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The Automatic Umpire

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



Now, Plugger Palook was a man in a thousand
(Said Horace the Howler) not one of yer fools.
But his barrackers vowed that he wasn't allowed
Full scope for his talents account o' the rools.
For Plugger Palook was a footballer. Get me?
An' one of the old-school. A wonder! A wow!
He was no lily-handed gazook to be branded
No sort of weaklin'. Not Plugger; no how.

Not much of a kicker - not so you would notice
His handball an' passin' left much to desire;
A dub at high-markin', his business was narkin'
An' knocking out umpires wot rose up his ire.
He'd done in a dozen first half of the season,
But the depth of officials you never can tell.
Now, a shortage they're fearin'; so, Plugger, not hearin',
They goes an puts in a serlenium cell!

The dawgs! Plugger starts in the very first quarter
An' gets a bit rough'ouse in makin' things hot
When the cells says, 'Now, Plugger! You ain't playin' rugger
Let up on them larrups.' An' Plugger says, WOT!!'
'Twas the first time in years than an umpire had cheeked him;
 So Plugger lets out a sockdollager crack.
There's a flash an' a sizzle; then he does a mizzle
And lands out-o'-bounds on the broad of his back.

Well I'll say he was game, tho' a good bit bewildered,
 For he comes back again when he finds he is whole.
Then he tries for to tackle, but soars with a crackle,
Up, clean thro' the posts; an' the crowd it roars, 'Goal!'...
An' the heads calls that football! (said Horace the Howler)
Deep pity for him in me proud heart it wells.
A champion world-beater! A reel umpire eater!
Done in an' disgraced by serlenium cells!

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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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