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X t

THE ONE TRACK MI NDS

I have chosen what seemed to me the best fifty-odd out of the two hundred. The translations are as literal as I could make them, and for those who would like to check their degree of literalness, every English version accompanies the French original—including the archaic French spelling.

I have not adhered closely to the French meters, which tend to become monotonous and are not particularly suited to the English language. On the other hand, I have retained the French rhyme schemes whenever it was at all possible to do so. The few English colloquialisms that appear upon occasion may seem a bit anachronistic; yet it must be remembered that these verses seemed quite colloquial to their original readers. Of the original two hundred poems, many are repetitious. Others are merely obscene and otherwise have no particular point. These I have omitted. I venture to hope that every one of the survivors has some wit to recommend it. Some of them are bawdy (though not nearly so bawdy as Chaucer, Rabelais, or Petronius), but are not, I think, vulgar. While they are not exactly for children, I believe they will bring no blush to the cheek of anyone over twenty-one.

DEEMS TAYLOR

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