January 2nd by C. J. Dennis

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How many have you broken up till now?
I know that yesterday you made a vow,
   And most solemnly 'twas spoken;
   But how many have you broken?
Oh, you kept 'em for an hour or two - But How?

You swore at twelve o'clock or thereabouts,
Most resolutely, scorning any doubts,
   That the glad New Year would find you
   With your vices all behind you.
And you'd be the very best of good boy scouts.

But you fell.  And, oh, how quickly did you fall!
And now you're feeling low, and mean, and small;
   For, despite all your devising,
   You have come to realising
That you're really only human after all.

Ah, well, at least you had the will to try;
And you may reform some day before you die,
   And there's this small consolation
   On the road to reformation:
There's another New Year coming by and by.

First published in The Herald, 2 January 1931

Author: C. J. Dennis (1876 - 1938) was born in Auburn, South Australia and moved to Melbourne in 1908.  Best known for his verse novel The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke (1915), he started writing occasional pieces for the Melbourne daily newspaper, The Herald, in the mid-1920s before taking on a more permanent, regular role as staff poet for that same paper in 1927. This position continued until his death in 1938.

Author reference sites: C.J. Dennis, Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 2, 2011 9:08 AM.

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