The Book of Humorous Verse
862 Pages
English
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The Book of Humorous Verse

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862 Pages
English

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Published 08 December 2010
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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 BOOK OF HUMOROUS VERSE Compiled by CAROLYN WELLS AUTHOR OF "SUCH N ONSENSE," "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 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 [Pg vi] taking a chance on the tolerant good nature of the reader. 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. C AROLYN 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—" 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 Mapes [Pg viii] 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." E. P. Button & Company: "The Converted Cannibals" and "The Retired PorkButcher and the Spook," by G. E. Farrow. Houghton Mifflin Company: With their permission and by special arrangement, as authorized publishers of the following authors' works, are used: Selections from Nora Perry, John Townsend Trowbridge, Charles E. Carryl, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Greenleaf Whittier, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bret Harte, James Thomas Fields, John G. Saxe, James Russell Lowell and Bayard Taylor. A. P. Watt & Son and Doubleday, Page & Company: For their permission to use "Divided Destinies," "Study of an Elevation, in Indian Ink," and "Commonplaces," by Rudyard Kipling. G. P. Putnam's Sons: Selections from the Poems of Eugene Fitch Ware and "The Wreck of the 'Julie Plante,'" by William Henry Drummond. Henry Holt & Company: Two Parodies from "— and Other Poets," by Louis Untermeyer. Dodd, Mead & Company: "The Constant Cannibal Maiden," "Blow Me Eyes" and "A Grain of Salt," by Wallace Irwin. John Lane Company: For Poems by Owen Seaman, Anthony C. Deane and G. K. Chesterton. The Smart Set: "Dighton is Engaged," and "Kitty Wants to Write," by Gelett Burgess. Small, Maynard & Company: For selections from Holman F. Day, Richard Hovey and Clinton Scollard. The Bobbs-Merrill Company: For special permission to reprint from the Biographical Edition of the Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley (copyright, 1913) the following Poems: "Little Orphant Annie," "The Lugubrious Whing-Whang," "The Man in the Moon," "The Old Man and Jim," "Prior to Miss Belle's Appearance," "Spirk Throll-Derisive," "When the Frost is on the Punkin." The Bobbs-Merrill Company: For permission to use the following Poems by [Pg ix] Robert J. Burdette, from "Smiles Yoked with Sighs" (copyright, 1900), "Orphan Born," "The Romance of the Carpet," "Soldier, Rest!", "Songs without Words," "What Will We Do?". Charles Scribner's Sons: For permission to use "The Dinkey-Bird," "Dutch [Pg x] Lullaby," "The Little Peach," "The Truth About Horace," by Eugene Field. CONTENTS I: BANTER The Played-Out Humorist The Practical Joker To Phœbe Malbrouck Mark Twain: A Pipe Dream From a Full Heart The Ultimate Joy Old Fashioned Fun When Moonlike Ore the Hazure Seas When the Frost is on the Punkin Two Men A Familiar Letter to Several Correspondents The Height of the Ridiculous Shake, Mulleary and Go-ethe A Rondelay Winter Dusk Comic Miseries Early Rising To the Pliocene Skull Ode to Work in Springtime Old Stuff To Minerva The Legend of Heinz Von