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Hitched



An'—wilt—yeh—take—this—woman—fer—to—be
Yer—wed ded—wife?— . . . O, strike me! Will I wot?
Take 'er? Doreen? 'E stan's there arstin' me!
As if 'e thort per'aps I'd rather not!
Take 'er? 'E seemed to think 'er kind was got
Like cigarette-cards, fer the arstin'. Still,
I does me stunt in this 'ere hitchin' rot,
An' speaks me piece: 'Righto!' I sez, 'I will.'

'I will,' I sez. An' tho' a joyful shout
Come from me bustin' 'eart—I know it did
Me voice got sorter mangled comin' out,
An' makes me whisper like a frightened kid.
'I will,' I squeaks. An' I'd 'a' give a quid
To 'ad it on the quite, wivout this fuss,
An' orl the starin' crowd that Mar 'ad bid
To see this solim hitchin' up of us.

'Fer—rich-er—er—fer—poorer.' So 'e bleats.
'In—sick-ness—an'—in—'ealth,' . . . An' there I stands,
An' dunno 'arf the chatter I repeats,
Nor wot the 'ell to do wiv my two 'ands.
But 'e don't 'urry puttin' on our brands
This white-'aired pilot-bloke—but gives it lip,
Dressed in 'is little shirt, wiv frills an' bands.
'In sick-ness—an'—in—' Ar! I got the pip!

An' once I missed me turn; an' Ginger Mick,
'Oo's my best-man, 'e ups an' beefs it out.
'I will!' 'e 'owls; an' fetches me a kick.
'Your turn to chin!' 'e tips wiv a shout.
An' there I'm standin' like a gawky lout.
(Aw, spare me! But I seemed to be all 'ands!)
An' wonders wot 'e's goin' crook about,
Wiv 'arf a mind to crack 'im where 'e stands.

O, lumme! But ole Ginger was a trick!
Got up regardless fer the solim rite.
('E 'awks the bunnies when 'e toils, does Mick)
An' twice I saw 'im feelin' fer a light
To start a fag; an' trembles lest 'e might,
Thro' force o' habit like. 'E's nervis too;
That's plain, fer orl 'is air o' bluff an' skite;
An' jist as keen as me to see it thro'.

But, 'struth, the wimmnin! 'Ow they love this frill!
Fer Auntie Liz, an' Mar, o' course, wus there;
An' Mar's two uncles' wives, an' Cousin Lil,
An' 'arf a dozen more to grin and stare.
I couldn't make me 'ands fit anywhere!
I felt like I wus up afore the Beak!
But my Doreen she never turns a 'air,
Nor misses once when it's 'er turn to speak.

Ar, strike! No more swell marridges fer me!
It seems a blinded year afore 'e's done.
We could 'a' fixed it in the registree
Twice over 'fore this cove 'ad 'arf begun.
I s'pose the wimmin git some sorter fun
Wiv all this guyver, an 'is nibs's shirt.
But, seems to me, it takes the bloomin' bun,
This stylish splicin' uv a bloke an' skirt.

'To—be—yer—weddid—wife—' Aw, take a pull!
Wot in the 'ell's 'e think I come there for?
An' so 'e drawls an' drones until I'm full,
An' wants to do a duck clean out the door.
An' yet, fer orl 'is 'igh-falutin' jor,
Ole Snowy wus a reel good-meanin' bloke.
If 'twasn't fer the 'oly look 'e wore
Yeh'd think 'e piled it on jist fer a joke.

An', when at last 'e shuts 'is little book,
I 'eaves a sigh that nearly bust me vest.
But 'Eavens! Now 'ere's muvver goin' crook!
An' sobbin' awful on me manly chest!
(I wish she'd give them water-works a rest.)
'My little girl!' she 'owls. 'O, treat 'er well!
She's young—too young to leave 'er muvver's nest!'
'Orright, ole chook,' I nearly sez. Oh, 'ell!

An' then we 'as a beano up at Mar's
A slap-up feed, wiv wine an' two big geese.
Doreen sits next ter me, 'er eyes like stars.
O, 'ow I wished their blessed yap would cease!
The Parson-bloke 'e speaks a little piece,
That makes me blush an' 'ang me silly 'ead.
'E sez 'e 'opes our lovin' will increase
I likes that pilot fer the things 'e said.

'E sez Doreen an' me is in a boat,
An' sailin' on the matrimonial sea.
'E sez as 'ow 'e hopes we'll allus float
In peace an' joy, from storm an' danger free.
Then muvver gits to weepin' in 'er tea;
An' Auntie Liz sobs like a winded colt;
An' Cousin Lil comes 'round an' kisses me;
Until I feel I'll 'ave to do a bolt.

Then Ginger gits end-up an' makes a speech
('E'd 'ad a couple, but 'e wasn't shick.)
'My cobber 'ere,' 'e sez, ''as copped a peach!
Of orl the barrer-load she is the pick!
I 'opes 'e won't fergit 'is pals too quick
As wus 'is frien's in olden days, becors,
I'm trusting later on,' sez Ginger Mick,
'To celebrate the chris'nin'.' . . . 'Oly wars!

At last Doreen an' me we gits away,
An' leaves 'em doin' nothin' to the scram
(We're honey-moonin' down beside the Bay.)
I gives a 'arf a dollar to the man
Wot drives the cab; an' like two kids we ran
To ketch the train—Ah, strike! I could 'a' flown!
We gets the carridge right agen the va
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:27 min read
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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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    "Hitched" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 6 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/6369/hitched>.

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