A Humble Prayer by C.J. Dennis

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The prize lists for the South Street competitions at Ballarat, to be held in October next, total £1,400; £150 is to be given for vocal and instrumental music, and £170 for elocution. - Melb Age

Oh, teach me how to elocute,
   Oh, teach me how to say
The boy stood on the burning deck
   In strictly proper way;
Oh, teach me how to clutch my heart,
   And roll my glittering eye,
That I may wail with all my might
   The Leper's fearful cry.

Oh, train my voice to sing the songs
   Of how the swallows fly,
And teach me how to tell the world
   How Tosti said "Good-bye";
Oh, let me learn by day and night
   The way to calm those fears;
I want to understand aright
   Just how to dry those tears.

Oh, teach me how to do my hair,
   That I may win a prize,
And how to wear my spectacles
   Before my bright-blue eyes:
For much depends, I've heard them say,
   Upon the clothes you wear,
They say it's half the victory
   To dress yourself with care.

And when I've proved victorious,
   And by the telegraph
My fame has spread, oh, hasten then
   To take my photograph;
Oh, teach me how to rest my chin
   Upon my shapely hand,
That in the picture I may look
   A credit to the land.

First published in The Gadfly, 2 May 1906

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 2, 2013 7:23 AM.

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