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"Labour is Life! 'Tis the still water faileth;
Idleness ever despaireth, bewaileth:

Keep the watch wound, for the dark dust assaileth,
Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon."

OSGOOD.

LID

(World's

107

EDINBURGH :

WILLIAM P. NIM MO.

B

125

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PREFACE.

NE of the noblest functions of poetry is to

nerve the spirit for the realities of Life and Labour. As there is no evading of these realities, be they pleasant or painful, so there is none to whom the voice of Song may not come with its notes of encouragement and consolation. Energetic or indolent, prosperous or unsuccessful, hopeful or despondent-all need alike an indexfinger to the path of duty, if not to incite, at least to remind, and if not to congratulate, at least to soothe and determine. To this end the every-day teachings of prose were tame and ineffectual compared with the stirring strains of the poet; and under this belief we have in the present Selection enlisted their assistance.

In no lyrical theme does modern poetry more excel than in that of Life and Labour; and to b

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