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The Gloomy Victorian

Where is this glum Victorian
This man of mien forlorn
Fit but for some historian
To heap with heavy scorn?
I've sought him up an down the street
Thro' labyrinthine ways,
Wherever men and maidens meet;
By road or rail, or on two feet
I've searched for him for days.
I've looked for him where business cares
Weigh down on every rank,
Seeking to catch him unawares
In tears upon the office stairs;
Yet ever drew a blank
I've sought him in the hinterland
On Sunny Saturdays.
He smiled a while and waved his hand
Amid his draughts and drays,
And said, 'Excuse me: I must catch
This bus to see a football match,'
And gaily went his ways.
In palaces and picture shows
Where e'er a soul for solace goes
I've hunted him; and goodness knows
He seemed too gay by half;
And neither consciousness of sin
Nor sorrow kept his gladness in;
For, truth to tell, his silly grin
Fled only for a laugh.

Where is this glum Victorian
Man of the brooding eye?
His story, tho' a hoary 'un
I've failed to verify.
I've sought him on the sandy beach,
Mid shining sheik and perfect peach;
But he was never there.
I've sought him in the gleaming bush
Mid many a merry hiking push,
And moaned in my despair.
I've sought him him on the sunlit course
Doing his dough on some slow horse,
And glimpsed a gloomy note.
But swiftly, moved by some queer force,
He grinned, and backed without remorse
Another hairy goat ....
Then hopeless, haggard and distraught,
I met a ragged man
And pitifullyhim besought
To tell me where he might be caught,
This glum Victorian.
He looked me up, he looked me down
And, tho' he seemed a sorry clown,
A merry smile replaced his frown
As thus to me he spoke:
'So far, I ain't met such 'tis true,'
Said he; 'but, by the looks of you,
I reckon you're the bloke.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:43 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme Ababcdccdefeefgxgdhhdiiijkkkj Alalmmnoonppqppqxxcxarrrstts
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,713
Words 335
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 29, 28

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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