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Title: The Book of Humorous Verse
Editor: Carolyn Wells
Release Date: December 22, 2007 [eBook #23972]
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BOOK OF HUMOROUS VERSE***
E-text prepared by Hilary Caws-Elwitt, Huub Bakker,
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team
Author of "Such Nonsense," "The Whimsey Anthology," etc., etc.
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY
ROBERT CHAPMAN SPRAGUE
the human race possesses the power of laughter. For those who do, this volume is intended.
And since there can be nothing humorous about an introduction, there can be small need of a lengthy one.
Merely a few explanations of conditions which may be censured by captious critics.
First, the limitations of space had to be recognized. Hence, the book is a compilation, not a collection. It is representative, but not exhaustive. My ambition was toward a volume to which everyone could go, with a surety of finding any one of his favorite humorous poems between these covers. But no covers of one book could insure that, so I reluctantly gave up the dream for a reality which I trust will make it possible for a majority of seekers to find their favorites here.
And no opinion seemeth good unto an honest compiler, save his own. Wherefore, the choice of these
selections, like kissing, went by favor. As to the arrangement of them, every compiler will tell you that
Classification is Vexation. And why not? When many a poem may be both Parody and Satire,\u2014both
Romance and Cynicism. Wherefore, the compiler sorted with loving care the selections here presented
striving to do justice to the verses themselves, and taking a chance on the tolerant good nature of the reader.
"A jest's prosperity lies in the ear Of him that hears it. Never in the tongue Of him that makes it."
Which made me all the more careful to do my authors justice, leaving the prosperity of the jests to the hearers.
The compiler is indebted to the publisher or author, as noted below, for the use of copyright material included in this volume. Special arrangements have been made with the authorized publishers of those American poets, whose works in whole or in part have lapsed copyright. All rights of these poems have been reserved by the authorized publisher, author or holder of the copyright as indicated in the following:
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company: For the inclusion of the following Poems by Sam Walter Foss: "The
Meeting of the Clabberhuses," "A Philosopher" and "The Prayer of Cyrus Brown" from "Dreams in
Homespun," copyright, 1897. "Then Agin\ue000" and "Husband and Heathen," from "Back Country Poems,"
copyright, 1894. "The Ideal Husband to His Wife," from "Whiffs from Wild Meadows," copyright, 1895.
The Century Company: For permission to reprint from St. Nicholas Magazine the following poems by Ruth McEnery Stuart: "The Endless Song" and "The Hen-Roost Man"; and by Tudor Jenks: "An Old Bachelor"; and by Mary [Pg viii] Mapes Dodge: "Home and Mother," "Life in Laconics," "Over the Way" and "The Zealless Xylographer."
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