July 2013 Archives

The Line That Boom Built by C.J. Dennis

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The enormous railway deficit for the past year -- £1,051,000 -- is due, in a large part, to the building and running of unprofitable lines in unproductive country, built through political influence during boom periods.

This is the line that Boom built.

This is the loan that lay on the line that Boom built.

This is the plan that floated the loan that lay on the line that Boom built.

This is the man that pushed the plan that floated the loan that lay on the line that Boom built.

This is the citizen all foresworn that elected the man that pushed the plan that floated the loan that lay on the line that Boom built.

This is the grandson, afterward born, that followed the citizen all foresworn that elected the man that pushed the plan that floated the loan that lay on the line that Boom built.

This is the debt that proved a thorn to burden the grandson, afterward born, that followed the citizen all foresworn that elected the man that pushed the plan that floated the loan that lay on the line that Boom built.

This is the interest none could scorn that doubled the debt that proved a thorn to burden the grandson, afterward born, that followed the citizen all foresworn that elected the man that pushed the plan that floated the loan that lay on the line that Boom built.

This is the lien on our kine and corn because of the interest none could scorn that doubled the debt that proved a thorn to burden the grandson, afterward born, that followed the citizen all foresworn that elected the man that pushed the plan that floated the loan that lay on the line that Boom built.

This is the dawn of the fateful morn, due date for the lien on our kine and corn (while we search our pockets all tattered and torn at the call of the mortgagee forlorn) to look for the interest none may scorn that doubles the debt that proves a thorn to burden the grandson, afterward born, that follow the citizen all foresworn that elected the man that pushed the plan that floated the loan that lay on the line that Boom built.

First published in The Herald, 31 July 1930

Fruit of Earth by C.J. Dennis

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Agriculturists and others have been concerned lately over the sudden fluctuation of prices in many staple commodities, while droughts, floods and weather conditions generally have brought to partial failure efforts to restrict and govern artificially the growth and distribution of earth's products.

The winds that blow about the world
   (Said Old George Jones)
See here all hope to ruin hurled,
See there triumphant flags unfurled,
   Over chance-favored zones.
And no man's wisdom, no man's might
   Foresees, much les controls
Some little breeze born of the night
That brings perchance a sudden blight
   Or balm for tortured souls.

But growin' things and sowin' things
   And watchin' of 'em grow
Not hastenin' things or slowin' things
Nor seekin' to be knowin' things
   That men may never know.
'Tis so the kind earth pays a man
   'Tis so content is made.
Not work, but worry slays a man;
I take what tricks Fate plays a man
   An' sticks to Adam's trade.

The fears that creep about the earth -
   Vague fears and short-lived joys -
What in reckonin' are they worth?
Too quickly swayed by grief or mirth
   We live like foolish boys.
Year in, year out, earth mothers us
   And offers livelihood,
This year ill fortune bothers us
Next year her bounty smothers us:
   The sum of all is good.

'Tis futile man proposes things;
   But Nature goes her ways
And God alone disposes things,
And Time alone discloses things
   That rule our future says.
Earth yields me her fertility
   And till she takes my bones,
I'll nought of man's futility.
For peace bides in humility
   (Said Old George Jones).

First published in The Herald, 30 July 1934

"Paw" by C.J. Dennis

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Ai've just obteened a pension for mai Paw.
And you should hev seen the people that were theah.
   Re-ally, it was surpraising!
   Maind, Ai am not criticaising,
But it was embarrassing, Ai do decleah.
Ai met the Snobson-Smythes and Toady-Browns, and many moah
Belonging to ouah set; and wondahed what they came theah foah.

And, of course, Ai didn't say a word of Paw.
Ai rather think they've nevah heard of Paw.
   But Ai thought it well to mention
   That Ai came to get the pension
For an aged person who had worked for Maw.
The Snobson-Smythes said, "Fancy! That is just why we came dahn."
But Ai've heard they hev a mothah hidden somewheah out of tahn.

Ai do deserve some gratitude from Paw.
To think what Ai've gone thro' foah him to-day!
   Mixing with the lowah classes --
   And Ai never saw such masses
Of disreputable creatuahs, Ai must say.
Imposters, Ai've no doubt, if most of them were but unmasked.
And then, the most humiliating questions Ai was asked!

Yes, he forced me to admit it was foah Paw.
Asked me, brutally, if it was foah mai Paw.
   Some low-bred official fellow,
   Who conversed in quaite a bellow,
And he patronised me laike a high Bashaw.
And his questions, rudely personal, Ai hardly could enduah.
The Government should teach its people mannahs, Ai am suah!

Ai'm glad we've got the pension foah Pooah Paw.
His maintenance has been - O, such a strain.
   Ouah establishment's extensive
   And exceedingly expensive,
As mai husband has remawked taime and again.
It's quaite a miracle how Ai contrive to dress at all.
He cut me dahn to twenty guineas for last Mayoral Ball!

And it's such a boah to hev to think of Paw --
To hev a secret skeleton laike Paw.
   Paw, you know, was once a diggah,
   And he cuts no social figgah.
And his mannahs! O, they touch us on the raw.
Of course, we're very fond of him, and all thet sort of thing;
But we couldn't hev him - could we? -- when theah's naice folk visiting.

It's cost us pawnds and pawnds to care foah Paw.
And then, it is so hard to keep him dawk.
   Why, no later then last Mond'y,
   Ai was out with Lady Grundy,
When we ran raight into him outsaide the Pawk.
Goodness knows!  Ai managed, somehow, to elude him with a nod,
And Ai said he was a tradesman; but she must hev thought it odd.

You can't picture the ubiquity of Paw,
And he's really very obstinate, is Paw.
   Why, he held to the contention
   That this most convenient pension
Was a thing he hadn't any raight to draw!
He said we'd kept him eighteen months, and ought to keep him yet.
But mai husband soon convinced him that he couldn't count on thet.

He was a pioneah, you know, mai Paw.
But of mai early laife Ai never tell.
   Paw worked, as Ai hev stated;
   And he had us educated;
And, later on, Ai married rather well.
And then, you know, deah Paw became -- er -- well, embarrassing.
For he is so unconventional and -- all thet sort of thing.

But the Government has taken ovah Paw.
We are happy now we've aisolated Paw.
   And a bettah era's dawning,
   For mai husband said this mawning
Thet the money saved would buy a motah-caw.
Paw was so good to us when we were young, that, you'll allow,
It's really taime the Government did something foah him now.

First published in The Bulletin, 29 July 1909;
and later in
Backblock Ballads and Later Verses by C.J. Dennis, 1918; and
Selected Works of C.J. Dennis, 1988.

"Us" by C.J. Dennis

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Three-fourths of the trouble over the Northern Territory agreement arise out of inability to realise the greatness of this country's possibilities.  There has been a frantic clawing to drag the Port Darwin railway round by "our" State and to deviate it through "our" backyard, apparently because of an impression that there is never going to be any other railway, and that if "we" don't get hold of this particular railway "we" are for ever undone. - BULLETIN (30/6/'10).

Now listen to me, good masters,
   You of the States Frights crowd,
You of the shrill, high voices
   Clamoring long and loud;
Filling the land with your ravings,
   Renting the air with your fuss,
To what in the end do your mouthings trend?
   Whom do you mean by "Us"?

You are ever alert and ready
   To clamor about "our" aims;
You never neglect the chances
   Of bolstering up "our" claims;
"We" have to be considered,
   "We" of the voices loud, 
But it seemeth to me that your frequent "we"
   Is the "we" of a small, mean crowd.

For "us" of a bloated city
   The needs of a land must wait;
And the weal of a nation suffer
   For "us" of a selfish State -
"Us" of an ancient order
   Of rancor and hate and spite,
And what care we how the nation be
  So long as we hold our "right"?

I have seen "you" rise at a banquet,
   A pitiful sight to see:
Your wide white weskit bulging
   With tucker and loyalty.
Of the great and glorious Hempire
   I have heard you yammering hard,
Then marked you drop with sickening flop
  To the claims of "our" backyard.

If "we" can collar the railway
   The national hope we'll blast;
And we'll deafen the land with howlings
   If the claims of "our" port are passed.
If a scheme can't be exploited
   For the gain of "our" precious State,
Then we'll rave and cuss, and the howl of "us"
   Is a howl of envious hate.

