Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

The Clerk

The unsoiled hand, the sleek, black coat,
The senile, ledger-haunted hours,
The knowledge that my freeman's vote
Is humbly cast to please 'the powers,'
A futile spite against the mass,
A small, weak hate of Labor's side,
These privileges of Our Class
I cherish with a puny pride.

The sycophancy of the snob,
The day-long cringe, the life-long fear
That I may lose a steady job
That 'job genteel' I hold so dear
These be the splendid attributes
Of one who yearns to emulate
His master; and all work-soiled brutes
Regards with mean, reflected hate.

Not mine the arrogance of wealth,
No pride in honest labor mine;
But while I still hold life and health
My pet ambition is to shine
A small, pale star that faintly glows
In Fat's impressive firmament,
The while I earn mere food and clothes,
And help the boss to cent. per cent.

Ambition? E'en my timid soul
Dreams of a day when I shall rule;
When I may heckle and control
The trembling slaves of desk and stool;
When I shall be of Fat myself
Who now but dangles at his skirt.
A magnate! Armed with pow'r and pelf.
Meet recompense for eating dirt.

I mark the lowly toiler rage.
'Resist!' he cries. 'Resist! Unite!'
The while I sue for patronage -
A deferential parasite.
Then to my aid comes Pride of Class,
I take my stand beside the Boss.
I earn his praise! .... Although, alas,
His gain, mayhap, will be my loss.

For who would risk a master's ire
That deity who rules my life,
That god who may, in vengeance dire,
Snatch happiness from 'child' and wife?
'Rights!' shout the horny-handed. 'Rights!'
The dolts defy the pow'rs that be.
While I watch through the restless nights
And tremble for my salary.

Oh. what rash madness moves these clods?
E'en my own fellow serfs, alas,
Speak treason 'gainst the money-gods
And turn black traitors to Our Class.
Our Class! That genteel, cultured band,
Well-dressed, respectable, elite
The servile mind, the soft white hand
Patrician class of Collins~street!

Cohorts of Collins-street, arise!
O legions, wake in Finders-land!
Let each pale hero rcognise
His class, and fight with might and mian.
Fight for the master sturdily!
What though his profit be our loss?
And let our watchword ever be,
Or Class! OUR BILLET, and OUR BOSS!

The sleek, black coat, the unsoiled hand,
The proud assertion of the worm.
Behold the Class! Oh, noble band!
Mild, desk-worn yoemen of 'The Firm.'
With swagger of the over-dressed.
With meekness of the underpaid,
They flout the plaint of the oppressed,
And stare at Liberty, afraid.

Font size:
Collection  Edit     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:14 min read
81 Views

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…

All Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis poems | Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "The Clerk" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 28 Jul 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/6603/the-clerk>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    More poems by

    Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

    »

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    "Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe."
    • A. Lewis Carroll
    • B. Shel Silverstein
    • C. Lord Byron
    • D. Dr. Seuss

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »