Wheat –  Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

‘Sowin’ things an’ growin’ things, an’ watchin’ of ’em grow; 

That’s the game,’ my father said, an’ father ought to know. 

‘Settin’ things an’ gettin’ things to grow for folks to eat: 

That’s the life,’ my father said, ‘that’s very hard to beat.’ 

For my father was a farmer, as his father was before, 

Just sowin’ things an’ growin’ things in far-off days of yore, 

In the far-off land of England, till my father found his feet 

In the new land, in the true land, where he took to growin’ wheat. 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! Oh, the sound of it is sweet! 

I’ve been praisin’ it an’ raisin’ it in rain an’ wind an’ heat 

Since the time I learned to toddle, till it’s beatin’ in my noddle, 

Is the little song I’m singin’ you of Wheat, Wheat, Wheat. 
Plantin’ things —- an’ grantin’ things is goin’ as they should, 

An’ the weather altogether is behavin’ pretty good —- 

Is a pleasure in a measure for a man that likes the game, 

An’ my father he would rather raise a crop than make a name. 

For my father was a farmer, an’ ‘All fame,’ he said, ‘ain’t reel; 

An’ the same it isn’t fillin’ when you’re wantin’ for a meal.’ 

So I’m followin’ his footsteps, an’ a-keepin’ of my feet, 

While I cater for the nation with my Wheat, Wheat, Wheat. 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! When the poets all are beat 

By the reason that the season for the verse crop is a cheat, 

Then I comes up bright an’ grinnin’ with the knowledge that I’m winnin’, 

With the rhythm of my harvester an’ Wheat, Wheat, Wheat. 
Readin’ things an’ heedin’ things that clever fellers give,

An’ ponderin’ an’ wonderin’ why we was meant to live —- 

Muddlin’ through an’ fuddlin’ through philosophy an’ such 

Is a game I never took to, an’ it doesn’t matter much. 

For my father was a farmer, as I might ‘a’ said before, 

An’ the sum of his philosophy was, ‘Grow a little more. 

For growin’ things,’ my father said, ‘it makes life sort o’ sweet 

An’ your conscience never swats you if your game is growin’ wheat.’ 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! Oh, the people have to eat! 

An’ you’re servin’, an’ deservin’ of a velvet-cushion seat

In the cocky-farmers’ heaven when you come to throw a seven; 

An’ your password at the portal will be, ‘Wheat, Wheat, Wheat.’ 
Now, the preacher an’ the teacher have a callin’ that is high 

While they’re spoutin’ to the doubtin’ of the happy by an’ by; 

But I’m sayin’ that the prayin’ it is better for their souls 

When they’ve plenty wheat inside ’em in the shape of penny rolls. 

For my father was a farmer, an’ he used to sit an’ grieve

When he thought about the apple that old Adam got from Eve. 

It was foolin’ with an orchard where the serpent got ’em beat, 

An’ they might ‘a’ kept the homestead if they’d simply stuck to wheat. 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! If you’re seekin’ to defeat 

Care an’ worry in the hurry of the crowded city street, 

Leave the hustle all behind you; come an’ let contentment find you 

In a cosy little cabin lyin’ snug among the wheat. 
In the city, more’s the pity, thousands live an’ thousands die 

Never carin’, never sparin’ pains that fruits may multiply; 

Breathin’, livin’, never givin’; greedy but to have an’ take, 

Dyin’ with no day behind ’em lived for fellow-mortals’ sake. 

Now my father was a farmer, an’ he used to sit and laugh 

At the ‘fools o’ life,’ he called ’em, livin’ on the other half.

Dyin’ lonely, missin’ only that one joy that makes life sweet —- 

Just the joy of useful labour, such as comes of growin’ wheat. 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! Let the foolish scheme an’ cheat; 

But I’d rather, like my father, when viv span o’ life’s complete, 

Feel I’d lived by helpid others; earned the right to call ’em brothers 

Who had gained while I was gainin’ from God’s earth His gift of wheat. 
When the settin’ sun is gettin’ low above the western hills, 

When the creepin’ shadows deepen, and a peace the whole land fills, 

Then I often sort o’ soften with a feelin’ like content, 

An’ I feel like thankin’ Heaven for a day in labour spent. 

For my father was a farmer, an’ he used to sit an’ smile,

Realizin’ he was wealthy in what makes a life worth while. 

