« AnteriorContinuar »
This programme has been carried out to the letter, and every prize awarded and paid to the value of OVER $10,000; since in the multiplicity of contributors and contributions some few were omitted in the first allotment of prizes.
In consequence of the great apparent value of this unique collection, and a very large number of requests for their publication, HEART TAROBS is now offered to American readers.
It should be remembered that this collection of short poems, essays, anecdotes, apothegms and stories has been gleaned from a vast mass of contributions, every one of which had been set aside and especially preserved by the contributor because in some way it had appealed with unusual force to the affections, hopes, experience, fancy, judg. ment or interests of the sender, and become dear to the beart; in short, A veritable "heart throb" of the contributor.
It would have been too much to expect that every one of the myrjads of clippings and copyings would be a gem of literary excellence and refined taste; but every one was the chosen treasure of a human beart, endeared to it by the pleasure, encouragement, or consolation, with which its few printed or written words had, like the spell of the ancient magician, evoked blooming spring, radiant summer or fruitful autumn out of the lowering and chilling wintry days of human life. It should also be remembered that, unlike previous collections made by one or more scholarly editors, or compilers, this volume is made up of selections, nearly every one of which was accompanied by a personal letter telling of the circumstances or incidents which had endeared it to the sender. Many of these selections were yellow with age, worn threadbare, and carefully repaired and strengthened; odor ous with lavender, rose and orris; stained with tears; printed on silk, or deftly limned and illuminated, and otherwise self-proven to be of a heart's treasure-trove.
ît scarcely needed the letters, often written by toil-stiffened and age-trembling hands, to tell of the sacred memories recalled by these little scraps of written or printed paper, or of the helpful, hopeful lives which had been strengthened and uplifted by their silent minis. trations. These letters were indeed oftentimes the real "heart throbs," revealing the normal ambitions and aspirations of the American people in all their vocations and walks of life, and their dominant note was that fearless optimism which has faith that in the end all will be well. Love, patriotism, faith, hope, charity, lofty aims and noble purposes; an honest reverence for all family ties and affections; a manly and
womanly regret for failure to do the very best that is in us; a weep and tender sense of bereavement blended with the noblest resignation in the hope of a blessed and immortal life; these and such as these are patent, not only in the matters contributed, but even more frankly and feelingly in the letters containing them.
Thus of two universally known poems, one wrote: “Longfellow's 'Psalm of Life,' although worn by years of use in text-books, is still full of inspiration.” And another enclosing the noble threnody on “Resignation" said feelingly: "Occasions when such poems are applicable to our own experience make them immortal to us. These lines are fixed in my heart forever, as they fell, beautifully modulated, from the lips of a pure-hearted, sympathetic lady, at a memorial service in honor of my deceased cousin, a girl of eighteen summers, the companion of my boyhood.” Many expressions were too personal, tender and sacred for publication, but their testimony to the immense value of every noble song and utterance in encouraging and inciting men to righteous, courageous and hopeful living and dying, was a mighty revelation to all who took part in the work of reading and comparing this wonderful tribute of the heart-treasures of fifty thousand American readers. They might, and often did grow weary of reading, comparing and filing the immense flood of correspondence and selections, but no one regretted the wonderful opportunity afforded them to see and know the tender, romantic, chivalrous, hopeful, patriotic, enduring virtues which underlie the apparently material and sordid aims so largely ascribed to the men of today.
The larger proportion of contributors from the Eastern and Middle States favored the standard poets of the 18th and 19th centuries, with a decided inclination toward American illuminati; the South drew largely on the romantic and chivalrous school of antebellum days; and the Western, Northwestern and Pacific States were more breezy, virile and original in the choice of topics and method of treatment. All sections, however, joined in seeking to make "household words' of selections from Eugene Field, James Whitcomb Riley, Ben King, Nixon Waterman, Frank L. Stanton, Bret Harte, Joaquin Miller, Margaret Sangster, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Hezekiah Butterworth, Jonn Boyle O'Reilly, David Bates, J. G. Holland, Eliza Cooke, and others living or dead, who in the years to come will be numbered with the great singers of their age and people. There could be mighty essays written upon this simple contest and the lessons it has taught and will continue to inculcate for years to come; but the book itself will teach
them, without much need of comment or explanation. He who reads it understandingly will learn what thoughts and sentiments move the hearts of a people, who for the most part have a simple love for "Mother, Home and Heaven," which only needs to be fittingly appealed to, to evoke a hearty and generous response.
There be many who affect more artificial and "advanced” views of life and duty; for among eighty millions, the vast sea of public opinion must be foam-tipped, as well as underlain by ooze and decaying matter, but the mighty depths are crystalline, pure, and unvexed, moving only with the great currents which mitigate the rigore of heat and cold, and keep the universe sweet and beautiful forever. But little of this more artificial literature will be found in this collection; not because it has been ignored, but because it was not largely represented. Agnosticism, destructive evangelism, the iconoclasm of faith, may attract attention, but do not awaken the loving loyalty of Anglo-Saxon, Celt and Norseman, and the races who have affiliated with these to build up the American people. The judges have not always decided according to the arbitrary standards of literary taste and elegance but have rather sought out the latent, earnest emotions of myriads of the readers of the NATIONAL; of the people, as a people meeting and communing on a common ground of human sympathy. Their choice reflects, in my opinion, the heart value of a vast number of selections from conteniporary literature, and that heart-value is in the end the supreme test by which men and art must fail or become immortal.
If this book affords the reader the pleasure and inspiration its creation has afforded to its contributors and compilers it will richly repay the heavy cost, in time, labor and expense, involved in its preparation.
It is certain that such sentiment and humor are dear to all Americans, and these heart throbs of the sons and daughters of the people are the pulse beats of the nation.
The publishers of this book claim no title by copyright in its con-
They regret to announce the utter refusal of the publishers of the
Perhaps should a second volume be compiled out of the thousands
All the following articles, protected by existing copyright, are used
Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston: Alice Cary, “Pictures of Memory,"
man's poem, "The Door Step”; John Hay's poems, "Little Breeches,"
The Bobbs-Merrill Co., publishers, Indianapolis, Ind., grant special
Mrs. Julia Ward Howe: "The Battle Song of the Republic," in
Rev. Henry Van Dyke: "Footpaths of Peace.” Copyright reserved
Edmund Vance Cooke, author of "Chronicles of the Little Tot" and
Joaquin Miller : “The Bravest Battle," "Columbus," "For Those
Miss Frances E. Willard's poem, "While We May." Published in
Nixon Waterman's poems: “The Empire Ship," "A Rose to the
Hezekiah Butterworth's poems: "The Broken Pinion," "Lincoln's
Elizabeth Akers Allen's poem: "Rock Me to Sleep,” “Sunset Songs
Richard Burton's poem: “Black Sheep,” in “Lyrics of Brotherhood.”
Charles M. Dickinson's poem: "The Children," (generally ascribed
Robert J. Burdette, Pasadena, Cal., poems: "Alone,” “Keep Sweet