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Landlubbers

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



I nigh drops dead (the bo'sun said)
When the gist of things I grip
In the land by these 'ere Southern seas
As I seen on my long last trip.
They seems a joke, them curious folk
Wot bides at the blue sea's lip,
Whose wealth is made in a world-wide trade -
Landlubbers all wot seems afraid,
For they ain't got a deep-sea ship.

No, they ain't got a deep-sea ship, they ain't,
For their 'earts ain't with the blue,
Tho' they claims the seed of the tough sea breed,
Like Drake, an' me an' you.
On their isle sea-girt they farms the dirt
Of a fertile coastal strip;
But they seems afraid of a sea-borne trade
An' the hauls their British fathers made,
For they ain't got a deep-sea ship.

Sea born an' bred (the bo'sun said)
As man an' boy I been
Nigh every place on earth's broad face,
An' all the seas atween;
But I ne'er 'ave spoke such curious folk
As I seen on this 'ere trip,
Who seeks for marts in furrin parts,
Yet for blue water have no hearts;
For they ain't got a deep-sea ship.

No, they ain't got a deep-sea ship, they ain't;
An' it don't seem like they care,
For they 'ands the job to any ole yob
Wot makes a landfall there.
In tramp an' tub they ships their grub -
Aw, it fair gives me the pip!
They've wool an' wine, an' corn an' kine,
An' the carryin' trade would suit 'em, fine,
But they ain't got a deep-sea ship!

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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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