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The Silver-Eye

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

Down among the strawberries,
Up among the plums,
Cheeping in the cherry-tree
When early autumn comes,
In our silver spectacles
And sober olive suits.
We're very, very innocent;
We wouldn't touch your fruits.

Well, maybe just a speckled one,
A windfall here and there.
But raid your precious strawberries?
Oh no, we wouldn't dare.
Behold our bland astonishment,
The charge is quite absurd!
It must have been a parrot
Or some other kind of bird.

It must have been a satin bird;
It must have been a crow.
It couldn't possibly be us;
We are so meek, you know,
With our silver spectacles.
The accusation's vile!
How can you deem us guilty
When we're whistling all the while?

Well, if you've caught us in the act
There's no more to be said.
The plums are blue and succulent,
The strawberries are red.
And who'd refuse a dainty dish
When early autumn comes?
Oh, write a rhyme about us, man,
And pay for all your plums.

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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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