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Another Fusion

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



There's been fierce argument of late
In my vicinitee,
Between the Commonwealth and State,
For I fell out with me.

I am a sturdy Federalist,
A staunch Australian;
And I have waved an angry fist
At me, the States' Rights man.

The argument began like this:
I to myself one night
Remarked: 'There's something sore amiss
That cries to be put right.

'This argument 'twixt Commonwealth
And State must cease, 'tis plain.
'Tis interfering with my health
And rending me in twain.'

'Then, as a free,' myself replied,
'Elector of the State,
I hold my Rights can't be denied,
And I've been wronged of late.

'The Commonwealth's extravagance'
'Hold on,' I said, 'hold on!
A fool could tell you at a glance
Where all the money's gone.

'Of late the States' expenditure
Has risen high and higher.'
'What rot,' me thought. 'That's pretty pure!'
Then shouted, 'I'm a liar!'

I rose to smite the Fed'ralist
And - what do you suppose?
I found, with my avenging fist,
The States' Rights person's nose.

And yet, it did seem strange, because
Though, truly, as I've said,
I hit the State elector, 'twas
The Federal nose that bled.

'See here,' I said, 'this game won't do.
We'll have to stop and think.
There's something wrong with me and you.
Let's go and have a drink.'

We entered, without further hitch,
A pub across the way,
And had a single drink, for which
We both appeared to pay.

'Enough of this!' the States' man brayed.
'You asked me over here
To have a drink, and when I've paid,
You drink the bloomin' beer!'

'Nay,' quoth the Fed'ralist, 'I think
You err. To me 'tis clear
I paid the money for the drink,
And you consumed the beer.

'I don't know what you are to me,
A foe, or friend, or brother.
To settle it I think I - we
YOU better have another.'

We had another. Then we sat
Awhile, morose and mute;
Then drifted into friendly chat
About our late dispute.

'I think I see a point we've missed,
And that suggests a plan.'
At length said I, the Fed'ralist,
To Me, the States' Rights man.

'It may seem strange to you at first;
We both wear one same hat,
We have one coat, one shirt, one thirst;
Why should we stop at that?

'To buy two drinks to quench one thirst
Is utterly absurd;
Unless, of course, you're on a burst
Or jag (excuse the word).

'But, since, we're one in thirst and dress
Why not be one in view?
I can't see why we don't possess
But one opinion too.

'For I begin to think 'tis true,
Whatever else we be,
That while I'm virtually you
You're practically me.

'We're both one man. It's all a fake!
You're me, and I am you;
Though politicians try to make
Us think that we are two.

'And if a thing suits one it should,
Quite clearly, suit the two.
And if this Federation's good
For me, it's good for you.

''Tis folly that we two should fight,
And wrangle, and abuse;
So, seeing things in this new light,
It's up to us to fuse.'

We fose forthwith, I'm pleased to say,
We're now a single man.
And that man is, from now, alway,
A good Austral-i-an.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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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