IN explanation of my motives for issuing this little
volume, a few words only are necessary.
Having a number of Poems and a few prose trifles, floating
about in the periodicals, and in the hands of friends, I was desirous of
collecting and preserving them in this shape, previous to putting forth a
work of greater pretensions, and to which I am devoting more study and
care in the composition.
I have no apology to offer for the publication of these
Stray Leaves, further than this—the
indulgence which was extended to my former effusions, both in this country
and America, inspired me with a hope that these, also, might meet
with a portion of the like public favour.
Those Poems herein which are occasional, and those which were
written with a definite purpose, the reader will readily discover.
They have filled up my intervals of toil; they have tended to lighten my
cares, and they are such, perhaps, from their spirit, as a poor man may be
pardoned for putting into print.
The power to think and utter great things belongs to few, and
I am not of them; but I trust I may be recognized as one of those
Voices from the Crowd,—an humble, but an earnest one—which are every
day gaining strength, and which must, sooner or later, it is hopeful to
believe, command the attention, and win the respect, of the whole British