What are the needs of a nation,
   What are a whole land's aims
If they clash with our paltry notions
   Of "interests," "rights" and "claims"?
"We," with our back-yard visions;
   "We," with our hen-roost dreams -
Your plans we'll smash; there must be spot cash
   For "us" in your nation's schemes.

Then listen to me good masters,
   While you rave and whine and fuss,
The day of your doom is nearing,
   And you'll answer to all of US -
Us of the young Australia,
   When your clamor and howls be spent;
And dawns the day when you'll all make way
   For "Us of the Continent."

First published in The Bulletin, 28 July 1910

The Farmers' Vote by C.J. Dennis

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MISTER EDITER, - I'm writin' in the int'rests of the farmer,
   '0o, I've notised, 'as bin slandered frequent in THE BULLYTEEN.
An' I 'ope, when you've reflected, an' 'ave growed a trifle carmer,
   You will own 'e ain't deservin' of the insults I 'ave seen.

Sir, I 'ave no lit'ry leanin's, but I tells a truthful story,
   An', befoar I vencher further, I woud 'ave you understand -
An' my plain, unvarnished stat'ment will be backed by any Tory -
   That the backbone of our country is the man upon the land.

'Ence, in speakin' of the farmer, I am allus most respec'ful,
   For, dispite 'is scurvy treatment, 'e is stanch; an', I may say,
Wot with rabit Socialism, an' with Guverments neglec'ful,
   'E is left to 'ump Matilder in a most disgrasful way.

Take the cue of farmer JINKINS. Sends 'is produce to the city,
   To a smart commishun agent 'oo's a member of a ring;
Gits a check fer nex' to nothin', with remarks that it's a pity
   That the markit's tendin' downward in the case of ev'rything.

Sir, I asks, an' asks straitforward, wot's this country's Guv'ment doin'?
   Ain't the farmer an' 'is intrests worth consid'rin' with the rest?
No!  They leaves 'im unpretected, rooked an' fleeced an' facin' rooin,
   While they fools with wages questions, at the Labor crowd's behest.

Take the cue of farmer JOHNSON.  Wants to buy a modrin reeper,
   An' 'e 'as to pay the seller double wot it costs to bild.
Tho' 'e tries a dozen places, yet 'e fales to get it cheaper.
   For the ring 'as rigged the markit, an' all competishin's killed.

Now, I asks agen emphatik, an' in tones of indignation,
   Wots the blanky Guv'ment doin'?  Ain't the farmer worth sum 'elp?
No!  Their all too busy plannin' Socialistic legislashin,
   All agenst our vestid int'rests, while the Labor members yelp.

Take, agen, the case of 'AYSEED. 'E grows wheat, an' 'as to 'awl it
   Into markit, where the buyers fixes up a little plan -
"Onerable understandin," or sich fancy names they call it;
   But it's jist a low-down swindle ment to rook the farmin' man.

Sir, wot is the Guv'ment thinkin'?  Wot's it goin' to do about it!
   Is the farmer to be plundered rite an' left without a word?
Labor inflooence is workin' all the time; an' 'oo can dout it,
   While the cry of Socialism everywhere is loudly 'erd?

Now, I site another instance.  Take the case of farmer BILLINS.
   'E wants men to do 'is plowin'; an 'e gives a pound a week.
But theni parysights of Onions ups an' asks fer thirty shillin's;
   An' the Guv'ment's most obejunt ev'ry time the Onions speak.

Sir, me blud boiles in me buzim!  An' without no hesitation.
   I declair that SociaLism's rooinin' this 'appy land.
An' I say, an' say emphatik, that all Labor legislation
   Should he stamped out of our statues with a firm, relentless 'and!

Wot we want's a Guv'ment deppo, fer our produce.  Also needed
   Is a Guv'ment fact'ry fer to manyfacter our macheens.
Let the rabbit cry of Onion agitaters go un'eeded,
   An' supply us Guv'ment laber.  The we'll show wot farmin' means.

Kin you wonder that the farmer votes agen the Labor party,
   While they aim at vestid int'rests an' at privit interprise?
Only give us wot we ask for, our support will be most 'earty,
   For all mesures that rite-thinkin' farmers may consider wise.

Don't we vote for our class-int'rests?  Ain't we follerin' the squotters?
   Don't we listen ost attentive to the brainy biziness men
Frum the city, 'oo 'ave warned us 'gen the skeems of Labor rotters?
  They're attendin' to our int'rests, an' we'll vote with them agen.

In conclusion, let me mention that the Press is most imfatick
   That the farmer's vote is allus most intelligent; an' 'e
Never fales in 'is support of any mesure demycratick
   When it soots 'imself.  I am, sir, yours an' cetra - SPUDS, J.P.

First published in The Bulletin, 27 July 1911

The Land Down-Under by C.J. Dennis

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Owing to the presence in the upper air of microscopic dust blown from remote northern deserts, snow that fell at Mount Hotham and elsewhere recently was light pink in color.  This report, together with tales of our red rain, black swans, walking fishes and egg-laying, duck-billed platypusses, may well cause wonder amongst simple folk in older lands.

At Slumberton-on-Slow,
   When the rustics gather round
To quaff their ale, they hear a tale
   That wakens doubt profound --
A wild, wild tale that comes by mail
   From Gaffer Gandy's Joe,
Who left his home long since to roam
   In the land of the light pink snow.

And the talk goes to and fro:
   "Be goom, laad, that be rich!
Pink snow, he said; an' the rain be red,
   But swans be black as pitch!
A greaat laad for romance
   Be Gaffer Gandy's Joe.
Ho, the kangaroo have pockets too!
   In the land of the pale pink snow."

At Slumberton-on-Slow
   They yarn in the inn's tapp-room:
"Worms, Joe do write, they be a sight,
   An' six foot long.  Be goom!
Birds, he do say, laughs loud all day,
   And the cherry stones do grow
Outside the skin, an' not within,
   In the land of the pale pink snow.

"The lizards shed their tails,
   An' the trees they sheds their bark,
But keeps their leaves while winter grieves --
   (Did e'er 'ee hear sick tork?)
The squirrels they fly by night from high,
    Says Gaffer Gandy's Joe.
An' the fish have legs, an' the beasts lays eggs
   In the land of the pale pink snow."

First published in The Herald, 26 July 1935

He Has Put His Hand to the Plough by C.J. Dennis

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What can we say of him better than this:
   He has walked in the clean, straight way;
He has played the game, he has won to fame
   Only as white men may.
We trusted him well in the days gone by;
   So shall we trust him now.
With the will to do, and a motive true,
   He has put his hand to the plough.

True to his mates of the long gone days,
   True to the same just Cause,
He has marched ahead with a strong firm tread,
   Scorning to halt or pause.
And this shall be said in the years to come,
   E'en as we say of him now:
'His fame was straight; he was true to a mate;
   And he kept him hand to the plough.'

First published in The Call: The Ha'penny Daily, 25 July 1914

The League of Youth by C.J. Dennis

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Speaking recently on the recently formed League of Youth, the Director of Education (Mr. McRae) said the old type of boy made a hobby of collecting birds' eggs.  Today boys are being taught to preserve and conserve our native flora and fauna.

There was never a hint, when I was a boy,
That the joy of the wilds might bring man joy;
Never a thought that a wild thing slain
Might wake in the slayer pain for pain.
We were savages all, with the hunter's thrill
In the lure of the chase and the lust of the kill;
And the bud on the bough, and the bird in the nest
Were beautiful things to be possessed.
But a worthier thing comes now to the earth,
Since pity in minds of the young has birth.
'Tis the glorious gift, that wisdom brings,
Of knowing and loving all lovely things:
Of loving and sharing with all the boon
Of the glad free things that may teach us soon
The gift of living, as glad and free,
As bird and blossom in Arcady.
"Oh, youth is heedless," the elders say,
"Youth is callous and cruel in play,"
Say they, forgetting that all youth heeds
Comes down through lauding of elders' deeds.
But the law of savage -- of fang and claw
Gives was in the end to a worthier law;
And man, emerging from ways uncouth,
Sees visions anew in the League of Youth.

First published in The Herald, 24 July 1933

This Girlish Game by C.J. Dennis

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The customary Monday list of football casualties is published again today.

