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The Swanks of Gosh

Come mourn with me for the land of Gosh,
Oh, weep with me for the luckless Glugs
Of the land of Gosh, where the sad seas wash
The patient shores, and the great King Splosh
His sodden sorrow hugs;
Where the fair Queen Tush weeps all the day,
And the Swank, the Swank, the naughty Swank,
The haughty Swank holds sway
The most mendacious, ostentatious,
 Spacious Swank holds sway.

'Tis sorrow-swathed, as I know full well,
And garbed in gloom and the weeds of woe,
And vague, so far, is the tale I tell;
But bear with me for the briefest spell,
 And surely shall ye know
Of the land of Gosh, and Tush, and Splosh,
And Stodge, the Swank, the foolish Swank,
The mulish Swank of Gosh-
The meretricious, avaricious,
 Vicious Swank of Gosh.

Oh, the tall trees bend, and green trees send
A chuckle round the earth,
And the soft winds croon a jeering tune,
 And the harsh winds shriek with mirth,
And the wee small birds chirp ribald words
When the Swank walks down the street;
But every Glug takes off his hat,
And whispers humbly, 'Look at that!
Hats off! Hats off to the Glug of rank!
Sir Stodge, the Swank, the Lord High Swank!'
Then the East wind roars a loud guffaw,
And the haughty Swank says, 'Haw!'

His brain is dull, and his mind is dense,
And his lack of saving wit complete;
But most amazingly immense
Is his inane self-confidence
And his innate conceit.
But every Glug, and great King Splosh
Bowed to Sir Stodge, the fuddled Swank,
The muddled Swank of Gosh
The engineering, peeping, peering,
Sneering Swank of Gosh.

In Gosh, sad Gosh, where the Lord Swank lives,
He holds high rank, and he has much pelf;
And all the well-paid posts he gives
Unto his fawning relatives,
As foolish as himself.
In offices and courts and boards
 Are Swanks, and Swanks, ten dozen Swanks,
 And cousin Swanks in hordes
Inept and musty, dry and dusty,
Rusty Swanks in hordes.

The clouds so soft, that sail aloft,
Weep laughing tears of rain;
The blue sky spread high overhead
Peeps thro' in mild disdain.
All nature laughs and jeers and chaffs
When the Swank goes out to walk;
But every Glug bows low his head,
And says in tones surcharged with dread,
'Bow low, bow low, Glugs lean, Glugs fat!'
But the North wind snatches off his hat,
And flings it high, and shrieks to see
 His ruffled dignity.

They lurk in every Gov'ment lair,
'Mid docket dull and dusty file,
Solemnly squat in an easy chair,
Penning a minute of rare hot air
In departmental style.
In every office, on every floor
Are Swanks, and Swanks, distracting Swanks,
And Acting-Swanks a score,
And coldly distant, sub-assistant
 Under-Swanks galore.

In peaceful days when the countryside
Poured wealth to Gosh, and the skies were blue,
The great King Splosh no fault espied,
And seemed entirely satisfied
With Swanks who muddled thro'.
But when they fell on seasons bad,
Oh, then the Swanks, the bustled Swanks,
The hustled Swanks went mad
The minute-writing, nation-blighting,
Skiting Swanks went mad.

The tall trees sway like boys at play,
And mock him when he grieves,
As one by one, in laughing fun,
They pelt him with their leaves.
And the gay green trees joke to the breeze,
As the Swank struts proudly by;
But every Glug, with reverence,
Pays homage to his pride immense
A homage deep to lofty rank
The Swank! The Swank! The pompous Swank!
But the wind-borne leaves await their chance
 And round him gaily dance.

Now, trouble came to the land of Gosh:
The fear of battle, and anxious days;
And the Swanks were called to the great King Splosh,
Who said that their system would not wash,
And ordered other ways.
Then the Lord High Swank stretched forth a paw,
And penned a minute re the law,
And the Swanks, the Swanks, the other Swanks,
The brother Swanks said, 'Haw!'
These keen, resourceful, unremorseful,
Forceful Swanks said, 'Haw!'

Then Splosh, the king, in a royal rage,
He smote his throne as he thundered, 'Bosh!
In the whole wide land is there not one sage
With a cool, clear brain, who'll straight engage
 To sweep the Swanks from Gosh?'
But the Lord High Stodge, from where he stood,
Cried, 'Barley! . . . Guard your livelihood!'
And, quick as light, the teeming Swanks,
The scheming Swanks touched wood.
Sages, plainly, labour vainly
 When the Swanks touch wood.

The stealthy cats that grace the mats
Before the doors of Gosh,
Smile wide with scorn each sunny mor
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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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