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Summer Sanctuary

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



Not upon the crowded beaches
Where the sun beats fierce and hot;
Not upon the river reaches
In a shady silvan spot;
But in some deep mountain valley,
'Mid the sassafras and fern,
Here's the place where I would dally
When the suns of Summer burn.

Here the sifted sunlight dappling
Carpets with translucent green,
Flecks and flirts on fern and sapling,
Where the cold stream peeps between.
'Here,' you muse, 'since time's beginning,
Foot of man has never known;
Mine the joy first to be winning
All this beauty for my own.'

'Here,' you muse, 'is safe seclusion
Known alone to bee and bird,
From the rude unsought intrusion
Of the common human herd.' . . .
Then a lipstick grossly gleaming,
And a half-smoked fag you see;
And you waken from your dreaming
As a shrill voice yells 'Coo-ee!'

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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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