Brightness Breaches and the Beak



Bright young thing: Thou on the beaches
Life is gay and pleasure laden
All in vain the law beseeches
Courtesy from man and maiden
When a car, adorned with beauty
Unadorned, swings down the road,
There's a certain civic duty,
There's a cop, and there's a code,
There's Dame Caution - stuffy ogress -
Who deplores your carefree progress.

Bright young thing, who, with one finger
Nonchalantly on the steering,
(Ever indisposed to linger)
Down the beach road goes careering -
Youth's high claims need no endorsement,
Ever at convention scoffing;
But the fiends of law-enforcement
Lurk obscurely in the offing,
Prone to pounce on any stir made
Even by a scorching mermaid.

Bright young thing: Life can be brighter
When devoid of traffic danger.
E'en this poor pedestrian blighter,
E'en that slow and aged stranger
Has some right to go on living,
On this earth superfluous lagging.
But not the Law, so far forgiving,
Tires of its paternal nagging,
Ill-content to look askance
On sun-tanned insouciance.

Bright young thing upon the beaches,
Youth is urgent, youth is eager.
But no more the Law beseeches
With its admonitions meagre
Your observance of its ruling,
Your respect for cop, and Code,
But, if you must still go fooling,
'Stepping on it' up the road,
At its end, for flapper, shiek,
Lurks, relentlessly, The Beak.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:09 min read
89

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABABCDCDXX EFEFGFGFHH EEEEFFFFXX AEAEFDFDFX
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,284
Words 225
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 10, 10, 10, 10

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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