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Monday Morning

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



I often pause to contemplate
The sadly barren mental state
Of persons whom it is my fate
To meet on Monday morning.
They should be, after Sunday's rest,
Alert, clear-minded, full of zest;
But everywhere they are oppressed,
Bad-tempered, dull and yawning.

But I? I'm always strangely bright,
Primed with ideas and full of fight,
With brain alert and eye alight
With rare exhilaration:
All due, no doubt to my wise bent
To do no thing I should repent,
And to a Sunday wisely spent
In pious contemplation.

I do not wish to set myself
Upon some loft moral shelf
And treat my brother man, poor elf,
To haughty patronising.
And yet I feel I have to say
That I regard the laggard way
That men approach their work this day
As utterly surprising.

Oh, I could write, this gladsome morn,
With vigour of a man new-born
Rare verses, full of lilting scorn
About my fellow's failings;
Or I could write on politics
And heave a hundred verbal bricks,
Using the rhymster's thousand tricks
In homilies and railings.

But I resist; for, being kind
I know that human nature's blind
And weak and frail; I have no mind
To call down envious curses.
And, tho' I tremble on the verge,
I manfully resist the urge,
And sing, where I might shout and splurge,
These rather halting verses.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:10 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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