John Greenleaf Whittier (18071892). The Poetical Works in Four Volumes. 1892.
Appendix I. Early and Uncollected Verses
The Exiles Departure
I AM yielding to what seems, under the circumstances, almost a necessity, in adding to the pieces assigned for one reason or another to the limbo of an appendix, some of my very earliest attempts at verse, which have been kept alive in the newspapers for the last half century. A few of them have even been printed in book form without my consent, and greatly to my annoyance, with all their accumulated errors of the press added to their original defects and crudity. I suppose they should have died a natural death long ago, but their feline tenacity of life seems to contradict the theory of the survival of the fittest. I have consented, at my publishers request, to take the poor vagrants home and give them a more presentable appearance, in the hope that they may at least be of some interest to those who are curious enough to note the weak beginnings of the graduate of a small country district school, sixty years ago. That they met with some degree of favor at that time may be accounted for by the fact that the makers of verse were then few in number, with little competition in their unprofitable vocation, and that the standard of criticism was not discouragingly high.
The earliest of the authors verses that found their way into print were published in the Newburyport Free Press, edited by William Lloyd Garrison, in 1826.
FOND scenes, which delighted my youthful existence,