The Household Book of Poetry

Collected and edited by CHARLES A. DANA. New York : D. Appleton & Co. 1858. pp. 798.

THIS book contains extracts from upwards of three hundred authors of all periods and countries. It is made more complete by the addition of some of the most famous Latin hymns and canticles of the Church. The different pieces are classified upon a judicious system. It is handsomely printed, and not cumbrous in form. What can we say more in its praise? Only this,—that, after giving it a pretty thorough examination, we are satisfied that it is the best collection in the language. Individual tastes and idiosyncrasies will, of course, find some wants to lament, and some superfluities to condemn. A book containing so much from living writers will excite jealousies ; and the writers themselves will, in some cases, be dissatisfied with the selections made from their works. But what the general reader asks is only, whether the compiler has shown skill in suiting the general taste, as well as judgment in directing it. We think this collection the most catholic and impartial we have ever seen. That is the highest praise we can bestow, and it implies that the editor has attained the success most difficult as well as essential in such an undertaking.