Stein The Truth About Horace Propinquity Needed In the Catacombs Our Native Birds W. S. Gilbert W. S. Gilbert W. S. Gilbert Father Prout Oliver Herford A. A. Milne Unknown W. M. Thackeray W. M. Thackeray James Whitcomb Riley Edwin Arlington Robinson Oliver Wendell Holmes Oliver Wendell Holmes H. C. Bunner Peter A. Motteux R. K. Munkittrick John G. Saxe John G. Saxe Bret Harte Thomas R. Ybarra Bert Leston Taylor Thomas Hood Charles Godfrey Leland Eugene Field Harlan Hoge Ballard Nathan Haskell Dole PAGE 25 26 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 34 35 36 38 40 41 42 42 44 46 47 48 49 49 50 52 53 Charles Battell Loomis 51 The Prayer of Cyrus Brown Erring in Company Cupid If We Didn't Have to Eat To My Empty Purse The Birth of Saint Patrick Her Little Feet School The Millennium "Exactly So" Companions The Schoolmaster A Appeal for Are to the Sextant of the old Brick Meetinouse Cupid's Darts A Plea for Trigamy The Pope All at Sea Ballad of the Primitive Jest Villanelle of Things Amusing How to Eat Watermelons A Vague Story His Mother-in-Law On a Deaf Housekeeper Homœopathic Soup Some Little Bug On the Downtown Side of an Uptown Street Written After Swimming from Sestos to Abydos The Fisherman's Chant Report of an Adjudged Case Prehistoric Smith Song Sam Walter Foss Franklin P. Adams William Blake Nixon Waterman Geoffrey Chaucer Samuel Lover James Kenneth Stephen James Kenneth Stephen Lady T. Hastings Charles Stuart Calverley Charles Stuart Calverley Arabella Willson Unknown Owen Seaman Charles Lever Frederick Moxon Andrew Lang Gelett Burgess Frank Libby Stanton Walter Parke Walter Parke Unknown Unknown Roy Atwell William Johnston Lord Byron F. C. Burnand William Cowper David Law Proudfit George Canning 54 55 56 57 58 58 William Ernest Henley 59 60 60 61 63 64 66 67 68 70 70 72 73 73 74 75 76 76 77 79 80 81 82 83 84 [Pg xi] Lying Strictly Germ-Proof The Lay of the Lover's Friend Man's Place in Nature The New Version Amazing Facts About Food Transcendentalism A "Caudal" Lecture Salad Nemesis "Mona Lisa" The Siege of Djklxprwbz Rural Bliss An Old Bachelor Song The Quest of the Purple Cow St. Patrick of Ireland, My Dear! The Irish Schoolmaster Reflections on Cleopathera's Needle The Origin of Ireland As to the Weather The Twins II: THE ETERNAL FEMININE He and She The Kiss The Courtin' Hiram Hover Blow Me Eyes! First Love What Is a Woman Like? Mis' Smith Triolet Bessie Brown, M.D. A Sketch from the Life Minguillo's Kiss Thomas Moore Arthur Guiterman William B. Aytoun Unknown W. J. Lampton Unknown Unknown William Sawyer Sydney Smith J. W. Foley John Kendrick Bangs Eugene Fitch Ware Anthony C. Deane Tudor Jenks J. R. Planché Hilda Johnson William Maginn James A. Sidey Cormac O'Leary Unknown Unknown Henry S. Leigh 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 103 105 106 107 108 Eugene Fitch Ware Tom Masson Bayard Taylor Wallace Irwin Charles Stuart Calverley Unknown Albert Bigelow Paine Paul T. Gilbert Samuel Minturn Peck Arthur Guiterman Unknown 109 109 113 115 116 118 119 120 120 121 122 James Russell Lowell 110 A Kiss in the Rain The Love-Knot Over the Way Chorus of Women The Widow Malone The Smack in School 'Späcially Jim Kitty of Coleraine Why Don't the Men Propose? A Pin The Whistler The Cloud Constancy Ain't it Awful, Mabel? Wing Tee Wee Phyllis Lee The Sorrows of Werther The Unattainable Rory O'More; or, Good Omens A Dialogue from Plato Dora Versus Rose Tu Quoque Nothing to Wear My