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DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO WIT:

District Clerk's Office. BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the seventh day of January, A. D. 1831, in the fifty-fifth year of the Independence of the United States of America, CARTER, HENDEE AND BABCOCK, of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit:-

" The American Common-Place Book of Poetry, with Occasional Notes. By George B. Cheever.”

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned ;” and also to an act, entitled, " An Act supplementary to an act, entitled, 'An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned ;' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of design. ing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."

Clerk of

JNO. W. DAVIS, { f" Massachusetts.

Hiram Tupper, Printer.

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The unexpected favor, with which the American Common-Place Book of Prose was received, encouraged its publishers to hope that a similar volume of extracts from American poetry might be attended with the same

It is true, that there are more good prose writers in our country than there are poets; but it would be strange, indeed, if enough of really excellent poetry could not be found to fill a volume like this. It is not pretended that every piece, in the following selection, is a stately and perfect song, inspired by the vision and the faculty divine,” and containing, throughout the true power and spirit of harmony; but every lover of poetry will find much to delight a cultivated imagination, and much to set him on thinking; and every religious mind will be pleased that a volume of American poetry, so variously selected, presents so many pages imbued with the feelings of devotion. If all the extracts are not of sufficient excellence to excite vivid admiration, most of them are of the kind that meet us

Like a pleasant thought,

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They are generaily simple and unpretending in ornament quiet and unambitious in their spirit.

The poetry of devotion is the rarest of all poetry. It is sad to think how few, of all the poets in the English language, have possessed or exhibited the Christian character, or had the remembrance of their names associated with the thoughts of Christ and his cross, or the feelings to which the great theme of redemption gives rise in the bosom of the Christian. We may find plenty of the sentimentality of religion, expressed, too, in beautiful language—but as cold as a winter night's transitory frost-work on our windows. A few beloved volumes, indeed, have their place in the heart; but they are few; and of these the praise belongs not exclusively to the genius of poetry, but to a far more precious and elevated spirit— the spirit of the Bible. What bosom, that possesses this, does not contain the germ of deep poetry? What poet has experienced its influence, whose song does not breathe an echo of the melodies of paradise ? In the true minstrelsy of devotion, there is a higher excellence than that of mere genius. Poetry herself acknowledges a power which is not in her, and observes a deep and sublime emotion excited, which she cannot, unassisted, produce or maintain in the souls of her listeners. When she becomes the handmaid of piety, she finds herself adorned and enriched (in another seuse than Virgil's) with a beauty and a wealth that are not her own:

Miraturque novos fructus, et non sua poma.

All the pieces in this volume are of the purest moral character; and, considering its limits, and the comparative scantiness of American poetry, a good number of them contain, in an uncommon degree, the religious and poetical spirit united. The importance of having books of this nature sweet and chaste in their moral influence, as well as refined in their intellectual and poetical character, is not enough appreciated. None can tell how much good a volume like this may accomplish, if an editor keeps such a purpose in view. A thought upon death and eternity may be rendered acceptable, through the medium of poetry, to many a mind, that would otherwise have fled from its approach. A voice from the grave and the other world may possibly here find hearers who would listen to it no where else. A devout and solemn reflection may steal, with the poetry of this volume, into the most secret recess of some careless heart, and there, through the goodness of Him, who moves in a hidden and mysterious way, “his wonders to perform," and whose spirit can touch the soul with the humblest instruments, prove the first rising of that blessed well of water, which springeth up to everlasting life.

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