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A Likely Lad



Child of a myriad varied voices calling
O'er countless leagues of space in divers tongues,
Tho' captious critics view your ways appalling
And fain would quiet your all too strident lungs,
Raw youth must have its fling; and ten brief summers
Hardly suffice to make you a sage;
So, ‘spite your crooners, clowns and jazz-drunk strummers,
You have not done so badly for your age.

Much water has flowed down many a river
(The McIntyre at Yetman, let us say)
Since first you set ethereal waves a-quiver
With that crude babbling of your natal day.
You're growing up, my lad, and waxing wiser;
Tho' still the crabbed, impatient censors rage.
As entertainer and as advertiser
You have not done so badly for your age.

And many lonely men in lonely places,
Have hailed you as a blessing and a joy,
Condoning all your rather callow graces
And that omniscient air that you employ,
Tho' still much over-prone to raucous bawling.
As boys will be, you're learning, stage by stage,
The wiser, weightier aspects of your calling,
You have not done so badly for your age.

Since days when first we fumbled the cat's-whisker,
And strained at ear-phones, yearning for a sound,
Your lighter moods have brighter grown, and brisker,
Your interludes of wisdom more profound.
If, thro' the next ten years, you keep on growing
To man's estate, and statelier arts engage,
You may please everyone; there is no knowing.
Still, you have not done badly for your age.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:16 min read
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Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis, better known as C. J. Dennis, was an Australian poet known for his humorous poems, especially "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in the early 20th century. Though Dennis's work is less well known today, his 1915 publication of The Sentimental Bloke sold 65,000 copies in its first year, and by 1917 he was the most prosperous poet in Australian history. Together with Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, both of whom he had collaborated with, he is often considered among Australia's three most famous poets. While attributed to Lawson by 1911, Dennis later claimed he himself was the 'laureate of the larrikin'. When he died at the age of 61, the Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons suggested he was destined to be remembered as the 'Australian Robert Burns'. more…

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