Yarra Flats

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

A spieler came to Yarra Glen upon the Yarra flats;
He wore a suit of noisy cheeks and something cute in hats.
He was a wicked man, they say,
Such as they grow down Melbourne way.
A spieler gay,
From Melbourne way,
Who sought for Yarra flats.

He taught them an amusing trick with three elusive cards;
But with suspicion such vain things the Yarra flat regards.
And then, with fingers mighty quick,
He tried them with the thimble trick.
A nimble trick,
The thimble trick,
As tricky as the cards.

But still the stolid natives stood, and let him have his say,
But always changed the subject when he wanted them to play.
They were not parting with their 'dough.'
'But now,' said they, 'give us a show.
We'll do a trick,
The river trick,
The only trick we know.

'We'll bet you fifty pounds,' they said, 'that we produce a man
Who'll throw you clean across the river Yarra - and he can
Right where the stream is swift and wide
And land you on the other side.'
'I call your bluff!
Put up the stuff!'
The spieler chap replied.

They led him to the river bank - the day was bleak and cold
And on his collar and his pants their strong man took a hold.
 He swung him once, he swung him twice
(The strong man's grip was like a vice)
Then, with a flop,
He let him dropp
The stream was cold as ice.

The spieler scrambled to the bank.  'I've won!' he cried.  'I've won!'
'Get out!' the simple natives jeered.  'Our strong man hasn't done.
 He's only tried it once, you fool!
He's going to try again.  Keep cool.'
'I've done my dash;
You take the cash,'
The spieler said: 'I'm full.'

The spieler went from Yarra Glen; his clothes were dripping wet.
'These are,' he murmured brokenly, 'the fliest flats I've met.'
And, as the natives saw him off,
They cheered him on with shout and scoff;
'We're all strong men
 In Yarra Glen,
But Yarra flats are off!'

Font size:
Collection  PDF     

Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:48 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,798
Words 363
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7, 7

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

1 fan

Discuss the poem Yarra Flats with the community...



    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)


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


    "Yarra Flats" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Apr. 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/6831/yarra-flats>.

    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


    April 2024

    Poetry Contest

    Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.

    Special Program

    Earn Rewards!

    Unlock exciting rewards such as a free mug and free contest pass by commenting on fellow members' poems today!

    Browse Poetry.com


    Are you a poetry master?

    Which poet is known for writing "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"?
    A Dylan Thomas
    B Sylvia Plath
    C William Shakespeare
    D T.S. Eliot