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The Bronze-Wing Pigeon

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



They say I am a shy, wild thing,
That seeks the wild bush glade.
Quick to be gone on whirring wing,
Where stangers would invade;
But well I know what all birds know:
The voice of friend, the tread of foe;
And deem it wise to fear the worst
Till I have knowledge of the first.

Afar my muffled drumming sounds,
Where tangled dogwood grows;
But when you tread my feeding grounds
I am alert for foes.
A flash of iridescent wing,
And I am but a vanished thing.
Gone to be heard and seen no more,
In spite of all your forest lore.

But should you win me in the end
By dint of kindlier lore,
Gladly I take you for a friend,
And to your own house door
I come with confidence complete
To quest my food about your feet.
And, with a gravely gentle air,
Display my shy bronze beauty there.

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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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