Mr. Andrew Lang has made this collection of what used to be called pieces of verse for the delectation of young readers. Precisely what kind of verse is most to the taste of the ripening minds of the numerous class that he had in view is a problem about which opinions may well differ; but one thing seems certain, and that is that, while they may not like many things in verse, they do, and always will, like those which possess the human interest which attaches to stirring events and heroic actions, of which they areas good judges as their elders. Mr. Lang's selections include no living poet, but neglect no great poet of the 19th century, his favorites, so far as he can be said to have any, being Scott, Campbell, Byron, Burns and other spirited singers of human emotion. We should like to be in the place of some of the young readers of Mr. Lang's anthology, that we might have for the first time the pleasure of being moved by Drayton's 'Ballad of Agincourt,' Campbell's 'Mariners of England,' Scott's 'Young Lochinvar,' Byron's 'Destruction of Sennacherib,' Macaulay's ' Battle of Maseby,' and what Coleridge calls that grand old ballad, 'Sir Patrick Spens.' This book is annotated with a rare extensive biographical sketch of the author, Andrew Lang, written by Sir Edmund Gosse, CB, a contemporary poet and writer.
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