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70T all the singers sit on library shelves, in dainty cos
tume of blue and gold, and sing to select audiences.
Some, who sing most sweetly, occupy the “Poet's Corner” of the newspaper, and find listeners in homes where stately singers seldom come. They have their mission. They sing of faith and hope and love, so simply, so tenderly, so sympathetically, that the heart of the people is touched. They strengthen the popular faith ; they give new hope to the desponding; they move us all to broader good-will and a nobler charity. Known or unknown, they make friends.
It is these whom I denominate Newspaper Poets.
When I began writing of them, I realized, so numerous is the class, that there must be certain limitations ; hence I determined to treat only of such as had produced one poem, at least, which had been extensively copied by the press. Then I decided to include none but living writers; and my next determination was to include no Waif whose author had gathered his or her poems in a volume. l'hese limitations appeared desiralle, even necessary, I have held rigidly by them. “Kate Cameron" has passed away, since I first wrote of her ; and Benj. F. Taylor has lately put forth a collection of “Old-Time Pictures," in his inimitable verse, to the great delight of thousands; but both came within the bounds I had set, when treated of, and I have not chosen t, exclude either now.
The chapters which follow were originally contributed to The American Rural Home. Each has been carefully revised ; two or three have been almost entirely re- - written ; and much interesting matter, biographical and poetical, has been added to them all. I have not aimed in any case to be critical, nor have I sought to analyze the various authors treated of. My one purpose has been, in every instance, to tell a Waif's story-when it had any to tell ; to make its authorship definitely known, to narrate what might be of general interest touching its author; and to show, by other selections from his or her pen, what are that author's tendencies of thought and peculiarities of style.
The book has cost me not a little of painstaking. I was led to attempt it because I happened to know the authorship of a few Waifs whose authorship was generally unknown; becarise I happened also to know the authors, and could speak of them intelli gently; and because I thought many people would be glad to read somewhat concerning them. To trace out the parentage of other waifs, in regard to which I had no information whatever, was not easy; and having succeeded in doing this, I have found it very difficult to obtain such other facts as I desired. A few of these chapters may testify of my patience
I should have taken pleasure in making this volume far more elaborate in print and dress, and would gladly have added a portrait of each author; but the poems it presents are for the popular
heart, they deserve popular perusal, they will uplift and make glad wherever they go, and they shall not be debarred from going into any home, in their present form, because of high price.
Of course the Waifs are not all here. If this volume shall find sufficient encouragement, another and similar one may be forthcoming in due time.
A. A. H. The Rural Home SANCTUM,
Rochester, July 13 1875.
HERE are sweet-singing birds of song
That sing in easy range of all,
And thro' the tumult of the throng, Their tender grace of tone let fall
Their notes are set in finest tune
With hope and sorrow, faith and care ; They breathe a breath of balmy June
On bleak December's chilly air.
Beside the weary way they sing
Till longing souls their pain forget, And dream of rest where blossoms spring,
Beyond the deserts of regret.
Perchance when silence steals along,
The singers, listning, wait to hear Some echo of their own sweet song
Float upward to them sweet and clear.
And so from silence tuneful grown,
The while they silent, list'ning wait, To these I echo back their own,
To these their own I dedicati.