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By Tribune Company
Chicago: 63 Washington Street
ondon: 21 Paternoster Square
Each morning, for several months, THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE has published at the head of its first column, verses under the caption: "Poems You Ought to Know.” It has explained its action by the following quotation from Professor Charles Eliot Norton:
“Whatever your occupation may be, and however crowded your hours with affairs, do not fail to secure at least a few minutes every day for refreshment of your inner life with a bit of poetry.”
By publishing these poems THE TRIBUNE hopes to accomplish two things: first, to inspire a love of poetry in the hearts of many of its readers who have never before taken time or thought to read the best poems of this and other centuries and lands; and, secondly, to remind those who once loved song, but forgot it among the louder voices of the world, of the melody that enchanted them in youth.
The title has carried with it its own standard, and the poems have been kept on a plane above jocularity or mere prettiness of versification; rather have they tried to teach the doctrines of courage, of nature-love, of pure and noble melody. It has been the ambition of those selecting the verses to choose something to lift the reader above the "petty round of irritating concerns and duties," and the object will have been achieved if it has helped anyone to “play the man,” “to go blithely about his business all the day," with a consciousness of that abounding beauty in the world
of thought which is the common property of all men. No anthology of English verse can be complete, and none can satisfy all. The compiler's individual taste, tempered and guided by established authority, is almost the only standard. This collection has been compiled not by one but by many thousands, and their selections here appear edited and winnowed as the idea of the series seemed to dictate. The book appears at the widespread and almost universal request of those who have watched the bold experiment of a great Twentieth-Century American newspaper giving the place of honor in its columns every day to a selection from the poets.
For permission to reprint certain poems by Longfellow, Lowell, Harte, Hay, Bayard Taylor, Holmes, Whittier, Parsons, and Aldrich, graciously accorded by Houghton, Miffin & Co., the publishers, thanks are gratefully acknowledged. To Charles Scribner's Sons, for an extract from Lanier's poems, and, lastly, to the many thousand readers, who, by their sympathy, appreciation, and help have encouraged the continuance of the daily publication of the poems, similar gratitude is felt.