to make some preparation for a new and revised edition of my poems.
I cannot flatter myself that I have added much to the interest of the work beyond the correction of my own errors and those of the press, with the addition of a few heretofore unpublished pieces, and occasional notes of explanation which seemed necessary.
I have made an attempt to classify the poems under a few general heads, and have transferred the long poem ofMogg Megone
to the Appendix, with other specimens of my earlier writings.
I have endeavored to affix the dates of composition or publication as far as possible.
In looking over these poems I have not been unmindful of occasional prosaic lines and verbal infelicities, but at this late day I have neither strength nor patience to undertake their correction.
Perhaps a word of explanation may be needed in regard to a class of poems written between the years 1832 and 1865.
Of their defects from an artistic point of view it is not necessary to speak.
They were the earnest and often vehement expression of the writer's thought and feeling at critical periods in the great conflict between Freedom and Slavery.
They were written with no expectation that they would survive the occasions which called them forth: they were protests, alarm signals, trumpet-calls to action, words wrung from the writer's heart, forged at white heat, and of course lacking the finish and careful word-selection which reflection and patient brooding over them might have given.
Such as they are, they belong