Of football played in divers lands
Rules vary, so one understands.
   With some the game is passing mild;
   In other lands it grows so wild
That bits and scraps of players strew
The field long ere a game is through.
   But here, the sport as I insist,
   Is tamer.  See this morning's list.

Far o'er the distant Khyber Hills
They play a game that's full of thrills
   On rules once framed, it seems to me,
   By one lamented Rafferty.
Each player bears a long, sharp knife
Involving some light loss of life.
   But here the sport, I must insist,
   Is softer.  See this morning's list.

In Hindu Koosh they play the game
With vim and dash that's far from pain.
   Gouging and throttling, so I've heard,
   Are methods very much preferred -
A wise economy with all:
They need no umpire and no ball:
   But here the sport, as I insist,
   Is duller.  See this morning's list.

In darkest Afric hinterlands
They bear knob-kerries in their hands
   To bash each other on the beam.
   But otherwise the sport is clean.
Yet I consider all the same
We play a much more girlish game.
   For here the rules, as I insist,
   Discourage homicide - see list.

First published in The Herald, 23 July 1934

Affable Alf by C.J. Dennis

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Has he magnetised the people? Has he over-persuaded them?  I recognise his marvellous gifts of speech; they are, I think, beyond compare.  I have heard Mr. George Turner say that Mr. Deakin has sometimes convinced him by the way he looked at him. - Senator 'Siah Symon.

Have you heard the inscrutable mutable Alf,
The mannerly man with the silvery tongue?
               Ever loquacious,
               Smiling and gracious.
Loud in the land have his praises been sung.
He has magnetised all with his eloquent speakin' --
The Great oratorical oracle, Deakin.
His somewhat sporadical radical speeches
Have over-persuaded us all, and his style --
               His easy urbanity
               Tickles our vanity;
And we are won by his affable smile.
He captivates all with his eloquence sinister,
Does the persuasive, evasive Prime Minister.
His fine pyrotechnical technical phrases,
His grand perorations, exordiums, too,
               'Spite their obscurity,
               Are of a purity
And of a quality equalled by few,
And he knows all the tricks of portfol-i-o seekin',
That clever illusionist, fusionist Deakin.
But, beware of mysterious serious Alf.
His weird cabalistical, mystical call --
               His impetuosity,
               Plus his verbosity,
Acts like a strange anaesthetic on all.
But, when you get over the charm of his speakin',
You'll come to a frangible, tangible Deakin.
You'll find an accessible cessible man,
With political frailties many as most o' them.
               'Spite his euphonical
               Gifts histrionical,
Critics political point, to a host o' them.
He is but a man after all and a weak 'un --
A most, inexcusable fusible Deakin.
His most omnifarious various views
He'll alter to suit the occasion that pays him,
               Though lacking in clarity.
               Any disparity
In his fused following's powerless to daze him.
Regarded apart from his eloquent speakin',
O, what a lamentable, rentable Deakin!

First published in The Bulletin, 22 July 1909

The Capital Site by C.J. Dennis

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"I hear them speak of a Fed'ral site
Where shall arise a city bright -
Mother, where is this bonzer spot?
Shall we not seek it and build our cot?
Is it in some mild and temp'rate zone
Where the native of drought is never known?"
            "Not theah, not theah, me che-ild."

"Is it where the mighty ranges rise
And point their white tops to the skies
Where mountain torrents hurry down
Past thriving farm and peaceful town
Where our great city may be planned,
A credit to our native land?"
            "Not on yer life, me che-ild."

"Is it where the noble rivers flow,
And fruit and corn abundant grow;
Where wide and verdant grasslands sweep,
And pleasant orchards, fruited deep,
Reach out for miles across the plains,
Smiling to sun and grateful rains?"
            "You bet it ain't, me che-ild."

"Is it far away, in the Empty North,
Where the camel trains pro back and forth;
Some unprotected, distant spot
Where the populace congesteth not;
Fair to our foeman's envious eye,
Which 'twould be wise to occupy?"
            "Right off the track, me che-ild."

"Is it in that land where grows the spud,
And the patient dairy cow her cud
Doth ruminate, while high green maize,
And oats, and rape delight her days;
Where pumpkins, large as great barn doors,
Astonish country edi-tors?"
            "That ain't the place, me che-ild."

"Is it where the squatters squat their sheep,
And large and easy incomes reap;
That fertile land. unpeopled still,
Where none may delve, or grow, or till;
Those large, unoccupied estates
Where sheep-lords reign and dodge their rates?"
            "Clean out of it, me che-ild."

"Then, mother, where the devil is
This splendid city to be riz?
Is it where the giant forest trees
Sway in the soft and balmy breeze;
Where laughing brooklets twist and turn
Through gullies decked with tender fern?"
            "Aw, give it up, me che-ild."

"Where the cocky prays, me gentle lad,
In vain for rain, and the seasons bad
Come regularly once a year,
And the outlook's permanently drear;
Where the Cotter cots - but mostly not;
Right, in the coastland's driest spot;
            "It is theah, it is theah, me che-ild."

First published in The Bulletin, 21 July 1910

The Aftermath by C.J. Dennis

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We've had our glimpse of Royalty; we've seen our future King.
I don't know what the welkin is, but, faith, we've made it ring.
The flags are down, the lights are out; Bill Backblox and his wife
Have left us.  Then to work again -- the same old hum-drum life.

               THE CATERER.

They say that ev'ry camine has his day some time or other.
I've had a rippin' week of it, and wouldn't mind another.
This visit of the Duke's has put a nice bit in my way.
And I wouldn't care a hang if Dukes came round here ev'ry day.

              THE UNEMPLOYED.

For six long months I looked fer work, an' cussed the 'ole creation,
An' got a job at last upon a bloomin' decoration.
I've earned an honest bob, an' you kin bet I'm feelin' loy'l.
I barracks fer the blessed Dook, becos 'e found me toil.

               THE FESTIVE ONE.

Yes, please; a soda straight, miss.  Make it cool and make it long;
My recent burst of loyalty has been a trifle strong.
I'm feeling rather chippy, hardly quite the proper thing,
For I haven't seen such gladness since the night of Mafeking.

              WAYBACK BILL.

Oh, yes; I've seen the Jook, an' 'ad a dickens of a time.
The flags an' things was lovely, an' the feeds I 'ad was prime.
I've done a bit of cash in, but it might 'ave 'appened worse,
Tho' I lost me brown portmanteau, an' a fellers got me purse.

               THE DUKE.

Heigh-ho! that's one more finished: I shall soon be through them all.
They're nice, but even strings of flags and councillors will pall.
Quite a decent lot of people, but I wasn't built to roam.
There's only one more place to do, then through the Cape for home.

First published in The Critic, 20 July 1901

A Haven Marred by C.J. Dennis

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"Talking pictures" are about to be screened in Melbourne.

Jones is a man exceeding meek
   And henpecked, so his neighbors say,
Who, one glad evening every week,
   Sought sanctuary in his queer way.

At his suburban picture show
   He'd sit and gloat, in mood serene,
Quite recompensed for all his woe
   To see dumb women on the screen.

But now the picture house he shuns;
   His week becomes one weary drag;
For, 'mid the crash of "he-men's" guns,
   Even the female shadows nag!

First published in The Sun-News Pictorial, 19 July 1927

Toolangi by C.J. Dennis

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He was obviously English, in his Harris tweeds and stockings.
And his accent was of Oxford, and his swagger and his style
Seemed to hint at halls baronial.  He despised the "demned Colonial";
But he praised the things of England with a large and toothful smile.

He'd discourse for hours together on old England's splendid weather;
On her flowers and fruits and fashions, and her wild-fowl and her game.
At all Austral things he snorted; pinned his faith to the imported.
And he said the land was rotten.  But he stayed here just the same.

Why, he came or why he lingered he was never keen to mention;
But he hinted at connections 'mid old England's nobly grand.
Seems he drew a vague remittance -- some folk said a meagre pittance --
And he sought to supplement it by a venture on the land.

So he journeyed to Toolangi, where the mountain ash yearns skyward,
And the messmate and the blue-gum grow to quite abnormal size.
'Spite the "stately homes" he vaunted, 'twas the simple life he wanted;
And he got it, good and plenty, at Toolangi on the rise.

