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The Mercenary View

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



I knew a poor remittance man,
A decent chap, but funny,
In days when my ideas began
To be controlled by money
He wore a swank, patrician air;
But, oh, his life was filled with care,
For he had seldom cash to spare;
His mien was far from sunny.

I fear I was a snobbish youth
Who led a prig's existence.
I snubbed the chap, to tell the truth,
And kept him at a distance.
His clothes, well cut, were often worn
Threadbare. Tho' he was gently born
His friendship I refused with scorn
Despite his soft insistence.

But now the whirligig of time
Sees fit to elevate him.
While, lo, the money that was mine
Is shrinking, seriatim;
And faced by serious mishap.
While he reclines in Fortune's lap.
I'd like to find the dear old chap
I'd want to cultivate him.

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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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