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BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

Che Riverside Press Cambridge

COPYRIGHT, 1867 AND 1876, BY RALPH WALDO EMERSON
COPYRIGHT, 1883, 1895, 1904, 1911, AND 1918, BY EDWARD W. EMERSON

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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PREFACE

IN Mr. Cabot's prefatory note to the RiverI side Edition of the Poems, published the year after Mr. Emerson's death, he said:

“This volume contains nearly all the pieces included in the Poems and MAY-Day of former editions. In 1876, Mr. Emerson published a selection from his Poems, adding six new ones and omitting many.' Of those omitted, several are now restored, in accordance with the expressed wishes of many readers and lovers of them. Also some pieces never before published are here given in an Appendix; on various grounds. Some of them appear to have had Mr. Emerson's approval, but to have been with held because they were unfinished. These it seemed best not to suppress, now that they can never receive their completion. Others, mostly of an early date, remained unpublished, doubtless because of their personal and private nature. Some of these seem to have an autobiographic interest sufficient to justify their publication. Others again, often mere fragments, have been

Selected Poems : Little Classic Edition.

admitted as characteristic, or as expressing in poetic form thoughts found in the Essays.

“In coming to a decision in these cases it seemed, on the whole, preferable to take the risk of including too much rather than the opposite, and to leave the task of further winnowing to the hands of Time.

“As was stated in the preface to the first volume of this edition of Mr. Emerson's writings, the readings adopted by him in the Selected Poems have not always been followed here, but in some cases preference has been given to corrections made by him when he was in fuller strength than at the time of the last revision.

“A change in the arrangement of the stanzas of May-Day,' in the part representative of the march of Spring, received his sanction as bringing them more nearly in accordance with the events in Nature.”

In the preparation of the Riverside Edition of the Poems, Mr. Cabot very considerately took the present editor into counsel (as representing Mr. Emerson's family), who at that time in turn took counsel with several persons of taste and mature judgment with regard es

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