It appears he had a notion that his "breeding" and his "culture"
Would assure him some position as a sort of country squire;
And he built a little chalet in a pretty, fern-clad valley,
And prepared to squire it nobly in imported farm attire.

But the "breeding" is in bullocks that they prize upon Toolangi.
Where the forelock-touching habit hasn't grown to any size.
And he found, as on he plodded, and the natives curtly nodded,
That their "culture's" agriculture at Toolangi on the rise.

First he started poultry farming, as a mild, genteel employment;
For the business promised profit, and the labor wasn't hard;
But he wondered what the dickens was becoming of his chickens,
Till he found some English foxes prowling round his poultry yard.

So he cursed at things Australian, and invested in an orchard
That adjoined his little holding: and foresaw a life of ease.
But a flock of English starlings -- pretty, "harmless" little darlings --
Ate his apples and his peaches as they ripened on the trees.

Once again he cursed the country, and fell back on cabbage-growing --
He had heard of fortunes gathered while the price was at the top
So he started, quite forgetting to erect the needful netting,
And some cheerful English rabbits finished off his cabbage crop.

Then his language grew tremendous, and he cursed at all the country;
Cursed its flora and its fauna north and south, from coast to coast:
Sat and cursed for hours together, at the "demned colonial weather";
Till an English snow-storm bit him just as he was cursing most.

When the snow falls on Toolangi wise folk look to beam and rafter.
For the fall is ofttimes heavy as upon the roof it lies;
And it crushed the dainty chalet nestling in the pretty valley,
In the little fern-clad valley at Toolangi on the rise.

He was cursing yet, and loudly, as he crawled from out the wreckage:
Cursing as he packed his baggage and departed for his club,
For his club down in the city.  Vulgar folk -- it seems a pity --
Hinted meanly that his club-house was a little back-street pub.

Now, away in far Toolangi, where the mountain peaks yearn skyward,
Folk will drop the dexter eyelid and the case epitomise;
"Yes, 'the Duke' has gone for ever.  British pests are far too clever.
And the English climate crushed him at Toolangi on the rise." 

First published in The Bulletin, 18 July 1912;
and later in
Backblock Ballads and Later Verses by C.J. Dennis, 1918.

A Ballad of Freedom by C.J. Dennis

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Now Mr. Jeremiah Bane
He owned a warehouse in The Lane,
An edifice of goodly size,
Where, with keen private enterprise,
   He sold imported napery
   And drapery -- and drapery.
His singlets and his socks were sent
Out over half the continent;
   In clothing for the nursery
   And mercery -- and mercery
He plied a most extensive trade,
And quite enormous profits made,
And barracked, with much fervency,
For foreign-trade -- described as "Free."
         He said,
         It was
            His creed.
The trade described as Free.

And this good man was known to fame
For charity; indeed, his name
Shone often in the daily press.
When needy folk were in distress
   He aided -- (with publicity) --
   Mendicity -- mendicity.
And though much cash he thuswise spared
There still were people who declared
   His act of private charity
   A rarity -- a rarity.
Donations, duly advertised,
From business point of view, he prized;
But "good by stealth" he ne'er could see
Was any use to such as he.
         But still,
            The press,
         With much
Declared his hand was free.

Now Mr. Bane's employees were
Wont to address the boss as "Sir,"
To show him most intense respect;
And there were few who would neglect
   To couple with civility
   Humility -- humility.
They dressed in cheap but pretty clothes,
And ev'ry man turned up his nose
   And scorned familiarity
   Or parity -- or parity
With ill-dressed toilers who "combined."
They thought proceedings of that kind
Were of a very "low" degree,
For they were "cultured," don't you see.
         'Tis true
            Their pay
         Was mean,
            But they
Felt proud to be so free.

Though they were viley underpaid
They were too proud -- or else afraid
To advertise the fact abroad
Or see to get a Wages Board.
   Besides their meek servility,
   Gentility -- gentility
Forbade so rash an act; but still
One man there was -- (his name was Bill)
   Who vowed their fool propensity
   Was density -- was density --
An unenlightened state of mind,
A lack of wit that made them blind.
"You're but a lot of worms," said he.
"If you were men you'd clearly see
            You band
         And make
            A stand
You never can be free."

And ev'ry day this person, Bill,
Conversed with them of unions till
They owned his arguments were true,
And one by one waxed eager to
   Embrace an opportunity
   For unity -- for unity.
They talked about a Wages Board
Which, formerly, they had abhorred,
   And girded at their slavery
   With bravery -- with bravery.
Each man began to feel "The Firm"
No longer owned it for its worm;
Their independence they could see
Achieved by simple unity;
            Their clothes
         And mixed
            With those
Who battle to be free.

When Mr. Bane one morning heard
About his thing he cried, "Absurd!
They'll never get my clerks to horde
With those who seek the Wages Board,
   And lose respectability!
   Futility! -- Futility!
My clerks are gentlemen who'd scorn
To mingle with the lowly born.
   Such bosh I've never heard!" said he.
   "Absurd!" said he -- "Absurd!" said he.
"As for their pay, they're quite content
They've never asked an extra cent!
         And in
            The morn
         They'll mark
            Their scorn,
And show you they are free."

And on the morrow Mr. Bane
Called them together to "explain":
"I have a small petition here --
But first, I wish to make it clear,"
   Said he, with simple gravity
   And suavity -- and suavity,
"That no man here is asked to sign."
(His voice was gentle and benign)
   "I trust to your humanity
   And sanity -- and sanity
To guide you; but I feel quite sure
That Wages Boards you can't endure.
I leave it all to you," said he.
"It makes no difference to me.
         My views
            Are known,
         But still,
            I've shown
Your choice in this is free."

The staff it looked at Mr. Bane,
And in his eye it read, quite plain,
'Neath that expression so benign,
The fate of him who did not sign --
   A vision of futurity --
   Obscurity -- obscurity --
A dearth of work -- in short, the sack.
They knew that he who answered back
   Would earn, by his temerity,
   Severity -- severity.
So one and all, with shaky pen,
Signed this refusal to be men....
But surely, as you must agree,
Their choice was free as it could be,
         They said
            The Board
         They all
Preferring to be free.

Still Mr. Bane grows fat and sleek,
And still, at thirty bob a week,
His clerks slave on from morn till night,
No hope of better things in sight.
   But Bane, with much benignity
   And dignity -- and dignity,
When talk of Wages Board is heard,
Declares the notion is absurd:
   "My clerks with prompt celerity
   And verity -- and verity
Refused the thing with one accord.
The clerks themselves don't want the Board!
It is preposterous," says he,
"To force it on who don't agree!"
         And still
            His men
         With brain
            And pen
To fatten him are free.

First published in The Bulletin, 17 July 1913

Country Doctors by C.J. Dennis

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Cases have been published recently of gallant work done by country doctors who, without hope of reward, have performed self-sacrificing deeds in the service of suffering humanity.  Opportunities rarely occur to praise such men as these, the most truly altruistic workers in remote places of the land.

The quiet country doctors
   Of many a country town,
Whose lives are spent to service bent,
   With scant hope of renown -
Those sturdy country doctors,
   That walk the healer's way,
At beck and call of one and all
   That pain be smoothed away.

Those patient country doctors,
   That journey day and night
By country roads to far abodes
   To ease some sufferer's plight;
Thro' fire and flood and tempest
   They make their pilgrimage
To bring release and healing peace,
   The comforters of age.

Those modern country doctors,
   They do not advertise;
Surcease they bring for suffering
   And hope to pain-filled eyes.
These be their ends to be man's friends,
   And so they shape and plan,
Divorced from greed to serve man's need,
   And give their lives to man.

Those quiet country doctors,
   Unsung, unknown to fame,
Refusing none what may be done
   In skilful healing's name -
Philosophers, friends, mentors,
   Thro' pain and death and birth,
And who shall say that such as they
   Are not salt of the earth?

First published in The Herald, 16 July 1934;
and later in
The Queenslander, 9 August 1934.

Mugga Mugga by C.J. Dennis

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The spot chosen by the "Advisory Board" for Australia's Federal City is described as being somewhere near the Mugga Mugga Mountain. The water supply is doubtful.

            Candidly, I do not hug a
            Wish to go to Mugga Mugga;
To the Mugga Mugga Mountain by Yassberra's desert place,
            Where they're planning - more's the pity -
            To erect Australia's city,
To upraise a drouthy city - monument to our disgrace.

