Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Further Afric Echoes

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 Blo…

By gar! I tell-a you, t'ings don't stop
Since da war he come wit' a rush,
When Nicko, da boss at da fry-fish shop,
He sack-a Black Sam, da slush.
I tella you how Nick t'row Sam out
An' say for to notta come back;
An' I tella how Sam play turn about
An' launch-a da count' attack.

Well, t'ings dey move like da grease-a-da-light.
Nick speak-a to four, five friend,
An' he say: 'We make-a raid tonight
An' bringa dis war for end.'
So dey find-a where Sam an' his friends hang out,
An' dey snap-a da fing' at da law
When dey make-a da plan for da midnight rout
An' da dirty sock-a-da-jaw.

But Sammo he got da spy in da camp,
An' he catch-a da hint what drp,
So he spill-a da tale of Nicka da scamp
In da ear of da corner-a cop.
Den da cop meet Nick an' his friends dat night
An' make t'rcat for the runnin' dem in
But Nick say: 'Call-a you'seluf da white
For proteck black Abb-da-sin?'

Say da cop: 'Datta be about all from you.
More bettra you buzz off, lad,
Or you cool-a da heel, an' you cobber, too.'
Den Nicko he wile like-a mad.
An' he say: 'Do dey smash-a my shop, by gar,
An' I catch-a no compensaish'?
Santa da Luce! What you t'inkin' you are
Da bloom-a League-a-da-Naish?'

Den Nick get wile, an' his frien's get wile,
An' da cop get wile like 'ell;
An' da lingua dey use, so you hear for a mile,
It not-a for me to tell,
But da cop he cool off by by an'-a by,
An' he say: 'Cut-a out da swank!
You make-a da peace, or me, I apply
Da eco-da-nomic sanc'.'

'Now I tells da boys (da cop he say)
From da ironwork out-a da back,
An' da girls from da jam-fac' over da way
To declare-a you' fry-fish black!
What-a you do den, Mista Musso-da-lin?
Datta food for t'ink, ole quince.'
But Nicko, he grinnin' da sickly grin;
An' he t'ink hard ever-a since.