Nearly the whole of this volume is a reprint of the serious portion of Phantasmagoria and other Poems, which was first published in 1869 and has long been out of print. "The Path of Roses" was written soon after the Crimean War, when the name of Florence Nightingale had already become a household-word. "Only a Woman's Hair" was suggested by a circumstance mentioned in The Life of Dean Swift, viz., that, after his death, a small packet was found among his papers, containing a single lock of hair and inscribed with those words. "After Three Days" was written after seeing Holman Hunt's picture, The Finding of Christ in the Temple.
The two poems, "Far Away" and "A Song of Love", are reprinted from Sylvie and Bruno and Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, books whose high price (made necessary by the great cost of production) has, I fear, put them out of the reach of most of my readers. "A Lesson in Latin" is reprinted from The Jabberwock, a Magazine got up among the Members of "The Girls' Latin School, Boston, U.S.A." The only poems, here printed for the first time, are put together under the title of "Puck Lost and Found," having been inscribed in two books—Fairies, a poem by Allingham, illustrated by Miss E. Gertrude Thomson, and Merry Elves, a story-book, by whom written I do not know, illustrated by C. O. Murray—which were presented to a little girl and boy, as a sort of memento of a visit paid by them to the author one day, on which occasion he taught them the pastime—dear to the hearts of children—of folding paper-"pistols," which can be made to imitate, fairly well, the noise of a real one.