Some books from her girlish library now lie before me, dingy and time-worn, with her name in varying handwriting from the early ‘Mary S. Potter
’ to the later ‘Mary S. P. Longfellow
They show many marked passages and here and there a quotation.
The collection begins with Miss Edgeworth
's ‘Harry and Lucy;’ then follow somewhat abruptly ‘Sabbath Recreations,’ by Miss Emily Taylor
, and ‘The Wreath, a selection of elegant poems from the best authors,’ —these poems including the classics of that day, Beattie
's ‘Minstrel,’ Blair
's ‘Grave,’ Gray
's ‘Elegy,’ Goldsmith
's ‘Traveller,’ and some lighter measures from Campbell
, and Burns
The sombre muse undoubtedly predominated, but on the whole the book was not so bad an elementary preparation for the training of a poet's wife.
It is a touching accidental coincidence that one of the poems most emphatically marked is one of the few American poems in these volumes, Bryant
's ‘Death of the Flowers,’ especially the last verse, which describes a woman who died in her youthful beauty.
To these are added books of maturer counsel, as Miss Bowdler
's ‘Poems and Essays,’ then reprinted from the sixteenth English edition, but now forgotten, and Mrs. Barbauld
's ‘Legacy for Young Ladies,’ discussing beauty, fashion, botany, the uses of