC. ETC.,
IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED
It cannot be pleaded, in extenuation of the faults that criticism may discover in the following poems, that they were written in the days of my youth, while yet reflection had curbed not the intemperance of passion; for not one of them was constructed before I had entered on my fortieth year. And as it seldom happens that a man begins to exercise the faculty of imagination at that period of his life, the reader may be curious to know why the usual course of things has been reversed in me. The story is simple, and may be soon told. Until then excessive irritability, combined with constitutional powers of endurance that few enjoy, prompted me daily to physical pursuits very far exceeding the demands of a laborious profession. A seeming superfluity of nervous impulse was my inheritance; and preferring the pure atmosphere of the fields to that artificial mode of existence which