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Masefield, Poet And Man

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

He comes as a man who has lived 'mid men
With the gloss and the polish off;
And truth flows free from his ready pen
For he looked on life with a keen eye then,
And he found small cause to scoff.
And he loved the sea and its ships of sail
And a sailor's way and a sailor's tale;
And he looked on the world as an epoch's close
And found what none but the venturer knows.

He comes as a poet that the gods adopt
With songs of the wild and the free
Shorn of the snivelling cadence dropped
From the lips of the sophist snugly propped
On the throne of a pink settee.
And he loves the land and the flowering wealds,
The west wind's song and the daffodil fields
 As he loves the song of a howling gale
 Caught in the cup of a bellying sail.

And what shall he say of us who comes here
This man who has lived as a man?
He shall follow the way of the pioneer
And our own high venturers, blind to fear,
Who strove when the race began;
And the digger's way and the drover's way
And the rough, rude life of an olden day
And the track of the lonely Overland
He shall follow them all - and understand.

And his keen mind's eye shall pierce the gilt
That would cover the old, rough life:
He shall sense the soul of a young land built
In the days when life had a strong, rude lilt
And a rhythm tuned to strife.
He shall trace again in the Anzac's soul
The spirit that made this young land whole.
And so, as he sees, shall he blame or praise
By a standard won in the world's highways.

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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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