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Old Town Types No.15 - Mrs Felix Donnett

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

Mrs Felix Donnett was a lady of renown,
For ten years her husband was mayor of the town;
For ten years she queened it as our local social light;
And 'everything she did, my dear,' was very, very right.
But the mayoral pomp sat lightly on old Felix, sly but sprightly,
And about his civic earnestness shrewd townspeople had their 'doots;'
But not of Mrs Donnett, with the bugles on her bonnet,
And her dolman, and her bustle, and elastic-sided boots.

Oh, a very proper lady with a very proper mind
Was she, like Queen Victoria, and exceedingly refined.
For the good Queen was her model, tho' her ideals were confused;
Still, she and Queen Victoria were not easily amused,
For she lacked all sense of humor; but she had a nose for rumor -
Spicy rumor; and a dragon 'mid the other female 'plutes'
Loomed Mrs Felix Donnett, with bugles on her bonnet,
Her dignity, her dolman, and her Aunt Jemima boots.

And woe betide the romping maid whose ways she counted lax.
One roguish glance, one titter, brought 'the dragon' on her tracks.
'Her? Fast, mai deah? A minx, mai deah! If you but knew it all!
And Ai pity her poor mothah; but, of course, Ai could not call.'
Then the dingle-dangles trembled 'mid the matrons there assembled
As head were tossed and lips compressed. 'And men, of course, are brutes!'
Hissed Mrs Felix Donnett, with the bugles on her bonnet,
And her beadings, and her bustle, and her Aunt Jemima boots.

When I am moved to tolerance in this 'unmoral age'
I take the family album out and turn each yellowed page;
And straightaway I am chastened, and my moral tone comes back,
As I browse 'mid whiskered dandies and meek matrons garbed in black,
With their fol-de-rois and flounces. Then, from out the page there pounces
Mother Grundy; and my turpitude is blasted to the roots
By the glare of Mrs Donnett, and the bugles on her bonnet,
And her dolman, and her bustle, and her Aunt Jemima boots.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:43 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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    Who wrote the 1916 poem "Out, Out—"?
    • A. Emily Dickinson
    • B. Robert Frost
    • C. Robert Browning
    • D. Elinor Frost