Smilin’, he has told me often, ‘After all the toil an’ heat, 

Lad, he’s paid in more than silver who has grown one field of wheat.’ 
Wheat, Wheat, Wheat! When it comes my turn to meet 

Death the Reaper, an’ the Keeper of the Judgment Book I greet, 

Then I’ll face ’em sort o’ calmer with the solace of the farmer 

That he’s fed a million brothers with his Wheat, Wheat, Wheat.

Youth Revisited – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Can this be the old town of wheat-teams and saddle-hacks, 

Of Ted Toll’s smithy, with the anvil ringing clear, 

Of stacks in the station yard, and stockmen, and farming hands, 

Of bow-legged bound’ry riders coming in for beer 

This strange, new, brisk town of sweet-shops and petrol pumps 

Petrol pumps with motor cars dashing up and down? 

Yet there stands the old church, the bluestone baker’s shop, 

And the queer, shrunken houses of my old home town. 
What has become of him – Little Johnny Parkinson? 

Little Johnny Parkinson out upon a bust 

The long red beard of him, the red-rimmed eyes of him;

Red from the harvest field and winnower dust. 

Five foot two of him – Little Johnny Parkinson, 

Driving in his wheat team, down the dusty street; 

Red beard, red eyes, red bandana neckerchief 

Little Johnny Parkinson, who took his whiskey neat. 
What has become of him – Big Jack Herringford? 

Big Jack Herringford, champion of the stacks, 

Where the lumpers, laboring, climbed the crazy wooden ways 

One, two, three hundred pounds upon their backs. 

Big Jack Herringford, soft-hearted Hercules, 

Went to the West land and won a fortune there. 

Was the gold a bension to Big Jack Herringford? 

Does anybody know, or does anybody care? 
What has become of him – Black Tom Boliver? 

Black Tom, Dude Tom, of the shearing shed 

The bold, black eyes of him, the well-oiled curls of him, 

The cabbage-tree hat well back upon his head. 

What has become of them, all the men I used to know?

Only one I recognise of all men there; 

But one has a smile for me – schoolmate Jimmy Tomlinson 

Laughing Jimmy Tomlinson, with snow-white hair.

Winter – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Winter comes; and our complaints 

Grow apace as summer faints, 

Waning days grow dull and drear, 

Something tells, too well, I fear, 

That I’ve found a germ or two; 

Something seems – ee! – ah! Tish-OO. 
Subthig certigly does tell 

That I’b very far frob weel. 

Ad I’b cadging cold, I fear 

As the wading days grow near, 

Winter cubs; ad our complades 

Grow apace as subber fades.

Uncle Jim – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

‘I got no time fer wasters, lad,’ sez ‘e, 

‘Give me a man wiv grit,’ sez Uncle Jim. 

‘E bores ‘is cute ole eyes right into me, 

While I stares ‘ard an’ gives it back to ‘im. 

Then orl at once ‘e grips me ‘and in ‘is: 

‘Some’ow,’ ‘e sez, ‘I likes yer ugly phiz.’ 
‘You got a look,’ ‘e sez, ‘like you could stay; 

Altho’ yeh mauls King’s English when yeh yaps, 

An’ ‘angs flash frills on ev’rythink yeh say. 

I ain’t no grammarist meself, per’aps, 

But langwidge is a ‘elp, I owns,’ sez Unk, 

‘When things is goin’ crook.’ An’ ‘ere ‘e wunk. 
‘Yeh’ll find it tough,’ ‘e sez, ‘to knuckle down. 

Good farmin’ is a gift—like spoutin’ slang. 

Yeh’ll ‘ave to cut the luxuries o’ town, 

An’ chuck the manners of this back-street gang; 

Fer country life ain’t cigarettes and beer.’ 

‘I’m game,’ I sez. Sez Uncle, ‘Put it ‘ere!’ 
Like that I took the plunge, an’ slung the game. 

I’ve parted wiv them joys I ‘eld most dear; 

I’ve sent the leery bloke that bore me name 

Clean to the pack wivout one pearly tear; 

An’ frum the ashes of a ne’er-do-well 

A bloomin’ farmer’s blossomin’ like ‘ell. 
Farmer! That’s me! Wiv this ‘ere strong right ‘and 

I’ve gripped the plough; and blistered jist a treat. 

Doreen an’ me ‘as gone upon the land. 

