This little book is dedicated to parents and children. Most of the poems were written with no other hope, than that they would instruct or please some child. The pleasure they have given in a limited circle has tempted the writer to print them. Some have never before appeared in public, but most of them have been already published in different works; some few, without the author's knowledge.
It will be found that these poems are intended for children of different ages and characters. It may be objected to the book, that gay and serious pieces are bound up together; but so it is in human life and human nature, and it is essential to the healthful action of a child's mind that it should be so. The smile that overtakes its tears is as necessary to the child as the sun after a spring shower is to the young plant; and without it a blight will fall upon the opening blossom.
The natural love that all have for their literary offspring, perhaps, first induced the author to bring the stray little family together. This motive was strengthened by the hope that children might love the book, and that she might have the pleasure of seeing it among their treasures, with the corners of the leaves well worn by their little fingers, and perhaps sometimes placed upon the pillow where "angels hover round."
This success, which must secure to her also the approbation of parents, she does aspire after, and most earnestly desire; this, and this alone, will satisfy her; without this, she would be the first to pronounce it an unworthy offering.
Cambridge, May 19, 1831
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