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Roamin' Free

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

The miser sits beside his hoard,
The lover tarries by his bride,
And he who neither may afford
Is free to roam the whole world wide.
Ye prate of cares, of plans amiss;
With voices grave and faces long;
While I - I ask of life but this
To drink, to kiss, to troll a song

And rove a-roamin', roamin' free
A-ringin' in the changes.
Why linger here to waste a tear
When joy awaits o'er the ranges?
Why tarry there to nurse a care
When golden days are over?
For far and wide, where men abide,
There's welcome for the rover.

Who seeks to earn a life of ease:
For honor, wealth, and fame exist;
Then growing old and having these,
To sit and think of what he's miss'd?
I live for love of life alone;
You live in wait for fortune's smile
Quote proverbs at a rolling stone,
And gather moss and trouble while

I rove a-rollin', rollin' free
A-ringin' in the changes.
If there's no moss this side for me
There's heaps across the ranges.
So have your say and slave away,
And set a store by small things.
You may be lord of a hard-earned hoard,
But I'm the lord of all things.

Am I a constant lover? Nay:
Love bounded cloys, and bright eyes fade;
And he who loves and rides away
Rides on to meet a fairer maid.
'Tis sure, I'd find, if wed to Nell
'Twas Jess or Lil I loved the best.
My faith, I love them all too well
To choose but one and lose the rest.

And I live a-lovin', lovin' free
A-ringin' in the changes.
'Tis kiss me Nell, and now farewell,
Jess waits across the ranges.
And this, I boast, the rover's toast
You'll find the whole world over
'From names refrain, and tankards drain
To the lass that loves a rover.'

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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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    "Roamin' Free" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 15 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/6532/roamin'-free>.

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