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Wangled by the Wayside

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

'Country blokes is kind,' he said,
And sat upon his swag
(I had no pipe tobacco,
So he said he'd 'risk a fag.')
'A country bloke's my sort o' bloke,
As I've had cause to find.
Them city coves is cold as mud:
But country blokes is kind.

'Now, f'rinstance, just you take yerself.
I meets you on the road,
A stranger, fur as I'm concerned
A cove I've never knowed.
An' when I sprags you for a smoke,
I'll bet you didn't mind.
You done your best; tho' fags is muck.
Country blokes is kind.

'Country hearts is rightly placed
A every battler knows.
If I'd have asked you for a feed,
Or p'raps some carst-off clo'es,
I'll wager you'd have searched your house
For all that you could find
In shape of tucker or of duds,
Yes; country blokes is kind.

'But city coves! - I ain't been there
For years - nigh on fifteen.
But lately I meandered down
Just for a change of scene
But rekernise a human bean?
They ain't that way inclined,
That crowd of stone-eyed strangers there.
Not like the conutry kind.

'To ask a bob for food or drink
In cities is a sin,
An' they goes an' calls a copper,
An' the copper turns you in.
But, if you pitch a likely tale,
Most like you don't git fined.
So I hoofs it back to country scenes
Where blokes is nice and kind.

'So here I am, back in the bush,
Still battlin' an' dead-broke.
An' the minnit I seen you I sez,
'Now, there's a country bloke,'
I sez. 'He's got that sort of face.'
I'm broke, but I'm not blind.
Stone-broke ... Well, I best push along ...
Thanks. Country blokes is kind.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:34 min read

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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