            'Tis proposed that we shall lug a
            Myriad pipes to Mugga Mugga -
Water-pipes to get the wetness to the city's thirsty crowd
            Water to ablute and bathe in?
            Nay!  The language will be scathin'
When the Mugga mugs discover: "NOTICE - BATHING NOT ALLOWED."

            Wearily, with jar or jug, a
            Citizen at Mugga Mugga
Will await his turn for water - wait with bucket, billy-can,
            Kerosene-tin - any vessel
            That the Cotter's muddy mess'll
Safely keep in - O, the weepin' of the Mugga Mugga man!

            I can see a future Mugga
            Resident arise and tug a
Show'r-bath chain without result, then curse aloud and thirst for blood -
            Curse the crawling Cotter trickle.
            For he will be in a pickle
When the Cotter isn't cotting and Molongolo's mostly mud.

            I've a yearn, within, to plug a
            Jaw whenever Mugga Mugga
Mountain's mentioned in my hearing, for it makes me very sore.
            When I realise Dalgety
            Was thrown over for the petty
Claims of parish politicians I'm inclined to raze for gore.

            I'd rejoice if someone dug a
            Deep, wide grave at Mugga Mugga
And interred all Canberranters, minus service, sob or stone -
            All nefarious State-Frighters!
            Yassinine old nation-blighters!
Nay; I'd lug a Mugga-fighter there and plant him on my own!

First published by The Bulletin, 15 July 1909

Thrift by C.J. Dennis

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Mr. W. Herbert Phillips. chairman of the Board of the Savings Bank of South Australia, etc., commented on the effect of the growth of music halls in Australia, and said that it was always difficult after race meetings to collect rents for cottages from people of the working classes. - Report of the Edinburgh Thrift Conference.
Marriage, drinking long-sleevers, and going to theatres are luxuries, and it is unfair to ask employers to pay for them. - Remarks of an official of Vic. Employers' Federation.

Are ye frugal, O my brothers?  Are ye putting by the pence?
Do ye scrape and save to meet a rainy day?
      Are ye meek and self-denying,
      Or, while Fate and Fat defying,
Do ye rashly fling your hard-earned coin away?

Nay, I fear me ye are careless, ye are ignorant of Thrift,
And I fear me that ye do not - more than twice -
      Look a thrippence in the face
      Ere ye plunge and go the pace,
And lash it up on vanity and vice.

Hark, my brothers, humble brothers, common blokes that earn a wage,
Cease your mad pursuit of pleasure; pause and think.
      Listen to the anxious Tory,
      Hark ye to his mournful story,
For he loves you very dearly - ('scuse the wink).

Yes he loves you like a brother, and it pains him frightfully
To observe your careless disregard of cash.
      In his wisdom he foresees
      That if you persist in these
Wild extravagances, something has to smash.

In the olden days, dear brothers, when the worker knew his place,
He was humble and contented with his lot.
      And this modern inclination
      To aspire beyond his station
Is the fell result of Socialistic rot!

Seek ye beers and halls o' pleasure? Go ye to the races?  Fie!
Where is this lust for revelry to stay?
      Soon you'll be demanding marriage
      And - ye gods! - a baby carriage;
Things for which you will expect the boss to pay!

Why, already your wild orgies make the noble Landlord weep.
Even now you just contrive to pay his rent.
      But if you will go to races
      And to such expensive places
What of that projected rise of ten per cent?

For our betters are earth's pleasures, for the squires and wealthy drones,
For the magnates and the masters that employ;
      And all-seeing Providence,
      In Its wise beneficence,
Has decreed that he who works may not enjoy.

First published in The Bulletin, 14 July 1910

The Psalms of the Pharisees by C.J. Dennis

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Mr Thrower: I know instances in which dairy farmers sweat their own children.  I would give a Wages Board power to prevent a man sweating his own family...
Mr Twaddle: Judge Higgins is not a just Judge. . . God help the farmers of Australia if they have to suffer the restrictions that a man of that kind would place upon them.  God help the whole community, too!
Mr Fitzpatrick: God help the country members! Etc, Etc.
- Extracts from Industrial Bill Debate in N.S.W.


God help us all!...O God of Pharisees.
   Patron of wealthy Solomon of old,
Behold us, suppliant upon our knees,
   The rich, right-thinkng members of your fold!
Our earthly schemes have failed, our judges prate
   Of justice for the lowly and the weak;
Our enemies howl loudly at the gate,
   And e'en to wrest our privileges seek.
In our extremity on Thee we call.
Defend us in our need! God, help us all!

         PSALM I. - Domine, ne in furore.

1. Rebuke me not, O Lord, nor, in Thine ire,
      Seek vengeance for my small iniquities;
   For lo, Thy hateful enemies conspire
      To steal my profits and disturb my ease.
2. Thou in Thy wisdom, Lord, best e'en ordained
      The poor shall e'er be with us here below.
   Lord, Thou hast said it; and I ne'er complained.
      But strove to aid Thee, that it should be so.
3. But now mine enemies - and Thine, Lord - strive
      To wreck our holy work with impious schemes;
   And unjust judges in our courts contrive
      To help them realise their sinful dreams.
4. My soul is troubled by the workers' greed;
      They mock my pious deeds; my schemes go wrong;
   While evil men of SATAN sow the seed
      Of discontent.  But Thou, O Lord, how long?
5. Depart, ye wreckers of iniquity.
      I shall prevail!  The Lord has heard my call!
6. Ye shall be smitten, and the triumph see
      Of FAT beatified . . . God help us all!

         PSALM II. - Beati, quorum.

1. Blessèd are they, thrice blessèd in the land
      To whom the Lord hath given many kine;
   And tenfold blessèd he who may command
      The toll of olive branches eight or nine.
   Blessèd the man that ruleth helotry,
      Who e'er obey his will for scanty pence,
   And labor long, from dawn to dark, that he
      May prosper, and extend his bound'ry fence.
2. Because I was attentive to my kine
      The Lord allowed my children to increase.
   That they might labor 'mid these beasts of mine
      With respite scant, and know nor joy nor peace.
3. For day and night they labor at the bail;
      And lo, my treasure swelleth, week by week;
   And they grow dull of brain, and wan, and pale,
      The while my good kine wax obese and sleek.
4. Flesh of my flesh, made helot for the Beast;
      Bone of my bone grown warped with heavy toll!
5. I praised the Lord, and; lo, my herds increased,
      And God sent rains to fall upon my soil.
6. Oh, balm of Gilead, gushing from the teat!
      Oh, sweat of helots rising to the Throne!
   A daily offering of incence sweet!
      (Flesh of my flesh enslaved; bone of my bone.)
7. But lo, mine enemies around me crowd.
      Thou art my refuge, Lord.  Cause them to fall.
8. Scourge them, that they way cease their ravings loud;
      And make them much afraid ... God help us all!

         PSALM III. - Miserere.

1. Have mercy on me, Lord; for men of Sin,
      Unrighteous men, and judges most unjust,
   Sow treason midst the lowly with their din.
      And seek to rob me of my gilded crust.
2. Restore to me, 0 Lord, my Sacred Rights;
      Smite them that plague me with their unjust laws;
3. And I shall teach Thy will to tolling wights.
      And e'en convert the lowly to Thy cause.
4. Behold, Thou hast loved truth; but, even now,
      These evil men speak lies against my name;
   And in our very courts they brand my brow -
      These impious judges - with the mark of shame.
5. They seek to wrest the gold Thy mercy gave
      Even to me, that I might work Thy will,
6. To gild the helot and enrich the slave
      And all the collers of the lowly fill.
7. Hadst Thou desired a sacrifice, O Lord,
      I would have given it; for, even yet,
   I might compel, from out the toiling horde,
      A further offering of tears and sweat.
8. Yet punish not the lowly and the meek,
      Smite, rather, them that make the unjust laws;
9. Smite Thou our judges and the men that seek
      With blasphemy to wreck our holy cause.
   For see the weak and humble of the fold,
      Without Thy holy aid, I still may bind;
10. For when I play 'gainst them alone, behold.
      The dice are loaded. and the throwers blind.
11. Bind fast the leaders, Lord, who make these laws;
      Give them to be my prey! Lord, hear my call!
12. With bit and bridle bind Thou fast their jaws.
      Deliver them to me ... God help us all!