Yours truly fer the burden an’ the ‘eat! 

Yours truly fer upendin’ chunks o’ soil! 

The ‘ealthy, ‘ardy, ‘appy son o’ toil! 
I owns I’ve ‘ankered fer me former joys; 

I’ve ‘ad me hours o’ broodin’ on me woes; 

I’ve missed the comp’ny, an’ I’ve missed the noise, 

The football matches an’ the picter shows. 

I’ve missed—but, say, it makes me feel fair mean 

To whip the cat; an’ then see my Doreen. 
To see the colour comin’ in ‘er cheeks, 

To see ‘er eyes grow brighter day be day, 

The new, glad way she looks an’ laughs an’ speaks 

Is worf ten times the things I’ve chucked away. 

An’ there’s a secret, whispered in the dark, 

‘As made me ‘eart sing like a flamin’ lark. 
Jist let me tell yeh ‘ow it come about. 

The things that I’ve been thro’ ‘ud fill a book. 

Right frum me birf Fate played to knock me out; 

The ‘and that I ‘ad dealt to me was crook! 

Then comes Doreen, an’ patches up me parst; 

Now Forchin’s come to bunk wiv me at larst. 
First orf, one night poor Mar gits suddin fits, 

An’ floats wivout the time to wave ‘good-byes.’ 

Doreen is orl broke up the day she flits; 

It tears me ‘eart in two the way she cries. 

To see ‘er grief, it almost made me glad 

I never knowed the mar I must ‘ave ‘ad. 
We done poor Muvver proud when she went out 

A slap-up send-orf, trimmed wiv tears an’ crape. 

An’ then fer weeks Doreen she mopes about, 

An’ life takes on a gloomy sorter shape. 

I watch ‘er face git pale, ‘er eyes grow dim; 

Till—like some ‘airy angel—comes ole Jim. 
A cherub togged in sunburn an’ a beard 

An’ duds that shouted ”Ayseed!’ fer a mile: 

Care took the count the minute ‘e appeared, 

An’ sorrer shrivelled up before ‘is smile, 

‘E got the ‘ammer-lock on my good-will 

The minute that ‘e sez, ‘So, this is Bill.’ 
It’s got me beat. Doreen’s late Par, some way, 

Was second cousin to ‘is bruvver’s wife. 

Somethin’ like that. In less than ‘arf a day 

It seemed ‘e’d been my uncle orl me life. 

‘E takes me ‘and: ‘I dunno ‘ow it is,’ 

‘E sez, ‘but, lad, I likes that ugly phiz.’ 
An’ when ‘e’d stayed wiv us a little while 

The ‘ouse begun to look like ‘ome once more. 

Doreen she brightens up beneath ‘is smile, 

An’ ‘ugs ‘im till I kids I’m gettin’ sore. 

Then, late one night, ‘e opens up ‘is scheme, 

An’ passes me wot looks like some fond dream. 
‘E ‘as a little fruit-farm, doin’ well; 

‘E saved a tidy bit to see ‘im thro’; 

‘E’s gittin’ old fer toil, an’ wants a spell; 

An’ ‘ere’s a ‘ome jist waitin’ fer us two. 

‘It’s ‘ers an’ yours fer keeps when I am gone,’ 

Sez Uncle Jim. ‘Lad, will yeh take it on?’ 
So that’s the strength of it. An’ ‘ere’s me now 

A flamin’ berry farmer, full o’ toil; 

Playin’ joo-jitsoo wiv an’ ‘orse an’ plough, 

An’ coaxin’ fancy tucker frum the soil, 

An’ longin’, while I wrestles with the rake, 

Fer days when me poor back fergits to ache. 
Me days an’ nights is full of schemes an’ plans 

To figger profits an’ cut out the loss; 

An’ when the pickin’s on, I ‘ave me ‘an’s 

To take me orders while I act the boss; 

It’s sorter sweet to ‘ave the right to rouse…. 

An’ my Doreen’s the lady of the ‘ouse. 
To see ‘er bustlin’ ’round about the place, 

Full of the simple joy o’ doin’ things, 

That thoughtful, ‘appy look upon ‘er face, 

That ‘ope an’ peace an’ pride o’ labour brings, 

Is worth the crowd of joys I knoo one time, 

An’ makes regrettin’ ’em seem like a crime. 
An’ ev’ry little while ole Uncle Jim 

Comes up to stay a bit an’ pass a tip. 

