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Why a Picnic, Jane?

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

But, why a picnic, Jane? We went last year,
And missed the Cup; and you know how you grieved
Because we lost - Oh! yes, you did, my dear.
I had the tip, but I was not believed.
It's just sheer nonsense to deny it all.
And when he won, you said, if you recall,
You'd never miss a chance like that again.
Well, cut the Cup. But why a picnic, Jane?

You know how I hate picnics - sticky things
The grizzling children and the dusty road,
The flies and all those crawlywigs with stings
My dear, I'm not selfish! But that load
Of baskets - Eh? Back him at starting price?
That's an idea. And then I could remain
To take you and the children? - M'yes. Quite nice.
Jolly, of course. But, why a picnic, Jane?

Wait! Have you thought of burglars? There you are!
The empty house. Remember that last case
Near here? ... Bright thought, my dear! You take the car.
You've solved it. I'll stay at home and mind the place.
Lonely? Not I. You take the car, of course.
I've a good book; I'll be all right alone.
That's settled then ... And now, about the horse.
Wait here, and while I think of it, I'll phone.

'Lo! That you, Sam? All set! I can't talk loud.
'Lo! can you hear me? Listen, lad. It's on.
Tomorrow, yes. Count me in the crowd.
Your car - about eleven. They'll be gone.
Great stunt, that picnic! If we make the pace
We ought to get there for the second race.
Well, Jane, that's all fixed up. I've backed our horse.
Eh? Help cut sandwiches? Why, dear, of course.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:30 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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