         PSALM IV. - De Profundis.

1. Out of the depths we cry to Thee, O Lord!
      Out of the depths of sophistry and cant!
2. Strengthen our arm, and forge for us a sword
      To smite them, who complain their wage is scant.
3. Long have we schemed with cunning, earthly schemes;
      Loud were our voices when we were assailed;
   Deep were our curses of the helot's dreams;
      But, Lord, the wiles of SATAN have prevailed!
4. From trench to trench they drove us, ever back
      And back again, till now, our doom we see.
   Our plans be dust, our privileges wrack;
      And now, O Lord, at last we cry to Thee.
5. Thou art our last, lorn hope.  Be with us now.
      Be Thou attentive, Lord, and heed our call.
6. Lod God of Solomon, Thou'dst not allow
      Thy righteous rich to fall! ... God help us all!


God help us all!...O God of Pharisees.
   Turn not away in anger; for behold!
The plutocrat, at last, upon his knees -
   The last meek suppliant of all Thy fold!
Ay, hitherto, the needy and the weak
   Have sued with Thee for mercy and for aid;
But now, O Lord, behold him!  fat and sleek,
   Cringing for help - because he is afraid.
Lord God of Pharisees, wouldst let him fall
   Even as common men?...God help us all!

First published in The Bulletin, 13 July 1911

Synthetic Beauties by C.J. Dennis

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Taking as his subject "Dare to be natural," the Rev. Penry Evans said recently that many women nowadays adopt film stars as models.  He was surprised a few days ago to find himself seated in a tram between Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich.

Where are the girls we used to know
   Ere the movies came to town?
Jane and Jessie, Fan and Flo,
Who borrowed plumes from none to show
   A second-hand renown.
They were their own sweet selves alone --
Or we thought so then; and we must have known.
   There's a treasure lost in the film's mad whirl,
   'Tis the dinkum little Aussie girl.
I wake each morn to a strange new world
   Obsessed by celluloid;
Then cityward by train I'm hurled
With ghostly beauties, prinked and curled
   Whose looks I can't avoid:
Bevies of saucy Clara Bows
And Janet Gaynors set in rows,
   Alike, yet unalike to me
In all their waxen mimicry.
At last, when I have reached the town
   My letters I dictate;
And Greta Garbo takes them down
Arranged in an exotic gown,
   With eyes of brooding fate.
Joan Crawford brings me morning tea
And casts strange languorous looks at me,
   While Marlene Dietrich, flitting by,
   Regards me with a vampish eye.
And when I venture out to lunch,
   Ann Harding serves my hash.
And when I have contrived to munch
A bite, mid an exotic brunch,
   Kay Francis takes my cash.
And so, at last, when day is done
And beauties vanish, one by one,
   I go and buy my evening sheet
   From Marie Dressler in the street.

First published in The Herald, 12 July 1933

The Gentle Politician by C.J. Dennis

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[Mr. Speaker - "Order, order." . . . Mr. Crick again rose. . . . Mr. Wood - "You withdraw the 
expression." . . . Mr. Crick (excitedly) - "I say it was sent by a ____ ____ of the Telegraph.
If I get him to-night I will pull his windpipe out." . . . Mr. Speaker - "Order, order."
 - A trifling incident in N.S.W. Parliament.]

[Mr. Watt rose to inform the Speaker that Mr. Sangster had called the member for Melbourne (Mr. Boyd)
a low cad . . . Mr. Speaker (hotly) - "Did you say it, sir, or did you not?" . . . Mr. Sangster -
"I did say it; I mean it.  I withdraw it." . . . Mr. Boyd - "It is the beer talking."  ("Chair!  
Chair!") . . . Mr. Sangster - "Liar!"
- A little affair in the Vic. Legislature.]

The gentle politician is
   An animal I love,
His glorious position is
   So very much above
Our ordinary station, and
   You've but to hear him speak,
Just hear his conversation, and
   You'll be convinced he's meek.

The strongest word he uses is,
   "Low cad."  His verbal battery,
Unused to foul abuses, is
   Inclined to flattery.
His honeyed phrases weary one
   He speaks so low and pleasantly,
Tho', p'raps, if he's a beery one,
   He'll call you "liar" presently.

Just watch him as he walks about,
   Our legislative halls,
Just listen as he talks about
   His enemy, and calls
Him names, that sound like tinkling of
   Sweet vesper bells at eve.
(He'd damn him in the twinkling of
   An eye if he had leave.

Oh, the gentle politician is
   So very meek and mild,
His saintly disposition is
   As gentle as a child,
Opponents jolt and jerk him, but
   His self-restraint is grand,
A little child can't work him, but
   He'll feed out of your hand.

In fact, he'll feed from any hands,
   he is so very tame,
And hungry, tho' there's many hands,
   Against him for that same.
I love his gentle, peaceful way,
   I love to hear him shout,
But best I love the graceful way
   He pulls a windpipe out.

First published in The Gadfly, 11 July 1906

Kisses and the Rhythmic Principle by C.J. Dennis

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Dancing is merely the application of the rhythmic principle, when excitement has produced an abnormally rapid oxidisation of brain tissue, to the physical exertion by which the overcharged brain is relieved. - Melbourne AGE correspondent, in the course of a furious controversy, "Is Dancing Immoral?"

My dear ladies -- that is to say, those of you who may happen inadvertently to glance through this dreadful paper --
Most of you, no doubt, have felt impelled, at one time or another, to lightly caper
Round and about a ballroom, clasped in the manly and purely platonic embrace of some intellectual affinity -- some male bird of your type.
There comes a period in the lives of all of us when the time for such festive prancing seems deliciously ripe.
Is it not so?  Then dance, dear ladies, dance every time you get a chance.
Pray, do not think for a moment that I approve of those incomprehensible persons known as Wowsers.
I object to them on principle.  I object to all their works, opinions and prejudices.
But most of all I object to their absurd hats and totally nondescript trousers.
But I digress.  Ladies, I am your friend.
And ever shall I sympathetically lend
An ear to your protestations in defence of the polka-mazurka, and the shottische, and the two-step, and the waltz.
To declare that such dances are indelicate is false.
They are not!
Nor is the turkey-trot
A thing of evil.
And, as some would have us believe, an invention of the DEVIL.
Nay, even the cruelly maligned sticking-plaster
Leadeth in no sense to moral disaster
For always remember, ladies, when you are indulging in intricate terpishchorean evolutions, then that unutterably ecstatic bliss you
Experience for the moment is merely an abnormally rapid oxidisation of the mental tissue.

Dear females - cliners, tarts, peaches, flappers, bits o' fluff, and perfect ladies,
There are those who will tell you that dancing is a direct importation from Hades.
By making such absurd and obviously idiotic assertions nothing can be gained:
For the whole matter may be scientifically, psychologically and biologically explained.
For instance, we will suppose that you are treading some stately measure --
Such as the Gaby-glide -- with a partner whose appearance and deportment give you entire pleasure.
And we will suppose
His is emboldened to propose
A subsequent and somewhat surreptitious adjournment to the conservatory -
(You know the old, old story?)
And, being half inclined to agree, you fall to wondering whether mother would really miss you.
Do not hesitate, dear lady.  Respond immediately to the extraordinary and not altogether unpleasant oxidisation of the aforesaid tissue.

And now, dear lady,
Having discovered a secluded nook both cool and shady,
It is just possible that your partner may fondly place his arm around you.
Nay, do not let this dumbfound you.
Be not alarmed.  No haughty glances, if you please,
For indications such as these
Betray a mind uncultured.  If you would act aright,
I pray you, regard the whole matter in a scientific light.
If, for a moment, I thought you failed to recognise the rhythmic principle I should be sorely grieved.
Remember, always remember, my dear lady, that the poor young man's overcharged brain must, at all costs, be relieved.
(For, in the course of my exhaustive researches, I have discovered, after much labor and infinite pains,
That a very large proportion of dancing men are afflicted with overcharged brains.)
And then, should he, perchance, press you tenderly to his biled shirt, and ultimately kiss you;
No protests, I pray you.  Reflect, again, that this is uncontrovertibly another manifestation of the rapid, not to say furious oxidisation of the aforementioned tissue.