It gives us ‘eart jist fer to look at ‘im, 

An’ feel the friendship in ‘is warm ‘and-grip. 

‘Im, wiv the sunburn on ‘is kind ole dile; 

‘Im, wiv the sunbeams in ‘is sweet ole smile. 
‘I got no time fer wasters, lad,’ sez ‘e, 

‘But that there ugly mug o’ yourn I trust.’ 

An’ so I reckon that it’s up to me 

To make a bloomin’ do of it or bust. 

I got to take the back-ache wiv the rest, 

An’ plug along, an’ do me little best. 
Luck ain’t no steady visitor, I know; 

But now an’ then it calls—fer look at me! 

You wouldn’t take me, ’bout a year ago, 

Free gratis wiv a shillin’ pound o’ tea; 

Then, in a blessed leap, ole Forchin lands 

A missus an’ a farm fair in me ‘ands.

War Song – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Sing a song o’ Hempire 

Mother’s took a fit, 

Nasty Germans buildin’ ships, 

An’ never mentioned it. 

Buildin’ beastly warships, 

Quite a tidy few; 

Mother’s got an awful start 

Baby’s got it too. 
The King was in the Customs House, 

But couldn’t find a penny ; 

The Lords were at their country seats 

And didn’t offer any; 

A millyun paupers mooned about 

With nothin’ much to eat, 

When down comes Australyer 

With a Dreadnought fer the fleet. 

Sing a song o’ Warships, 

‘Orrid ole Bulow, 

Layin’ down ‘is Dreadnoughts 

An’ didn’t let us know 

Didn’t advertise it, 

Till the Cablegram 

Spread the awful tidings 

An’ the Empire shouted, ‘Damn!’ 
Sing a song o’ Hempire, 

Mother’s up a tree; 

But the Melbourne Stock exchange 

‘As swore to set ‘er free. 

Does the German caitiff 

Build upon the sly? 

Then seventeen suburban may’rs 

Will know the reason why! 
Seventeen suburban may’rs 

Of the Bulldog Breed 

Fly to succor Hingland 

In her hour of need. 

What of ‘Constant Reader’? 

‘Pro Bono Publico’? 

Will ‘Subscriber’ see old Hingland 

Flabbergasted? No!! 
A reeiy, trooly battleship, 

With guns an’ things galore, 

And splendid sails of calico 

From MacMillan’s store 

The Stock Exchange will float it 

On a sea of gush. 

Wot’s two millyun quid to us? 

We don’t care a rush! 
(But – whisper – little mother, 

If, later on, some day, 

We want ter sorter float a loan, 

To ‘elp us on our way 

Borrer of it back, like 

After wot ‘as passed, 

Don’t you go an’ crool our pitch, 

Like you did the last.) 
Sing a song o’ Britain’s fleet 

(‘Ow the Tories raged!) 

That’s goin’ to guard Australyer 

(If not otherwise engaged). 

Sing of ‘Umpty Dumpty 

‘Im that ‘ad the fall. 

Rob Australian Peter 

To pay old Hinglish Paul. 
Sing o’ topsy-turvey; 

Sing of inside-out, 

Of back-to-front and upside-down 

An’ t’other way about. 

Spend ten bloomin’ millyun, 

Buy yer ships galore, 

An’ send them all to Hingland 

To guard Australyer’s shore. 
Sing a song o’ Hempire! 

We’ve got ter guard ‘the heart.’ 

If it gets a limb lopped off, 

That ain’t a vital part. 

Learn ter think Imperially 

Shriek with courage grim 

Fer ‘the heart’ must be protected 

Tho’ it’s tough if we’re the limb.

To A Dead Mate  – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

There’s many a man who rides today 

In the lonely, far out-back; 

There’s many a man who makes his way 

On a dusty bushland track; 

There’s many a man in bush and town 

Who mourns for a good mate gone; 

There are eyes grown sad and heads cast down 

Since Henry has passed on. 
A mate he was, and a mate to love, 

For mateship was his creed: 

With a strong, true heart and a soul above 

This sad world’s sordid greed. 

He lived as a mate, and wrote as a mate 

Of the things which he believed. 

Now many a good man mourns his fate, 

And he leaves a nation grieved. 
True champion he of the lame and halt: 

True knight of the poor was he, 

Who could e’er excuse a brother’s fault 

With a ready sympathy. 

He suffered much, and much he toiled, 

With his hand e’er for the right: 

And he dreamed and planned while the billy boiled 

In the bushland camp at night. 
Joe Wilson and his mates are sad, 

And the tears of bushwives fall, 

For the kindly heart that Henry had 

Had made him loved of all. 

There’s many a man who rides today, 

Cast down and sore oppressed; 

And thro’ the land I hear them say: 

‘Pass, Henry, to your rest.’

Wanderers Lost  – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Oh, we are the phantoms of rovers lost 

See how the mocking mirages play! 

Men who have ventured and paid the cost. 

Lone, waiting women, ’tis vain to pray! 

We dies unshriven, as rovers die, 

And no man knows where our white bones lie. 

Black birds gather when rovers stray, 

Out where the mocking mirages play. 
A maiden has waited a long year thro’. 

Mark where a crow from the northward flies! 

‘Ah, can he be false that had sworn so true?’ 

They say that a wanderer woos with lies. 

A maiden has waited and counted the days, 

Since a lover went roving the northward ways. 

What do they profit – unheeded sighs? 

Mark where a crow from the northward flies! 
Out in the desert a still thing lies. 

Westward the sun is sinking low. 

Who is to mourn when a rover dies? 

Hark! ‘Tis the caw of a sated crow. 

Who is to tell of a mad’ning thrist 

Of a lonely death in a land accurst? 

Merciful God! Is she ne’er to know? 

(Hark to the caw of a sated crow.) 
Oh, we are the legion that never came back 

Ever have rovers to count the cost. 

Men who went out on the waterless track. 

Curst is the plain that was ne’er recross’d! 

Restless to roam o’er the desert our doom, 

Till our end shall be known and our bones find a tomb. 

Mourn for the souls of wanderers lost, 

Ever have rovers to count the cost.

The Wicket Cricket Critic – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

If the cricket critics’ nagging 

Merits stern official gagging 

Which I doubt 

How would critical ascetics, 

With their prosy homiletics, 

Shut it out? 

And the question then arises: 

If more cricketing surprises, 

Such as bodyline, begin to threaten cricket, 

And another stunt, when sprung, 

Call for clicking of the tongue, 

Should a cricket critic critically click it? 
When the barrackers grow lyric 

In a manner most satiric 

And profane, 

How, one ventures still to wonder, 

May the clamor be kept under? 

How restrain? 

For one barbaric larrik- 

In can do a lot of barrack- 

In’, and cause a lot of worry at the wicket. 

But would sportsmen be abusing 

Cricket canons in refusing 

To supply that cricket critic with a ticket? 
As a critic analytic 

Of the cricket critics’ critic 

I would say, 

When we criticise their cricket, 

Then the players have to stick it, 

Come what may. 

No specific soporific 

May be used; for it is diffic- 

Ult to strike a critic partly paralytic. 

So there’s nothing gained in seeking, 

As I know; and I am speaking 

As a critic of the cricket critic’s critic.

The Wooer  – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

I nearly fell fair in my tracks. 

I’m trudgin’ homeward with my axe 

When I come on her suddenly. 

‘I wonder if I’m lost?’ says she. 

‘It’s risky on such roads as this.’ 

I lifts my hat an’ says, ‘Yes, miss.’ 

I knew ’twas rude for me to stare, 

But, oh, that sunlight in her hair! 
‘I wonder if I’m lost? says she, 

An’ gives a smile that staggers me. 

‘An’ yet, it wouldn’t matter much 

Supposing that I was, with such 

A glorious green world about, 

With bits of blue sky peepin’ out. 

Do you think there will be a fog?’ 

‘No, miss,’ says I, an’ pats my dog. 
‘Oh, what a dear old dog!’ says she. 

‘Most dogs are pretty fond of me.’ 

She calls him to her, an’ he goes. 

(He didn’t find it hard, I s’pose; 

I know I wouldn’t if she called.) 

‘It’s wondrous how the tracks are walled 

With these great trees that touch the sky 

On either side.’ ‘Yes, miss,’ says I. 
She fondles my old dog a bit; 

I wait to make a bolt for it. 

(There ain’t no call to stand an’ talk 

With one who’d be too proud to walk 

A half-a-yard with such as me.) 

‘The wind keeps workin’ up,’ says she. 

