The early nineteenth-century poet who played with words and suffered for people is well met in a selection of his more accessible works and a warm introduction by William Cole, aptly titled ""From Light to Dark."" In a life cut short by illness, Hood spanned the literary scene from Lamb to Dickens; he knew both, regarded the former as his ""literary father,"" can be seen as prefiguring the latter. Following the light to dark sequence, the poems are divided into three sections. In the first, ""where the rhymes are tricky and the puns run rampant,"" are shafts at faithless females, the plaint of a snatched body (""Don't go to weep upon my grave,/ And think that there I be;/ They haven't left an atom there/ Of my anatomie""), mockery of ""The Butcher (who) is already half a Bull."" A condensed version of his celebrated satire ""Miss Kilmansegg and Her Precious Leg"" leads off the second section, ""Love poems, lyrics, and light verse with social overtones,"" while the last, ""Poems of social injustice, death, and terror,"" includes ""The Song of the Shirt""--""Stitch! stitch! stitch!/ In poverty, hunger, and dirt;/ And still with a voice of dolorous pitch/ She sang the 'Song of the Shirt!'"" Not important poetry perhaps but an intriguing personality and a sense of his period.