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Winter Rhapsody



Winter has come; and tardily
Now little nipping winds are rife
Where laggard leaves, on many a tree,
Still cling tenaciously to life.
Spent Autumn with a myriad hues
Had laughed at death and mocked the worm.
And now bluff Winter shouts glad news
Of Winter joys, which I refuse,
I simply sit and squirm.

For Winter, too, holds many joys,
Pert flappers, furred to ears and chin,
With painted lips, to lure the boys,
And hose that lets the breezes in
Go laughing by . . . A gladness cleaves
E'en to yon toiler, who with firm,
Swift strokes, sweeps up the fallen leaves
And, working, whistles. . . . No Man grieves
Save I who sit and squirm.

He whistles on in merry mood,
And sweeps, and sweeps along the street.
'How like all futile life,' I brood.
Nought but frustration, death, defeat.
For as he sweeps, poor toiling hack
Sweeps up dead leaf and deadly germ,
Rude winds arise and sweep them back,
And all's to do again! Alack!
I sit, and sneer, and squirm.

I squirm to hear the football fans'
Impassioned cry of 'On the ball!'
Lure of the links, the punter's plans
I squirm, I squirm, and scorn them all,
I squirm while thrushes, fluting free,
Shout triumph over clammy care....
Ah, laggard leaf upon the tree,
Squirm on, and join my thenody;
For Winter's only gift to me
Is woollen underwear.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:11 min read
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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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