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The Deadly Dummy

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

'It's the dummy wot done it,' said Bleary Bill.
'As a child I was out o' luck.
A kid in me pram, that's wot I am
When they gimme the thing to suck.
An' I took to it good, for I like the taste;
With never a thought of a life laid waste.

Then I took to nippin' upon the sly,
Or avin' a suck with a friend,
Tho' a neighbourin' kid warned me, 'e did,
It would get me, sure, in the end.
An' git me it did, as you see today.
In a most insidius an' 'orrible way.

I know as me 'abits is not the best.
An' I know as the beer's a curse;
But don't blame me, for me choice weren't free,
An' the blame of it's all on nurse.
So, please, yer Honor, don't make it 'ot,
An' I'll swear off dummies right on the spot.'

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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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