Dad on the Test

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

I reckon (said Dad) that the country's pests
Is this here wireless an' these here Tests.
Up to the house and around the door,
Stretchin' their ears for to catch the score,
Leavin' the horses down in the crop.
Can you wonder that a farmer goes off pop?

I'm yellin' at Jim or I'm cursin' at Joe
All hours of the day; but it ain't no go -
Leavin' their work and hangin' around
When they think I'm down at the fallow ground;
Sneaking away when I start to rouse,
An' as soon as me back's turned, back to the house.

'Who got Wyatt? Is Sutcliffe out?'
Wot do they care if I rave an' shout?
Bribin' young Bill for to leave his job
To twiddle the switches an' twist the knob.
'Has he made his century? Who's in now?'…
And I bought that machine for the price of a cow!

There's a standin' crop, an' the rain's not far,
An' the price is rotten, but there you are:
As soon as these cricketin' games begin
The farm goes dilly on listenin' in;
Not only the boys an' the harvester crew,
But Mum an' the girls gits dotty too.
An' I reckon (says Dad) that a man's worst pests
Is this here wireless and these here Tests.

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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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