Bert

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



Did you ever meet Bert? 'E's all over the town,
In offices, shops an' in various places,
Cocky an' all; an' you can't keep 'im down.
I never seen no one so lucky at races.  
Backs all the winners or very near all;
Tells you nex' day when the races are over.  
'E makes quite a pot, for 'is wagers ain't small;
An' by rights 'e 'ad ought to be livin' in clover.

But, some'ow or other - aw, well, I dunno.
You got to admit that some fellers is funny.  
'E don't dress too well an' 'is spendin' is low.
I can't understand wot 'e does with 'is money.  
'E ought to be sockin' a pretty fair share;
An' tho' 'e will own 'e's a big money-maker,
'E don't seem to save an' 'e don't seem to care
If 'e owes a big wad to 'is butcher an' baker.

'E don't tell you much if you meet on the course;
But after it's over 'e comes to you grinnin',
Shows you 'is card where 'e's marked the first 'orse,
An' spins you a wonderful tale of 'is winnin'.  
Can't make 'im out, 'e's so lucky an' that.
Knows ev'ry owner an' trainer an' jockey:
But all of 'is wagerin's done on 'is pat.
Won't spill a thing, even tho' 'e's so cocky.

Oyster, that's Bert.  'E's as close as a book.
But sometimes I've come on 'im sudden an' saw 'im
Lip 'angin' down an' a reel 'aggard look,
Like all the woes in the world come to gnaw 'im.  
But, soon as 'e sees you, 'e brightens right up.  
'Picked it again, lad!' 'e sez to you, grinnin'.  
'A fiver at sevens I 'ad in the Cup!
That's very near sixty odd quid that I'm winnin'.'

Mystery man - that's 'is style for a cert,
Picks the 'ole card, yet 'e's shabby and seedy;
'E must 'ave some sorrer in secrit, ole Bert
Some drain on 'is purse wot is keepin' 'im needy.
A terrible pity.  Some woman, no doubt.
No wonder 'e worries in secrit an' souses.
If I 'ad 'is winnin's, year in an' year out,
Why I'd own a Rolls Royce an' a terris of 'ouses.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

2:00 min read
80

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABABCDCD EFEFGDGD XABAHFHF IJIJKAKA HFXFLBLB
Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 1,826
Words 375
Stanzas 5
Stanza Lengths 8, 8, 8, 8, 8

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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    Who wrote the 1916 poem "Out, Out—"?
    A Robert Browning
    B Emily Dickinson
    C Robert Frost
    D Elinor Frost