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THE BOOK OF
HUMOROUS VERSE

Compiled by
CAROLYN WELLS

AUTHOR OF “SUCH NONSKNSK."
THE WHIMSEY ANTHOLOGY,'

ETC., ETC.

NEW CDH YORK
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1920,
BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

. TO ROBERT CHAPMAN SPRAGUE

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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 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,—both 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.

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