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Country Roads ~ White Horse Road

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

By White Horse Tavern, White Horse Road
In olden days wound down;
And many a waggon bore its load
And many a bullock felt the goad
From town to country town.
Thro' Ringwood on, by hill and vale,
Their patient way they went.
Until they came to Lilydale,
The olden town of Lilydale.
And teamsters paused at Lilydale,
A place of calm content.

But days of bitumen and tar
Have changed the ancient mode;
And now the speeding motor car,
Where traffic-cops and bowsers are,
Go down the White Horse Road,
Upon a smooth, broad way they sail,
Till, sudden, up and down,
The bumps begin at Lilydale,
The rocky road to Lilydale,
The holey road to Lilydale,
A very peaceful town.

Beyond the town, the bumps are past,
And vexed springs settle down;
But many an angry look is cast
And many a curse speeds backwards fast
Toward that backward town.
On to the foothills leads the trail
By smooth and pleasant ways,
But, oh, that stretch thro' Lilydale!
The sleepy town of Lilydale,
Where folk still think, in Lilydale,
In terms of bullock drays.

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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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