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The Faithless Fantods



Bill Barcoo was a station 'and - 'e was a station 'and,
And grafted all the year like Pharaoh's Jews.
But all 'is pay, I grieve ter say, 'e blewed - you understand
This station 'and
Was drinky in his views;
An' 'e was wont ter lash it up on booze.

Fer Bill 'e wandered once a year - exactly once a year
Ter bust his cheque at Casey's Bush 'Otel;
An' drank the stuff - more than enough - that Casey sed wus beer.
An' it wus queer:
When 'e wus on a spell
'E used to 'old 'is sides an' larf like 'ell.

No doubt yer've 'eard of Casey's beer - of Casey's fightin' beer,
An' Casey's Three Star Blue Gum Brandy too,
The stuff that makes the crimson snakes when you get on yer ear.
Such visions queer
Were known ter quite a few;
That's why they called the shanty 'Casey's Zoo.'

Large purple frogs that sat an' croaked - jes' looked at yer an' croaked,
Goanners, snakes and spiders without end,
An' sich weird sights distrurbed the nights of such poor bushman bloke
As 'as a soak
In Casey's famous blend
In Casey's fierce an' famous Bushman's Friend.

But, once a year, Bill struck the spot - 'e blithely struck the spot,
An' slung across the bar 'is 'ard-earned cheque;
Then started in to bust 'is tin an' make things fairly 'ot
Until 'e got
Fair loaded to the neck;
An' then Bill looked a proper sort er wreck.

Then 'e begun to see the Zoo - ter gaze at Casey's Zoo.
But with the jims and fantods that 'e seen
'E made quite free. 'Fer,why,' sez 'e, 'I never see but two,
An' one is blue,
An' t'other's sort er green.
They're jes' the same 'ere ev'ry time I've been.'

They wus jes' like ole pals to 'im - like lifelong fren's to 'im.
'E looked to meet 'em ev'ry time 'e came
Ses 'e, 'The blue un's christened Sue; she's uppish-like an' prim;
But t'other, Jim,
'E'll answer to 'is name,
An' feed out of yer 'and, 'e is that tame.'

One time when Bill was on the spree - a real ole rorty spree
'E larfed the 'ole blame time till 'e wus thro'.
We wonders wot noo sort 'e'd got, 'e wus so full er glee.
'You oughter see!'
Ses 'e, when 'e come to.
'Why, blowed if my ole Jim ain't courtin' Sue!'

Bill 'ad but one spree after that - just one more after that.
An' sich another sight I'd grieve ter see,
'E cursed, an' swore, an' raved, an' tore 'is 'air an' foamed, an' spat.
It knocked us flat,
Fer generally 'e,
When on a jag, was merry as could be.

An' after that Bill guv up drink - yes, fairly chucked the drink.
But why, ther' wasn't one among us knoo.
'O, struth!' ses Bill, 'I've 'ad me fill, and so 'ud you, I think
O, strike me pink!
They once wus green an' blue;
But now ther's yaller, red an' purple too!'

But one day Bill 'e chats ter me - in conferdence ter me.
'Yer know,' ses 'e, 'that Jim was courtin' Sue.
'Twas quite a joke ter see that bloke; but, spare me days! - if she
Did not agree!
An' they got married too!
Got hitched up quiet, an' I never knoo!

'I never knoo till my next spree - till my next yearly spree,
An' then, fust thing - the flamin' quadrupids!
I learned them two - my Jim and Sue - was spliced, with twenty-three
In familee!
An', spare me days! SUCH KIDS!
I wouldn't 'ave another drink fer quids!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:15 min read
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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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