Mistress's Boots Mrs. Smith A Terrible Infant Susan "I Didn't Like Him" My Angeline Nora's Vow Husband and Heathen The Lost Pleiad The New Church Organ Samuel Minturn Peck Nora Perry Mary Mapes Dodge Aristophanes Charles Lever William Pitt Palmer Bessie Morgan Edward Lysaght Thomas Haynes Bayly Ella Wheeler Wilcox Unknown Oliver Herford John Boyle O'Reilly J. P. Denison Oliver Herford W. M. Thackeray Harry Romaine Samuel Lover Austin Dobson Austin Dobson Austin Dobson William Allen Butler Frederick LockerLampson Frederick LockerLampson Frederick LockerLampson Frederick LockerLampson Harry B. Smith Harry B. Smith Sir Walter Scott Sam Walter Foss Arthur Reed Ropes Will Carleton 123 124 125 126 126 128 129 130 130 132 133 134 137 139 [Pg xii] 139 140 141 141 142 144 146 148 153 155 156 157 157 158 159 160 161 162 John Edward Hazzard 137 Larrie O'Dee No Fault in Women A Cosmopolitan Woman Courting in Kentucky Any One Will Do A Bird in the Hand The Belle of the Ball The Retort Behave Yoursel' Before Folk The Chronicle: A Ballad Buxom Joan Oh, My Geraldine The Parterre How to Ask and Have Sally in Our Alley False Love and True Logic Pet's Punishment Ad Chloen, M.A. Chloe, M.A. The Fair Millinger Two Fishers Maud Are Women Fair? The Plaidie Feminine Arithmetic Lord Guy Sary "Fixes Up" Things The Constant Cannibal Maiden Widow Bedott to Elder Sniffles Under the Mistletoe The Broken Pitcher Gifts Returned III: LOVE AND COURTSHIP Noureddin, the Son of the Shah William W. Fink Robert Herrick Unknown Florence E. Pratt Unknown Frederic E. Weatherly Winthrop Mackworth Praed George Pope Morris Alexander Rodger Abraham Cowley William Congreve F. C. Burnand E. H. Palmer Samuel Lover Henry Carey Laman Blanchard J. Ashby-Sterry Mortimer Collins Mortimer Collins Fred W. Loring Unknown Henry S. Leigh Francis Davison Charles Sibley Charles Graham Halpine George F. Warren Albert Bigelow Paine Wallace Irwin Frances M. Whitcher William E. Aytoun Walter Savage Landor 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 174 174 176 179 180 180 181 182 183 184 184 185 186 188 188 189 190 191 191 192 194 195 196 198 George Francis Shults 196 Clinton Scollard 199 The Usual Way The Way to Arcady My Love and My Heart Quite by Chance The Nun The Chemist to His Love Categorical Courtship Lanty Leary The Secret Combination Forty Years After Cupid Paring-Time Anticipated Why The Sabine Farmer's Serenade I Hae Laid a Herring in Saut The Clown's Courtship Out Upon It Love is Like a Dizziness The Kitchen Clock Lady Mine Ballade of the Golfer in Love Ballade of Forgotten Loves IV: SATIRE A Ballade of Suicide Finnigan to Flannigan Study of an Elevation in Indian Ink The V-a-s-e Miniver Cheevy The Recruit Officer Brady Post-Impressionism To the Portrait of "A Gentleman" Cacoethes Scribendi Contentment Frederic E. Weatherly H. C. Bunner Henry S. Leigh Frederick Langbridge Leigh Hunt Unknown Unknown Samuel Lover Ellis Parker Butler H. H. Porter Ben Jonson William Cowper H. P. Stevens Father Prout James Tytler Unknown Sir John Suckling James Hogg John Vance Cheney H. E. Clarke Clinton Scollard Arthur Grissom 200 201 204 205 206 206 207 208 [Pg xiii] 209 210 211 212 214 214 216 217 218 218 220 221 222 223 G. K. Chesterton S. W. Gillinan Rudyard Kipling James Jeffrey Roche Edwin Arlington Robinson Robert W. Chambers Robert W. Chambers Bert Leston Taylor Oliver Wendell Holmes Oliver Wendell Holmes Oliver Wendell 224 225 226 227 229 230 232 235 236 238 238