Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

The Woes of Bill

Once upon a recent even, as I lay in fitful slumber,
Weaving dreams and seeing visions vague and utterly absurd,
Suddenly I seemed to waken, somewhat scared and rather shaken,
For I thought my name was mentioned, coupled with - 'a certain word.'

'Twas the Adjective that roused me, sanguinary and familiar,
That embellishes the diction of my fellow countrymen,
When they do commune together in regard to crops or weather -
Such a word as never, never shall defile this pious pen.

Sitting, upright on my pillow, filled with weird, uncanny feelings,
Once again I heard, distinctly someone calling on my name.
And I gazed around me vainly as a voice exclaimed quite plainly:
'Strike me up a blessed wattle if it ain't a blessed shame!'

''Tis some idiotic joker, 't's some festive friend,' I muttered,
Gazing toward my chamber window where the moonlight faintly gleamed
Then, before my bedroom curtain, I beheld a shape uncertain,
Something vague and dim and doubtful, slowly taking form it seemed.

Then, all obvious before me stood a figure most familiar,
Clad in bushman's boots and breeches and a colored cotton shirt.
Said he: 'No, yer eyes don't fail yer: Here's yer cobber, BILL AUSTRALIER,
An' I've come to ask you plainly if this game ain't blessed dirt!'

'Pardon. BILL,' said I politely; 'but I hardly get your meaning.'
'Strewth!' said BILL. 'Dead crook, I call it!' But I stayed him with a smile.
'By your leave, my worthy bloke, we'll dropp these oaths and terms colloquial,
And just talk the matter over in a peaceful, friendly style.'

BILL choked back a warm expletive - for my smile was most engaging -
And, upon my invitation, sat beside me on the bed.
And, omitting decorations - fancy oaths and execrations
That his woeful story garnished, I shall tell you what he said.

'Now my name is BILL AUSTRALIER, just plain BILL without no trimmin's,
And you'll tumble that I'm ownin' quite a tidy bit o' land;
Land that needs a bit o' workin'; an' there ain't no time for shirkin',
An' there ain't no call for loafers on the job I got on hand.

'My selection is extensive; right from sea to sea it stretches;
An' I'm needin' willin' grafters for the toil there is to do:
So some blokes called politicians speaks for overseers' positions,
An' I hands 'em out the billets, thinkin' they would see things through.

''Strewth! They ain't signed on 10 minutes 'fore they downs their tools in anger,
An', without no word o' warnin', started fightin' tooth an' nail.
An' I yelled till I grew husky, an' me face with rage went dusky,
But me most expensive language wasn't of the least avail.

'Tell yeh, I was fair bewildered till a bloke gives me the office,
Puts me wise about them factions an' this Party Guv'ment lurk.
Seems, if one side takes to toilin', then the other aims at spoilin'
Ev'ry blessed job they tackle. An' the blighters calls it WORK!

'So I puts it to 'em plainly. Sez I: 'This here Party scrappin'
In the time for which I'm payin' ain't a fair thing, anyway!'
An, I calmly asks 'em whether they can't work in peace together,
An' consider me a trifle, seein' as I find the pay.

'But it weren't no use o' torkin', they just howls and fights the harder,
Leaves me pressin' jobs to languish while they plays their party games;
Till one push turns out the stronger; then I don't chip in no longer,
For they done a bit o' graftin' while the others calls 'em names.

'Now, this year their contracts finished, so I gives 'em all the bullet,
Sacks the lot an' advertises for fresh men; an' when they came,
With near even sides, by Heaven! 38 to 37.
They remarks: 'The job be jiggered! We're too close to play the Game.'

'Game! What game? Of all the blighters!' - (Here BILL'S language grew tremendous.
I have never heard a vision curse so much in all my life.)
'Five an' seventy I'm payin' for to work, an' here's them sayin'
That the sides is too near equal an' 'twould only lead to strife!

'Strike me - !' (BILL again, in anger, aired his vast vocabulary,
Using words against his 'workmen' stronger than the law allows;
And his ultimate expletive! - Fain would I remain secretive,
But I may not. In his anger. BILL described them as FAIR COWS!)

'Fair dashed Cows! That's wot I call 'em. An' I want your straight opinion.
Am I boss of this selection that extends from sea to sea?
Here's these blinded politicians hangin' on to them positions!
An' I want the dead, straight griffen: Are they workin' points on me?'

'BILL,' said I - and tears were streaming down my whiskers as I answered -
'Precedent, and rule, and custom cannot b
Font size:
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:14 min read
65 Views

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…

All Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis poems | Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "The Woes of Bill" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 21 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/6783/the-woes-of-bill>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    More poems by

    Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

    »

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    Which of these poets was not American?
    • A. Ezra Pound
    • B. Rudyard Kipling
    • C. Walt Whitman
    • D. Emily Dickinson

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »