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none has the muse of our more earnest writers been so enthusiastically devoted. Incentives to life-action, sense of duty, the dignity of labour, the value of the present, the importance of selfreliance, and hundreds of similar topics have been ennobled by their Song, which has become an acknowledged power in the social and moral progress of the day. From these sources we have selected the “Life-Lights” of the present volumebearing especially in mind the requirements of the young and inexperienced, the toiled and tried, and those (of whom, alas! there are always too many) who would look to others for what they shrink from doing for themselves. As life has its duties, and duty demands labour, so the aim has been to inculcate submission, cheerfulness, and hopethe doing of that which lies immediately before us—and above all, facing heartily and manfully the lot which Providence has assigned to us.
“Droop not, though shame, sin, and anguish are round thee;
Bravely fling off the cold chain that hath bound thee;
Rest not content in thy darkness—a clod !
Let thy great deeds be thy prayer to thy God."
As in the previous volumes of the series, so in this, the Selection has been made from the wide field of modern poetry, and in several instances from the works of living authors. To them and to their publishers we offer our most cordial thanks for the kind assistance thereby rendered to our design; and if in any instance the authorship remains unacknowledged, the omission has arisen, not from neglect, but from the want of better information.
EDINBURGH, March 1864