William Odell Ewell, The British Lyre, or Selections from the English Poets. 3rd edition (Brunswick: George Westermann, 1857)
Preface: Three years have elapsed since this little work first excited the attention of the Public, and if I may judge by the extensive diffusion it has enjoyed during that period, I have every reason to be satisfied with the appreciation of its readers. Filled with feelings of gratitude for the most hearty welcome allotted to my book, I consider it a delightful duty to express my thanks to its numerous friends, and at the same time inform them, that in this new edition, I have endeavoured to improve the selection by inserting several modern poems which on account of the richness of their language, purity and beauty of their ideas truly deserve the warm admiration of all lovers of English poetry.
I now again launch "the British lyre" into the vortex of public opinion, hoping its reception will prove as flattering to myself as in former times.
With regard to the arrangement of the poems I need only quote a few remarks of the friend, who kindly wrote the preface to the first edition. The book is divided into three parts. -- The first contains pieces relating to the works of God or the phenomena of "Nature," directing thought to all the lovely and awful demonstrations of the power and wisdom of the Creator, as described by the pen of poetic fancy. The second division relates to Man himself, to "Home and Country," to "Social and domestic affections"; -- and here all the elevated feelings of patriotism, all the happy scenes of the heart are represented, while those deeper and sadder feelings, inherent to the frailty of man, are not forgotten. But, after the praise of the beauties of Nature and the enjoyment of all the high hopes of life, -- the third part "Devotion" leads us to God himself, shows us his grace and promises, our prospects of immortality, the consolations of public worship and of domestic prayers. Thus the author of this compilation will be found to have carried out the good idea of giving a clear description of "Mankind" by placing his selections under three heads, the first, "the place of our existence," the second, "our feelings and actions during life" and the third, "our exit from this world and our hopes for the future."
Weston super Mare, 1857.
Table of Contents: Not yet transcribed. The names that appear the most frequently are Cowper, Hemans, Southey, Campbell, Shelley, Howitt, Montgomery, Wordsworth, Byron, Tennyson, Moore, and Burns.