And here, dear lady, endeth my discourse.  I have nothing to add except, perhaps, that it would at this point be advisable to return to the ballroom and your maternal relation.
Not, of course, with any idea of snubbing the poor young man with the overcharged brain; but merely as an ordinary precaution against the possible effects of over-oxidisation.

First published in The Bulletin, 10 July 1913

The Test Outback by C.J. Dennis

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Old Larry of the Overland
   With a thousand head of stores,
Is camped tonight on the Mulga sand,
   And they're waiting on the scores.
New fangled things like motor cars
   Old Larry won't have yet;
But, set apart in the tucker cart,
The pride and joy of his stubborn heart --
   Is a battered wireless set.

The boy had fixed the wire that day
   To a tall tree by the creek;
And they hear a voice long leagues away
   From the old tin trumpet speak:
"Six two seven, England declares,"
   Then Larry cries enough.
"Bunks boys," says he, some sleep for me.
We start sun-up for the bottle tree
   On a long, dry stage and tough. 

The bells of hobbled horses ring,
   The stars wink overhead,
And stealthily -- a furtive thing --
   The boy creeps from his bed.
Ever so softly he tunes in
   While the sleeping drovers snore,
And with a happy, nervous grin
He bends his ear to listen in
   And hear Australia's score.

Sun-up.  The dogs and horses wait,
   Old Larry peers about.
"That kid," says he, "is sleeping late.
   Root the young blighter out . . ."
Now o'er the plain the cattle creep,
   Whips crack, and hoof beats pound;
But one small boy, a huddled heap,
Perched on the cart-tail fast asleep,
   Dreams of Old Trafford ground.

First published in The Herald, 9 July 1934

The Stones of Gosh by C.J. Dennis

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Now, here is a tale of the Glugs of Gosh,
   In the end of the year umteen;
Of the Glugs of Gosh and their great King Splosh,
   And Tush, his virtuous Queen.
And here is a tale of the Oglike Ogs,
   In their neighbouring land of Podge;
Of their sayings and doings and plottings and brewings,
   And something about Sir Stodge.
      Wise to profundity,
      Stout to rotundity,
   That was the Knight Sir Stodge.

Oh, the King was rich, and the Queen was fair,
And they made a very respectable pair.
And whenever a Glug in that peaceful land,
Did anything no one could understand
The Knight, Sir Stodge, he looked in a book,
And charged that Glug with a crime called Crook.
And the great Judge Fudge, who wore for a hat
The skin of a female tortoise-shell cat,
He fined that Glug for his actions rash,
And frequently asked to be paid in cash.
Then every Glug went home to rest
With his head in a bag and his toes to the west;
For they knew it was best,
Since their grandpas slept with their toes to the west. 

But all of the tale that is so far told
   Has nothing whatever to do
With the Ogs of Podge, and their crafty dodge,
   And the trade in pickles and glue.
To trade with the Glugs came the Ogs to Gosh,
   And they said in the mildest of tones,
"We'll sell you pianers and pickels and spanners
   For seventeen shiploads of stones -
      Smooth 'uns or nobbly 'uns,
      Firm 'uns or wobbly 'uns,
   All that we ask is stones."

And the King said, "What?" and the Queen said, "Why,
That is awfully cheap to the things I buy!
That grocer of ours in the light brown hat
Asks two-and-eleven for pickles like that!"
But a Glug stood up with a wart on his nose,
And he cried, "Your Majesties! Ogs is foes!"
But the Glugs cried, "Peace! Will you hold your jaw!
How did our grandpas fashion the law?"
Said the Knight, Sir Stodge, as he opened a book,
"If the goods were cheap then the goods they took."
So they fined the Glug with the wart on his nose
For wearing a wart with his everyday clothes.
And the goods were brought home through a Glug named Jones;
And the Ogs went home with their loads of stones,
Which they landed with glee in the land of Podge.
Do you notice the dodge?
Not yet?  Well, no more did the Knight, Sir Stodge.

In the following Summer the Ogs came back
   With a cargo of eight-day clocks,
And hand-painted screens, and sewing machines,
   And mangles, and scissors, and socks.
And they said, "For these excellent things we bring
   We are ready to take more stones;
And in bricks or road-metal for goods you will settle
   Indented by your Mister Jones."
      Cried the Glugs praisingly:
      "Why, how amazingly
   Smart of industrious Jones!"

And the King said, "Hum," and the Queen said, "Oo!
That curtain!  What a bee-ootiful blue!"
But a Glug stood up with some very large ears,
And said, "There is more in this thing than appears!
So we ought to be taxing these goods of the Ogs,
Or our industry soon will be gone to the dogs."
And the King said, "Bosh!  You're un-Gluggish and rude!"
And the Queen said, "What an absurd attitude!"
Then the Glugs cried, "Down with political quacks!
How did our grandpas look at a tax?"
So the Knight, Sir Stodge, he opened his Book.
"No tax," said he, "wherever I look."
Then they fined the Glug with the prominent ears
For being old-fashioned by several years;
And the Ogs went home with the stones, full-steam.
Do you notice the scheme?
Not yet? Nor did the Glugs in their dreamiest dreams.  

Then every month to the land of the Gosh
   The Ogs they continued to come,
With buttons and hooks and medical books
   And rotary engines and rum,
Large cases with labels, occasional tables,
   Hair tonic and fiddles and 'phones;
And the Glugs, while concealing their joy in the dealing,
   Paid promptly in nothing but stones.
      Why, it was screamingly
      Laughable, seemingly --
   Asking for nothing but stones!

And the King said, "Haw!" and the Queen said, "Oh!
Our drawing-room now is a heavenly show
Of large overmantels and whatnots and chairs,
And a statue of Splosh at the head of the stairs."
But a Glug stood up with a cast in his eye,
And he said, "Far too many baubles we buy;
With all the Gosh factories closing their doors,
And importers' warehouses lining our shores."
But the Glugs cried, "Down with such meddlesome fools!
What did our grandpas lay down in their rules?"
And the Knight, Sir Stodge, he opened his Book:
"To cheapness," he said, "was the road they took."
Then every Glug who was not too fat
Turned seventeen handsprings, and jumped on his hat.
And they fined the Glug with the cast in his eye
For looking two ways at the tenth of July,
And for having no visible Precedent, which
Is a crime in the poor and a fault in the rich.
And the Glugs cried "Strooth!" which is Gluggish, you know,
For a phrase that, in English, is charmingly low.
Are you grasping it?  No?
Well, we haven't got very much farther to go.

Now it chanced one day, in the middle of May,
   There came to the great King Splosh
A policeman who said, while scratching his head:
   "There isn't a stone in Gosh
To throw at a dog; for the crafty Og,
   Last Saturday week, at one,
Took our last blue-metal in order to settle
   A bill for a toy pop-gun."
      Said the King, jokingly:
      "Why, how provokingly
   Weird!  But we have the gun."

And the King said: "Well, we are stony broke!"
But the Queen couldn't see it was much of a joke.
And she said: "If the metal's all used up,
Pray what of the costume I want for the Cup?
It all seems so dreadfully simple to me.
The stones?  Why import them from over the sea!"
But a Glug stood up with a mole on his chin,
And he said, with a most diabolical grin:
"Your Majesties, down in the country of Podge
A spy has unravelled a very cute dodge;
And the Ogs are determined to wage a war
On the Glugs next Friday, at half-past four!"
Then the Glugs all cried in a terrible fright:
"How did our grandpas manage a fight?"
And the Knight, Sir Stodge, he opened a book,
And he read: "Some very large stones they took
And flung at the foe with exceeding force;
Which was very effective, though rude, of course."
And, lo, with sorrowful wails and moans,
The Glugs cried: "Where, oh, where are the stones?"
And some rushed north, and a few ran west,
Seeking the substitutes seeming best.
And they gathered the pillows and cushions and rugs
From the homes of the rich and the middle-class Glugs.
And a hasty message they managed to send
Craving the loan of some bricks from a friend.
Do you now comprehend?
Well, hold on at the curve, for we're nearing the end.

