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

O, the trees grow straight and the trees grow tall,
And the trees grow all around;
And the long limbs sprout the trunks about,
 Where the Davlo owl is found.
And the Davlo bird is most absurd
 In the early days of June;
For he sings this song the whole day long,
 To a strange, fantastic tune.

'O, ink, ink, ink! I sit and think;
 I brood on the Wildwood Tree;
But, near or far, on Ingavar,
No ink, no ink I see.
And late or soon the swift cartoon
 Must soar to the Utmost Star.
O, ink, ink, ink! I swoon! I sink!
O, inkless, Ingavar!'

O, the trees grow long, and the trees grow strong,
And the tress grow good and green,
And the gloomy shades steal thro' the glades
Where the Halgi Tit is seen.
And the Halgi Tit he loves to sit
On the frond of a swaying fern,
And croon, and croon, to a low, loose tune
This nervous, nude Nocturn.

'Chow-white, chow-white! All night, all night,
While the moon peeps thro' the leaves,
And the sad wind soughs thro' inlaced boughs,
Where the shadows creep like thieves.
I cry, and yearn for the Nude Nocturn!
O, I seek her near and far!
Chow-white, chow-white! I croon all night,
Thro' the glades of Ingavar.'

O, the trees grow pale, and tall trees quail,
And the sacred trees whisper soft.
And the startled bush it murmurs 'Hush!'
When the Denawk swoops aloft.
And, as he swoops, he shrieks and whoops
In a ruthless, Rhythmic way;
For twixt the trees and the sobbing breeze
The Denawk seeks his prey.

'Ho, rhyme, rhyme, rhyme! All fat and prime!
I live by rhyme alone!
In bush and town I hunt it down,
And tear it flesh from bone.
With a purpose grim for the synonym
I forage near and far;
And I rend my prey in a rhythmic way
On the gums of Ingavar.'

O, yearning trees! O, burning trees
O, trees that bend and sway!
The good brown earth that gave you birth
Is very damp to-day.
In mire and mud we slid we've slud;
Our boots are filled with slime
Farewell ye gums till summer comes
Farewell till Summertime.

The Davlo hoots, the Halgi toots,
The Denawk swoops no more
Alone to yearn, the Nude Nocturn
Adorns your leafy floor.
But Trees, O, trees, what ecstacies
Thrill thro' you, root and spar,
When the Lord High Pot comes up to squat
In the Glades of Ingavar,
Green glades of Ingavar.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:08 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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