From the Preface by Edmund Gosse:
As the close of his life approached, Swinburne frequently expressed his intention to extract from his various volumes those poems which were addressed to children, or were descriptive of clild life, and to publish them in a separate collection. He died without having found occasion to carry out this plan, and he left no directions with regard to the way in which it ought to be done. But I have felt that there should be as little further delay as possible in currying out his wish and design, and in preparing the present anthology I have been actuated by the sole thought of what would have commended itself to him. I have taken no liberties with the text; I have simply selected from the four volumes in which they mainly occur – namely, from Poems and Ballads, Second Series (1878), Tristram of Lyonesse and Other Poems (1882), A Century of Roundels (1883), and Poems and Ballads, Third Series (1889) – the pieces which are definitely concerned with infancy.
I have omitted one or two in which there was a close repetition of subject or form of address, and I have rearranged them all in some rough chronological order, beginning with the songs of birth and proceeding to those which celebrate the maturity of nine years. I supplement the whole with the impassioned cycle of poems called “A Dark Month.”
One reason why Swinburne never brought out such a collection was his failure to find an artist who could interpret to his satisfaction the simplicity and freshness of his verses. We are fortunate in having secured, in Mr. Arthur Rackham, one whose delicate and romantic fancy is in sensitive harmony with Swinburne’s, and who understands, no less than he did, how “Heaven lies about us in our infancy.”