‘Yes, miss,’ says I, an’ lifts me hat. 

An’ she just let’s it go at that. 
She let me reach the dribblin’ ford – 

That day to me it fairly roared. 

(At least, that’s how the thing appears; 

But blood was poundin’ in my ears.) 

She waits till I ahve fairly crossed: 

‘I thought I told I was lost?’ 

She cries. ‘An’ you go walkin’ off, 

Quite scornful, like some proud bush toff!’ 
She got me thinkin’ hard with that. 

‘Yes, miss,’ I says, an’ lifts my hat. 

But she just waits there on the track, 

An’ lets me walk the whole way back. 

‘An’ are you reely lost?’ says I. 

‘Yes, sir,’ says she an’ drops her eye. . . 

I wait, an’ wait for what seems days; 

But not another word she says. 
I pats my dog, an’ lifts my hat; 

But she don’t seem to notice that. 

I looks up trees an’ stares at logs, 

An’ long for twenty hats an’ dogs. 

‘The weather’s kept reel good to-day,’ 

I blurts at last. Say she, ‘Hurray!’ 

‘Hurray!’ she says, an’ then, ‘Encore!’ 

An’ gets me wonderin’ what for. 
‘Is this the right road to ‘The Height?” 

I tell her it’s the road, all right, 

But that the way she’s walkin’ ain’t. 

At that she looked like she would faint. 

‘Then I was lost if I had gone 

Along this road an’ walked right on 

An unfrequented bush track, too! 

How fortunate that I met you!’ 
‘Yes, miss,’ I says. ‘Yes – what?’ says she. 

Says I, ‘Most fortunate . . . for me.’ 

I don’t know where I found the pluck 

To blurt that out an’ chance my luck. 

‘You’ll walk,’ she says, ‘a short way back, 

So you can put me on the track?’ 

‘I’ll take you all the way,’ says I, 

An’ looks her fair bang in the eye. 
Later, I let myself right out, 

An’ talked: an’ told her all about 

The things I’ve done, an’ what I do, 

An’ nearly all I’m hopin’ to. 

Told why I chose the game I’m at 

Because my folks were poor, an’ that. 

She seemed reel pleased to hear me talk, 

An’ sort of steadied up the walk. 
An’ when I’d spoke my little bit, 

She just takes up the thread of it; 

An’ later on, near knocks me down 

By tellin’ me she works – in town. 

Works? her? I thought, the way she dressed, 

She was quite rich; but she confessed 

That makin’ dresses was her game, 

An’ she was dead sick of the same. 
When Good bye came, I lifts my hat; 

But she holds out her hand at that. 

I looked at mine, all stained with sap, 

An’ told her I’m a reel rough chap. 

‘A worker’s hand,’ says she, reel fine, 

‘An’ marked with toil; but so is mine. 

We’re just two toilers; let us shake, 

An’ be good friends – for labour’s sake.’ 
I didn’t care to say no more, 

For fear of what she’d take me for 

But just Good bye, an’ turns away, 

Bustin’ with things I had to say. 

I don’t know how I got right home. 

The wonder was I didn’t roam 

Off in the scrub, an’ dream out there 

Of her with sunlight in her hair. 
At home I looks around the place, 

An’ sees the dirt a fair disgrace; 

So takes an’ tidies up a bit, 

An’ has a shave; an’ then I sit 

Beside my fire to have a think. 

But my old dog won’t sleep a wink; 

He fools, an’ whines, an’ nudges me, 

Then all at once I thinks of tea. 
I beg his pardon wiht a smile, 

An’. talkin’ to him all the while, 

I get it ready, tellin’ him 

About that girl; but, ‘Shut up, Jim!’ 

he says to me as plain as plain. 

‘First have some food, an’ then explain.’ 

(I don’t know how she came to tell, 

But I found out her name is Nell.) 
We gets our bit to eat at last. 

(An’, just for spite, he et his fast) . . . 

I think that Nell’s a reel nice name . . . 

‘All right, old dog, I ain’t to blame 

If you’ . . . Just as I go to sup 

My tea I stop dead, with my cup 

Half up, an’ . . . By the Holy Frost! 

I wonder was Nell reely lost?

The Warrior King  – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Albert, King of the Belgians, 

Lived for his whole reign thro’ 

The father and friend of his people, 

Soldier and statesman, too. 

