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The White Foxglove



Reynard, the fox, was asked to a party.
"Come", they said, in your Sunday best,
For we like good form, tho' the fun be hearty;
So all who dance must be formally dressed:
Black tail-coat and a shirt-front gleaming.
Brushed and burnished each dancing shoe,
Pantaloons with a silk braid seaming,
Clean white gloves of the snowiest hue.
This most especially -
Very especially -
Snow-white gloves of a spotless hue.

Reynard, the fox, as he dressed (says the fable)
Dreamed of the dance and his lady love,
Then he searched and he hunted in dresser and table,
But all he discovered was - one old glove!
A horrible glove, with a broad black stitching
Sorriest match for his stiff white shirt.
Could lover go wooing a maid so bewitching,
Wearing but one glove, grubby with dirt?
Oh, most disgustedly -
Very disgustedly -
Creased and crumpled and yellow with dirt.

Said Reynard, the fox, to the King of the Fairies,
"King, I come to you craving a dower.
Gloves! All as white as the lamb that was Mary's.
Pray you, fashion a pair from a magic flower.
>From a summer cloud, from the web of a spider.
Skin of a toadstool, a snowberry rind,
Down from the breast of a fledgling eider."
And the King said "Sure", for the King was kind.
Ever so graciously -
Gaily and graciously -
"Oke", said the Monarch, for he was kind.

Then Reynard, the fox, beheld a wonder:
A wave of his wand by the Fairy King -
And there, with the green leaves spreading under,
Sprang forth a sceptre, a magic thing
With garlands of gloves in a gleaming cluster,
White as the fleeces of new-shorn flocks
That fairy shepherds in Arcady muster.
And a pair they presented to Reynard, the fox.
They fitted him perfectly.
Said the King, "perfectly"
"Your Majesty.' Thank you!" said Reynard, the fox.

Reynard, the fox, made haste to the revel;
Beau of the ball, as they had to confess.
And the ladies sighed, "What a handsome devil?"
As for his lady - of course it was, "yes".
Then they danced and they fasted with merry laughter.
While Reynard weaved dreams in the clouds above.
And they called that blossom, from then ever after -
Men, foxes and fairies - the white Fox-glove.
Tall and so slenderly
Graceful and tenderly,
Swaying its sceptre - the White Fox-Glove.

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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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