Termarter Sorce



It wasn't kid stakes.  I 'ad no crook lurk
To act deceivin', or to treat 'er mean.
I'm old enough to know them games don't work
Not with Doreen.
Besides, deceit ain't in me bag uv tricks.
I got a few; but there is some that sticks.

Sticks in me gizzard.  Some blokes sees no wrong
In workin' points, an' thinks it bonzer sport
To trifle with a wife's belief, so long
As they ain't cort.
But, when yeh play the game on dead straight lines,
It 'urts to be accused uv base designs.

It starts this mornin'.  I wake with a tooth
That's squirmin' like a basketful uv snakes.
Per'aps I groan a bit, to tell the truth;
An' then she wakes,
An' arsts me wot I'm makin' faces for.
I glare at 'er, an' nurse me achin' jor.

That was no very 'appy mornin' song.
I ain't excusin' my end uv the joke;
But, after that, things seem to go all wrong.
She never spoke
One narsty word; but, while the chops she serves,
'Er shrieks uv silence fair got on me nerves.

She might 'ave arst wot ailed me.  Spare me days I
She seen that I was crook.  She seen me face
Swelled like a poisoned pup's.  She only says,
'Please to say grace.'
I mumbles ... Then, in tones that wakes brute force,
She twitters, 'Will yeh take termarter sorce?'

I could n't eat no breakfast. Just the sight
Uv sweet things give me tooth a new, worse ache.
Sez she: 'You seem to lost yer apetite.
'Ave some seed cake.'
Seed cake!  Gawstruth!  I'm there in agerny,
An' she, 'oo swore to love, sits mockin' me.

At last, when our small son gits orf to school,
I goes an' sits down sulkin' on a couch.
''Ave you a toothache, Bill?' sez she, quite cool,
'Or jist plain grouch?
Yer face looks funny.  P'raps yer gittin' fat.'
I glare at 'er an' answer, 'Huh!' . . like that.

That one word, 'Huh,' said in a certain way,
'Eart-felt an' with intention-it can well
Make the beginnin's uv a perfick day
A perfick 'ell.
So I sez 'Huh! ...... an' then done my ole trick
(A low-down lurk) uv gittin' orf-stage quick.

It was a slap-up day.  The wattle's gold
'Ad jist began to peep among the green;
An' dafferdils, commencin' to unfold,
They make the scene
A pitcher that - 'Struth!  'Ow that tooth did ache!
An', cravin' symperthy, I git - seed cake!

It was a bonzer day!  The thrush's song
Rose like a nymn.  A touch uv queer remorse
Gits me fer 'arf-a-mo', then goes all wrong.
Ter-marter sorce!
Women don't understand, it's all too plain.
Termarter sorce, she sez, an' me in pain!

I dunno 'ow the mornin' muddled through.
That naggin' tooth was gittin' reel red-'ot.
I 'ad a 'arf a dozen things to do,
An' slummed the lot.
Then, jist before I goes fer mornin' tea,
I start another row with Wally Free.

I tells 'im if that fence ain't mended - now
I'll summons 'im.  But 'e jist stands an' grins.
'E's always grinnin'.  Silly lookin' cow I
An' fer two pins
I'd go acrost an' give 'is eye a poke.
'E's far too 'appy - fer a single bloke.

While I am boilin' 'ot, Doreen conies out
To call me fer me mornin' cup o' tea.
I turn an' answer with a savage shout.
'Dear me!' sez she.
'You seem to be put out this mornin', Bill.
'E'll mend the fence, all right.  I'm sure 'e will.'

'Aw!  It ain't that,' I sez .... Then I let go,
When once we git inside, an' ease me mind
By tellin' 'er some things she ought to know.
I seemed to find
A lot uv things that 'elped to make me sore;
An' they remind me uv a 'ole lot more.

I tells 'er that no wife, 'oo was n't blind,
Would treat 'er 'usban' like a block uv wood.
I sez I could n't understand 'er mind
Blowed if I could!
I tells 'er that no woman with a brain
An' 'eart would smile to see a man in pain.

I sez some wives - some sorts uv wives, uv course,
If you was lyin' dead, no more to wake,
Would arst yeh if yeh liked termarter sorse,
Or else seed cake.
I sez I don't look for no fond caress,
But symperthy, an' un'erstandin'?  Yes!

I sez, sarcastic, that I 'ave no doubt
Some wives might think termarters an' seed cake
Was 'andy sorts uv things to 'ave about
To stop toothache.
But wot I liked in wives, once in a while,
Was commin-sense. (An' 'ere, I seen 'er smile).

An' then I sez: 'Gorbli' me!  Ain't I worked
Me fingers to the bone, an' toiled an' slaved?
Some fellers, if their wives 'ad smiled an' sn-drked
An' so be'aved' ......
(She pours the tea, an' 'ands acrost my cup)
'Would lose their tempers, yes, an' smash things up!'

I sez - 0h, other things in that s
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

4:23 min read
112

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABABCC DEDEFF GHGHII DJDJKK LMXMNN XOEOBP QRQRSS TUTUVV WBWBOO DNDNXX YEYXPP XZLZJJ 1 P1 P2 2 3 4 3 4 II 4 5 4 5 XX NOCO6 6 1 O1 O7 7 XEEE8 8 6
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 4,244
Words 855
Stanzas 19
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 1

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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