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The Book of Humorous Verse by Various

The Book of Humorous Verse by Various

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Book of Humorous Verse,
by Various, Edited by Carolyn Wells

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org

Title: The Book of Humorous Verse
Author: Various
Editor: Carolyn Wells
Release Date: December 22, 2007 [eBook #23972]
Language: English
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
(http://www.pgdp.net)

The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Book of Humorous Verse, by Various, Edited by Carolyn Wells
1
THE BOOK OF
HUMOROUS VERSE
Compiled by
CAROLYN WELLS

Author of "Such Nonsense," "The Whimsey Anthology," etc., etc.

NEW YORK
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY
[Pg iv]

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

TO
ROBERT CHAPMAN SPRAGUE
[Pg v]

INTRODUCTION
A hope of immortality and a sense of humor distinguish man from the beasts of the field.
A single exception may be made, perhaps, of the Laughing Hyena, and, on the other hand, not every one of

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.

The compiler's course is a difficult one. The Scylla of Popularity lures him on the one hand, while the
Charybdis of the Classical charms him on the other. He has nothing to steer by but his own good taste, and
THE BOOK OF HUMOROUS VERSE
2
good taste, alack, is greatly a matter of opinion.

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.
[Pg vi]

For,
"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.
Carolyn Wells.

[Pg vii]
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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:

Little, Brown & Company: For selections from the Poems and Limericks of Edward Lear.
The Macmillan Company: For selections from the Poems of Lewis Carroll and Verses from "Alice's
Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass."
Harr Wagner Publishing Company: For permission to reprint from "The Complete Poems" of Joaquin Miller
"That Gentle Man From Boston Town," "That Texan Cattle Man," "William Brown of Oregon."
Frederick A. Stokes Company: "Bessie Brown, M.D." and "A Kiss in the Rain," by Samuel Minturn Peck.

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.

Forbes & Company: "How Often?" "If I Should Die To-night," and "The Pessimist," by Ben King.

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."

Thomas L. Masson: For permission to reprint "The Kiss" from "Life."
The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Book of Humorous Verse, by Various
INTRODUCTION
3

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