When his armies rode to the carnage, 

‘Twas their King who rode at their hear 

To battle as great Kings battled… 

And Albert the King is dead. 
Albert, King of the Belgians, 

Looking at doomed Louvain, 

Wept for the plight of his people, 

Grieved for his country’s pain. 

But the pride of a King upheld him; 

The strength of a true King stayed, 

And the love of a wise King triumphed 

Thro’ the travail, undismayed. 
Albert, King of the Belgians, 

After the red war’s close, 

Seeking no rest from his labors, 

As a builder now arose; 

Lending his life to service, 

Turning to tasks anew, 

Healing his country’s war-wounds 

Builder and comforter, too. 
Albert, King of the Belgians, 

Died as a Man would die, 

Prone on earth’s broad bosom, 

Under the open sky. 

To a swift and merciful passing, 

Here went, at the end of his span, 

A greater that King of his people 

A wise and well-loved man.

The Silent Member –  Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

He lived in Mundaloo, and Bill McClosky was his name,

But folks that knew him well had little knowledge of that same; 

For he some’ow lost his surname, and he had so much to say –- 

He was called ‘The Silent Member’ in a mild, sarcastic way. 
He could talk on any subject — from the weather and the crops 

To astronomy and Euclid, and he never minded stops; 

And the lack of a companion didn’t lay him on the shelf,

For he’d stand before a looking-glass and argue with himself. 
He would talk for hours on literature, or calves, or art, or wheat; 

There was not a bally subject you could say had got him beat; 

And when strangers brought up topics that they reckoned he would baulk, 

He’d remark, ‘I never heard of that.’ But all the same — he’d talk. 
He’d talk at christ’nings by the yard; at weddings by the mile; 

And he used to pride himself upon his choice of words and style. 

In a funeral procession his remarks would never end 

On the qualities and virtues of the dear departed friend.
We got quite used to hearing him, and no one seemed to care — 

In fact, no happ’ning seemed complete unless his voice was there. 

For close on thirty year he talked, and none could talk him down, 

Until one day an agent for insurance struck the town. 
Well, we knew The Silent Member, and we knew what he could do, 

And it wasn’t very long before we knew the agent, too, 

As a crack long-distance talker that was pretty hard to catch; 

So we called a hasty meeting and decided on a match. 
Of course, we didn’t tell them we were putting up the game; 

But we fixed it up between us, and made bets upon the same. 

We named a time-keep and a referee to see it through; 

Then strolled around, just casual, and introduced the two. 
The agent got first off the mark, while our man stood and grinned; 

He talked for just one solid hour, then stopped to get his wind. 

‘Yes; but –‘ sez Bill; that’s all he said; he couldn’t say no more; 

The agent got right in again, and fairly held the floor. 
On policies, and bonuses, and premiums, and all that, 

He talked and talked until we thought he had our man out flat. 

‘I think –‘ Bill got in edgeways, but that there insurance chap 

Just filled himself with atmosphere, and took the second lap. 
I saw our man was getting dazed, and sort of hypnotized, 

And they oughter pulled the agent up right there, as I advised. 

‘See here -‘ Bill started, husky; but the agent came again, 

And talked right on for four hours good — from six o’clock to ten. 
Then Bill began to crumple up, and weaken at the knees, 

When all at once he ups and shouts, ‘Here, give a bloke a breeze! 

Just take a pull for half a tick and let me have the floor, 

And I’ll take out a policy.’ The agent said no more. 
The Silent Member swallowed hard, then coughed and cleared his throat, 

But not a single word would come –- no; not a blessed note. 

His face looked something dreadful –- such a look of pained dismay; 

Then he have us one pathetic glance, and turned, and walked away. 
He’s hardly spoken since that day –- not more than ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. 

We miss his voice a good bit, too; the town seems rather slow. 

He was called ‘The Silent Member’ just sarcastic, I’ll allow; 

But since that agent handled him it sort o’ fits him now.

The Rose And The Bee – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

‘Well, what tidings today?’ said the bee 

To the burgeoning rose. 

‘You are young, yet already you see 

Much of life, I suppose.’ 

Said the rose, ‘Oh, this life is so filled 

With astonishing things 

That I think I could not be more thrilled 

E’en if roses had wings. 
Three lupins have bloomed by the pond 

Since last you were here; 

In the nest of the blue-wrens beyond 

Three nestlings appear. 

