The Sonnets We've Never Sung by C. J. Dennis

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A journalist approached us the other day and said there was nobody in Adelaide to write about.

There's a song for Mr. Deakin, with a pretty power for speakin'
   On the things that have been done and are to be;
There's a song for Mr. Waring, filled with little words of swearing,
   On the Out-and-Outer Harbour, and you'll see.
We are sure to find a ditty for Foster, Richard Witty,
   And some other legislators in our mind;
There'll be psalms for Candy Cohen from the Opposition goin',
   And for Tories who are bigoted and blind.
Should we beg the public's pardon as we mention Mr. Vardon,
   And the subject of the local option fuss. 
To pass from scenes of talk and strife to quite another walk of life,
   To warble of the Reid who built the 'bus?
There's a sonnet for Abe Shannon, and for William Foote, and Canon
   Wise, and clergymen who point the way to right;
There's a line for Archie Beviss, for it would for ever grieve us,
   Should we leave him out of anything we skite.
Here's a yell for Kidman's Sidney, and some others of his kidney
   Living restless lives in cattleyard and camp;
There are songs for vet'rans glorious, like Crispe the meritorious,
   And auctioneers like Bedford and Bill Hamp;
There's an ode to Jimmy Marshall, and to prove we're quite impartial
   Let us sing to Dudley Hayward while we can;
Let's write odes to Mr. Waddy and his stamps with gum so shoddy,
   And to Mr. Pendelton, the railway man;
While to fierce teetotal terrors, such as Lord and Charlie Ferors,
   We will sing about their fame that doesn't Ware.
There'll be songs for Mr. Stanton, and Conservatives who rant on
   Giving State schools into Mr. Williams' care;
In a cultivated rich key let us sing of Charlie Nitschke,
   Bawl a chorus song for Flannagan and Green;
As our pen the subject dwells on, let us write of Carr and Nelson,
   Strike the harp and hum a line to Harry Dean;
Or, in tones that grow ecstatic, sing of Gordon the emphatic,
   Dealing sentences upon the Police Court bench.
When our voice the skylark mocks, well, let us sing of Johnny Coxell
   (This song supply I'm sure we'll never quench);
If this paper's space alloweth, we can warble of Chenoweth,
   We may sing to William, Silver, if we like;
Or, in sporty manner lusty, sing to Blacker, true and trusty,
   And the deeds of daring Deards upon the bike.
There are songs for politicians, for policemen and patricians,
   There is e'en a song for Ebenezer Ward;
There are ditties for musiscians and for stately statisticians,
   And for men whose names the space we can't afford;
We could warble on so brightly ever morn and even nightly,
   But a cloud is coming o'er the printer's brow;
So we'll take a top note ringing, and forthwith we'll stop our singing,
   And, modesty becoming, make our bow.

First published in The Gadfly, 4 April 1906

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 4, 2013 7:23 AM.

Son of a Fool by C.J. Dennis was the previous entry in this blog.

"For Richer, For Poorer" by C.J. Dennis is the next entry in this blog.

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