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An Echo from Africa

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis 1876 (Auburn) – 1938 (Melbourne)

Da ruction happen by Nicko's place
Las' week, in da deada da night.
Da copper he very near cop da case
Accounta da fish-shop fight
In da great beeg international way
Dat wrecka da oyster bar.
Now Nicko he grinda da tooth an' say,
 'Da white-a man rule, by gar!'

Sammo, da slush, wit' da dark-tan face,
Scale an' clean-a fish
Long time he toila by Nicko's place,
Washa da dirty dish.
But Nicko he say, 'Da t'ings get slow;
Dis war make da beezness slack.
Dat Sammo, da slush, he have to go.'
So Nicko he sacka da black.

Las-a night, when Sammo he come for da mon',
His eye got da look like-a dirt.
But, Nicko, he say to heem, like in fun,
'Take-a dat, black scuma da eart'.'
Den Sammo he scowl aroun' da shop
An' he grabba da long, fat eel,
An' he smacka poor Nicko right in da chop
So he fall head over heel!

But Nicko come up wi' da Musso glare,
An' he seize-a da ten-poun' schnap.
Ah, I only wisha dat you been dere;
You see-a da bonza scrap!!
Dey smash-a da souce-bot, smash-a da chair,
Dey smash-a da glass partish,
Dey smash-a da pot-plant topa da stair;
An' da place all cover wit' fish!

Den Sammo he tread on da gar-fish head,
An' da foot fly up in da air,
An' he come-a down flop an' lie like dead
When he banga da head on da chair.
An' Nicko he grab heem quick by da feet
An' drag heem outa da door,
An' he say, as he fling heem into da street,
'Dat feenish my Afric war.'

But Nicko he same like a change man now;
All over da shop he fuss;
He flash-a da eye an' he knit-a da brow,
An' he stick out da jaw like-a Muss.
An' he look each customer close by da face
For da sign of da bad, black drop.
Den he grind-a da tooth if he twig da trace:
 'Abyssin! Get outta my shop!'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:43 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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