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'Mac'

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

In every little country place, all up and down the land,
From ageing cradles of the race to Never-Never Land
From the towns about the cities to the little towns out back,
There dwells a man of all trades; and he's mostly known as 'Mac.'
He's dwelt there since the Lord knows when and never seems to die;
And everybody, now and then, when his present job is thro' -
And twenty other little jobs that he has still to do.

A plumbing job, a painting job, a bit of fence to mend;
They want him in a hurry; and he's everybody's friend.
Kettle-mending, carpentry, a bit of scrub to cut -
There's nothing comes amiss to him - a door that will not shut,
A safe that will not open, or a roof that hangs askew,
A plough to mend, a pump to tend - there's nothing he can't do.
He has never learned a single trade, yet somehow has the knack;
And, no matter what the trouble is, it's safe to send for 'Mac.'

He never makes much money, yet he never seems to care,
Tho' a dozen jobs await him, he has heaps of time to spare -
A friendly yarn, a cup of tea, a piece of sage advice,
He's willing for them every day, and never counts the price
Of half an hour or half a day spent in a neighbor's need.
He sells his toil, but not his time. For what is time, indeed,
Save for a man to labor in just as he feels inclined?
So, if Smith's job amuses him, Brown's job can lag behind.

In every little country place he's known, or once was known,
Ere the urge that men call Progress claimed the broad earth for its own,
When man found pride in labor and the cunning of his hand,
Nor set a price in money on the arts he could command.
And many a little country place with pride today can show
Some sturdy structure 'built by 'Mac' nigh fifty year ago.'
Oh, they jerry-built their palaces; but many a stout bush shack
Shall stand to honor workmanship of that proud workman, 'Mac.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:53 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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    "'Mac'" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 26 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/6443/'mac'>.

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