A gay butterfly slept by my side 

All yesternight thro’ 

Till dawn, when a thrush hymned his pride. 

But how goes it with you?’ 
‘There are great things at hand,’ said the bee. 

‘Change comes to my life. 

In my hive in the woollybutt tree 

Strange rumors are rife. 

The old queen grows restless, I fear, 

She is planning to roam; 

And I must adventure this year 

From the old, safe home. 
‘Old Black Wallaby’s limping, I see, 

Trap again, I suppose. 

Life is full of mischance,’ said the bee. 

‘Ah, no,’ sighed the rose. 

‘Despite all the folly and sin 

And the gala and the strife, 

It’s a wonderful world we live in, 

It’s a wonderful life.’

The Old White Horse  – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

In olden days the Old White Horse 

Stood brave against the sky; 

And ne’er a teamster shaped his course 

To pass the good inn by. 

Far shone its lights o’ winter nights 

To beckon weary men; 

By the long road where calm life flowed 

It loomed a landmark then. 
And many a good right yarn was spun 

Mid pewter-pots agleam; 

And mnay a friendship here begun 

Grew riper as the team 

Drew down the road its precious load 

Of merchandise or mail, 

And faced the ills of long, steep hills 

To far-off Lilydale. 
The tap-room rang to many a song, 

While patient teams stood there; 

And talk and laughter loud and long 

Held nothing of despair; 

For spoke they then, those bearded men, 

Of fortunes shining near 

Spoke with a grand faith in their land, 

A faith that laughed at fear. 
Gone are the days and gone the ways 

Of easy, calm content; 

Yet few supposed an epoch closed 

The day the old inn went. 

Now, past brick homes trim and cold, 

The swift cars, speeding by, 

Shall see no beacon as of old, 

Shall see no brave White Horse stand bold 

Against a hopeful sky.

A Beauty Hint – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Sweet, think how much the better it would be 

If you thro’ life should thus preserve your beauty. 

It really doesn’t matter much to me; 

But don’t you think you owe the world a duty, 

And don’t you think that thro’ some kindly thought – 

Of me, for instance – beauty were well bought? 
Those wrinkles on your face, dear, 

Those bags beneath your eyes 

Are but the evil trace, dear, 

Of temper, spite and lies. 

Why can’t you be a saint, dear, 

Like dear old Joan of Arc; 

Be pleasant – which you ain’t, dear, 

And do not be a nark. 
Consider, sweetheart, if you smiled always 

How much, thro’ weeks, your face might be improving; 

In place of which, in these unhappy days, 

You go to beauty shops for the removing 

Of wrinkles, blemishes and ugly warts. 

Why, when a smile will serve, seek these resorts? 
Why can’t you raise a grin, sweet, 

And be a little beauty? 

For ugliness is sin, sweet, 

And loveliness a duty. 

So, for my sake, why can’t you make 

An effort to he glad. 

Just think of me and joyful be; 

For I am not too bad.

A Few Lines To Beauty – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis


You with the bobbed hair or Mary Pickford curls, 

Likewise you others 

Who still adopt the hair-dressing style, 

That makes the moderns smile. 

But was undoubtedly the dearest attribute of your mothers. 

And, by the by, 

You with the glad-eye – 

We’ve seen you in the street 

Looking particularly sweet. 

And we ask you 

Do you think that those girls in the city that is reputed to possess a harbor 

can overtask you? 

In the matter of looking nice – 

We do not seek to give advice; 

And, frankly, we don’t know. 

We have seen both types and so, 

Being diplomatic, 

We refrain from expressing an opinion that is too emphatic. 

We’ll leave it to the vote, 

Yet hasten to remark that we simply dote 

Upon the maiden who 

Is just like you, 

Fair reader! 

We seek not to assume the office or prerogative of a special pleader. 

And we own that this question of State Rights 

Gives us uneasy dreams o’ nights. 

Take no notice of those churls 

Who tell you that the Sydney girls 

Can put it all over you in regard to female beauty. 

My dears, you have a duty 

At any rate, 

Toward your State. 

Go in 

And Win! 

Among you are undoubtedly quite a number of perfect peaches 

And the sirens of the Sydney beaches 

May yet be proved to be not exactly the pick of the basket. 


With or without curls, 

The honor of your State and the noble men therein ask it. 

Here I conclude. 

And I trust that these few well-chosen remarks have not been in bad taste or