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The Merry Sportsmen

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



'Arry an' me is bits of sports;
When the summer comes around
We gits our sweaters an' guns an' shorts
An' we seeks out 'untin' ground.
Tennis an' 'ikin' we reckons tame;
So we shuns the cissy push
An' goes in more for a 'e-man sport
Shootin', out in the bush.

Week-end 'fore last we 'ad some fun
Close up to a record day;
For a real good bag fell to each gun
Pea-rific, that's to say.
But the gem of it all was that darn fool bird
I got while 'e's 'avin' a barf
At the edge of a pool. 'E looked absurd.
Chee! 'Arry an' me did larf!

By lunch I'd potted a decent bag:
Three parrots, a thrush an' a jack,
An' 'Arry, two wrens an' a lark an' a mag.
Then we camps at a creek near the track;
When up comes a coot in a rig absurd
Wot talks like some bug-'untin' fool.
But 'Arry sez, ''Ist!' An' 'e points to a bird
Wot is 'avin' a barf at a pool.

'Wot a charmin' pitcher!' this strange bloke said,
But I ups with me gun in a jiff
An', jist as the dicky-bird's duckin' 'is 'ead,
I skittles the beggar stiff.
Well, you should 'a' seen 'ow this strange bloke gapes:
Lip like a motherless colt.
An' eyes stickin' out like a couple o' grapes.
Chee! 'Arry an' me did larf!

'E goggles a bit, then 'e goes orf pop,
But we're two to 'is one, so we smiles.
Then he threatens to give us in charge to a cop.
Fat chance! There ain't one in miles!
Red robin it was. If you only 'ad seen!
Real trustful-like, 'avin' 'is barf,
When - Plunk! An' 'is blood spurts over the green.
Chee! Arry an' me did larf!

I can't stop larfin' whenever I think
Of that comedy there by the creek.
Singin' robin 'e was with a breast all pink.
(We are goin' again nex' week.)
There 'e was, splashin' all over the place,
When I darn near blows 'im in 'arf.
An' if you'd saw the look on that strange cove's face!
Chee! 'Arry an' me did larf!

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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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