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

'Gentle brother, answer truly,
Tell what you be.
But, I pray, tax not unduly
Your sagacitee.
Is your brand u-ni-fi-cation
Is't, or is your appellation
Something mild and shorter still?
Answer truly, Brother Bill.'

Gentle brother answered truly,
Though in language hot
For his temper was unruly:
'Don't talk blinded rot!
Blow u-ni-fi-blanky-cation!
If you want me name an' station
My true moniker is Bill,
An' I work at Johnson's mill.'

'Gentle brother, wax not ireful.
I'm not out for jokes.
Yea, and conseuqnces direful
Smite bad-temepered blokes.
I've no doubt, all day perspiring,
You graft hard. I'm not inquiring
Who you are or what you do,
But what are you? Answer true.'

Brother Bill stood wildly staring,
Anger in his eye;
And, beligerently glaring,
Thus he made reply:
'Up at Johnson's mill I'm working,
And I ain't a bloke for shirking.
If you want me answer true,
I'm a better man that you!'

'Gentle brother, of your senses
You seem quite bereft.
Just consider how immense is....'
Here's Bill's dirty left
Took the catechist right squarely,
And Bill forthwith bounced him fairly,
Punched till he was out of breath.
Bill despised a shibboleth.

Note ye how each platform spouter,
 Playing at 'the game,'
Strives to label ev'ry doubter
With a foolish name.
With sly tricks and ruses clever
They are keenly seeking ever
To affix a party brand
To all voters in the land.

List, ye party politicians,
Talking near and far,
We don't want vague propositions
As to what you are.
For the shibboleths of party
Rightly earn the curses hearty
Of all honest men and true.
Let is hear of what you DO.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:27 min read

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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