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The Faltering Knight



It knocks me can in, this ere game uv life,
A bloke gets born, grows up, looks round fer fun,
Dreams dilly dreams, then wakes to find a wife
An' fambly round 'im - all 'is young days done.
An', gazin' back, sees in 'is youth a man
Scarce reckernised. It fair knocks in me can!

Ther's me. I never seemed to mark no change
As I mooched on through life frum year to year;
An' yet, at times it seems to me dead strange
That me, uv old, is me, 'oo's sittin' 'ere.
Per'aps it ain't. 'E was a crook young coot,
While I'm a sturdy farmer, growin' froot.

But, all the same, 'e wouldn't back an' fill,
An' argue with 'imself, an' 'esitate,
Once 'e 'ad seen the way. 'E'd find the will
To go an' do the thing 'e 'ad to, straight.
That's 'ow I was; an' now-Ar, strike a light!
Life gits so mixed I can't git nothin' right.

But wot's the use? A bloke 'as got to own,
When once 'e 'as responsibility,
Ther's certin games is better left alone
Wot might be done if 'e was only free.
Ther's certin things - Oh, wot's the flamin' good?
A 'usband alwiz gits misun'erstood!

It's no use hintin'. If yeh want it straight,
Me an' me wife ain't seenin' eye to eye:
All ain't been peace an' 'armony uv late,
An' clouds is comin' up in our clear sky.
I ain't to blame, an' yet, no more's Doreen.
It's jist 'ard Fate 'as shoved 'is oar between.

All marrid blokes will understand me well.
I ain't addressin' no remarks to those
'0o've learnt but 'arf uv life. The things I tell
Is fer the ears uv fellermen that knows:
Them symperthetic 'usbands 'oo 'ave 'eard
The fog-'orn soundin' in the wifely word.

Fer when stern jooty grips a 'usband's 'eart
(That's me) an' eggs 'im on to start a scene
That's like to tear two 'appy lives apart,
In spite uv all 'er carin' (That's Doreen)
Why, there you 'ave a story that would make
A bonzer movie - with a bit uv fake.

But 'ere's the plot. When my pal, Ginger Mick,
Chucked in 'is alley in this war we won,
'E left things tangled; fer 'e went too quick
Fer makin' last requests uv anyone.
'E jist sez to the world, when last 'e spoke,
'Look after Rose!' . . . 'E was a trustful bloke.

Rose lives in Spadgers Lane. She lived, them days,
Fer Mick's returnin'. When 'e never came,
If she lost 'old, an' took to careless ways,
Well, I ain't sayin' she was much to blame.
An' I don't worry, till I 'ear she's took,
Or thinks uv takin' on to ways that's crook.

Although I'm vegetatin' on a farm,
I gets a city whisper now an' then.
An' when I 'ear she's like to come to 'arm
Amongst a push uv naughty spieler men,
I gets the wind up. This is all I see:
Mick was my cobber; so it's up to me.

That's all I see, quite clear, with my two eyes.
But marrid blokes will understand once more,
When I remarks that marrid blokes is wise
'Oo 'ave the sense to take a squint through four.
Four eyes is needed in reviewin' plans -
Their vision's broader than a single man's.

But when them four eyes sees two ways at once
Gets crossed - Ar, well, ther's things in marrid life
For which a hint's enough fer any dunce.
Ther's certin things between a man an' wife
That can't be quite - But take this fer a fack:
Don't start things uv a mornin'. It ain't tack.

That was me first bad break. I should 'ave seen
The supper things washed up, an' 'elped a bit,
An' then 'ave broke it gently to Doreen,
Promiscus, like I jist 'ad thought uv it.
But I done worse. I blurts wot I'd to say
Upon the mornin' uv a washin' day!

There's gumption fer yeh. eight years I been hitched
Eight years uv trainin', an' I fall down flat!
Like some poor, love-sick softy 'oo gets switched
Fer tellin' 'sweetie' 'e don't like 'er 'at,
When she's jist come frum 'avin' rows no end
About it's trimmin' with 'er dearest friend.

I owns me ta'tic's crook. But, all the same,
Ther' weren't no need fer certin things she said.
Wantin' to do good acts don't call fer blame,
Even on tackless 'usban's, eight years wed.
A bloke 'oo jist suggests a 'armless plan
Don't need remindin' 'e's a marrid man.

'Struth! Don't I know it? Can I well ferget
While I still 'ave two 'ealthy ears to 'ark?
Not that she torks an' mags a lot; but yet
Ther's somethin' in 'er choice uv a remark
That gets there, worse than yappin' all day long,
An' makes me pure intentions look dead wrong.

It seems it ain't right fer a marrid bloke
To rescue maids. I starts to answer back;
But got took up before I 'ardly spoke,
An' innercent designs is painted black.<
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:33 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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    "The Faltering Knight" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 6 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/6642/the-faltering-knight>.

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