On Friday exactly at half-past four
   Came the Ogs with a warlike glee;
And the first of their stones hit poor Mr. Jones,
   The Captain of Industry.
Then a pebble of Podge took the Knight, Sir Stodge,
   In the pit of his convex vest.
He muttered "Un-Gluggish!"  His heart grew sluggish,
   He solemnly sank to rest,
      'Tis inconceivable -
      Hardly believable -
   Yet he was sent to rest.

And the King said "Ouch!" and the Queen said "Oo!
My bee-ootiful drawing-room!  What shall I do?"
But the Oglike Ogs they hurled great rocks
Through the works of the wonderful eight-day clocks
They had sold to the Glugs but a month before -
Which is very absurd, but, of course, it's war.
And the Glugs cried: "What would our grandpas do
If they hadn't the stones that they one time threw?"
But the Knight, Sir Stodge, and his mystic book
Oblivious slept in a graveyard nook.

First published in The Bulletin, 8 July 1915;
and later in
The Glugs of Gosh by C.J. Dennis, 1917;
The Penguin Book of Australian Humorous Verse edited by Bill Scott, 1984;
Selected Works of C.J. Dennis, 1988;
The Sting in the Wattle: Australian Satirical Verse edited by Philip Neilsen, 1993; and
Bugger the Music, Give Us a Poem! edited by Keith McKenry, 1998.

Roads to Romance by C.J. Dennis

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The following Victorian place-names are all mentioned in the various roads and bridges reports of the Victorian Country Roads Board.

When I next take a country tour
   By rustic hill and valley,
My way I'll seek by Fat Cow Creek
   Or round by Pretty Sally.
To Break-o-day, that leads to Yea,
   Or Whalebone Creek I'll journey,
Or inch by inch up Devil's Pinch
   Seek pleasant roads and ferny.

The distant view by Cockatoo
   No bill-board here shall sully;
Or I may go by old Blind Joe
   Or down to Dead Horse Gully.
By many a mile to Wait-a-While
   I'll wend, if here may car go,
Or double back Insolvent's Track
   That struggles down from Dargo.

Thro' byways strange on Fainting Range,
   To Turnback may I well go;
By vistas green at Seldom-Seen,
   Past many a Devil's Elbow.
Or I may jog by Haden's Bog,
   And on to Flash Camp follow,
To risk a fall at Bust-me-gall
   And end in Dirty Hollow.

First published in The Herald, 7 July 1932

The Turn of the Year by C.J. Dennis

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Now, with the turn of the year, as days grow appreciably longer after the winter solstice, soaking rains have fallen; bringing discomfort to some, but unalloyed joy to the many places where rain was most urgently needed.

The daylight is waxing,
   The long, dreary night,
Our tempers once taxing,
   Now flees before light --
Now flees before day;
   For the darkness is waning.
But, alas, who can say
   How rain may be raining?
How skies may be raining
   Ere winter be done
To end our complaining?
   Come sun?  Come sun!

The thrushes are singing
   By hill and by creek.
They are blissfully winging,
   With straws in the beak --
With straws for the nest
   And with fern and with feather
They toil with a zest
  In the wettest of weather --
In all sorts of weather
   They toil as they sing.
Too soon altogether
   Come spring!  Come spring!

With snuffling and sneezing,
   With wool next the skin,
With coughing and sneezing,
   Wrapped up to the chin --
Wrapped up, we complain;
   For there's none could be numb-er,
In cold wind and rain
   We grow glummer and glummer --
Wrapped round, we grow glummer --
   Each peevish cocoon.
Ah, Summer, Sweet Summer,
   Come soon!  Come soon!

But out in the Mallee,
   By Wimmera's plains,
By rain-rejoiced valley
   They're counting their gains --
They are counting their cheer
   They are finished with grumbling.
The turn of the year! 
   Now the little creeks tumbling --
Rain-fed they go tumbling
   To join the refrain
Of wide rivers rumbling.
   "The rain!  The rain!"

First published in The Herald, 6 July 1934

Fish-O! by C.J. Dennis

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Recently the Postmaster-General (Senator McLachlan) broadcast an eloquent address upon the vast possibilities of the Australian fishing industry.  Fish abounded, he declared, and markets must be developed.

On the following day a housewife was offered Australian whiting, frozen and filleted at 3/8 per lb. at a store where foreign sardines were sold at 3d. per tin.

The Minister speaks on the ambient air,
The housewife harks to the speaker's blare;
And the tale it tells is a glorious tale
Of a food supply that can never fail,
Of the fish that teem by our sunlit shore --
Succulent sustenance, food galore.
Food for the million! Think what it means!
But the housewife sighs
For a hope that dies;
And the housewife opens a tin of sardines.

Down to the sea the fishermen go
Where the salt spray drifts and the breezes blow
And the mewing seagulls swoop and call,
And the toil is heavy, the wage is small.
And the fishermen stoop o'er their dripping nets;
The housewife worries and skimps and frets;
Out of the speaker eloquence flows:
There are fish galore
By our sunlit shore.
But the harried housewife knows. She knows.

The Minister speaks and the picture gleams.
Diesel-engined, the trawler steams
Out to the seaways gathering wealth
For the land's content and the people's health.
Fish on the table of every man!
Develop our markets! Start a plan!
Organise! Organise! Let us begin! ...
She has heard it before,
Aye, times a score;
And the housewife opens another tin.

Canadian salmon, crab from Japan,
Scottish kippers to stay a man,
Pilchards from Norway, tinned in oil
Harvest of far seas won by toil,
Of alien effort that takes our pay.
Step up, people! It's cheap today!
Imported haddock and herring roes.
Australian fish?
That, too -- if you wish.
But the harried housewife, she knows, she knows.

First published in The Herald, 5 July 1937;
and later in
The Queenslander, 15 July 1937.

The Safeguards of Society by C.J. Dennis

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The gift, too, is completely indiscriminate.  It is to be handed over in respect to every birth, legitimate or illegitimate ... Is this an indication that Labor despises the social and sentimental safeguards with which Society protects the family and defends the marriage-tie by damning illegitimacy as a proof absolute of immorality. - Melbourne AGE, on Proposed Maternity Allowance. (Also, see John viii., 10-11.)

Dear brothers, gather round, and let us pray
For guidance on this dark and dreadful day,
When our chief ruler black Sin recognises,
And Vice rewarded is with money prizes.

Five golden sovereigns for a child of shame!
O brothers, I entreat you in the name
Of our Great God, Respectability,
Shall we permit this sinful thing to be?

     (Christian brothers, let us pray;
     Sneers shall wash her sins away.)....

Shall we, the just and virtuous of the earth,
Give bounty for a nameless, shameless birth -
We, of the fortunate, who hither came
Already labelled with a father's name?

Shall we be cheated of our Holy Right
To cast the stones of sanctimonious spite,
And mean contempt and calumny and scorn
Upon the luckless love-child, basely born?

     (Holy brothers, let us pray:
     Stones shall bruise her sins away.)

Shall MAGDALENE be aided in her hour
Of Pagan joy and labor with a dower
Filched from the taxes that the righteous pay,
And go rewarded on her sinful way?

Shall our good money go to succor that
Unhappy woman and her nameless brat!
When she some secret means might well have sought
To save the insult that Its birth has brought.

     (Godly brothers, let us pray;
     Scorn shall wear Its life away.)

To save Society our curse is hurled
At her whose Crime is published to the world,
The wretch who braves the hatred of the Good,
And sins the sin of lonely motherhood.

The sniffs and sneers of all those godly folk,
Whose secret sins are hid beneath a cloak
Of righteousness that is a lifelong lie.
Alone can save the Sacred Marriage Tie.

     (Pious brothers, let us pray;
     God will hide our sins away.)

Yet, there was ONE in olden days, I ween,
Who looked with pity on the Magdalene;
One who forbore to hurl a scornful name
At her they brought HIM, taken in her shame.

E'en though she stood accused by godly folk,
Devout and upright men, no word HE spoke,
But turned away, and wrote upon the ground,
As though HE heard not them that stood around.

     (Gentle brothers, bend the knee
     To the MAN of Galilee.)

And when their savage, sneering tale was done
HIS scorn was not for that unhappy one,
But like whipped curs went forth the godly band,
Despising pity none could understand.

Alas, my Christian brothers, even HE
Failed in his duty to Society,
And found it in HIS simple heart to say:
"Neither do I condemn thee; go thy way."

     (Dearest brothers, pray with me
     For the gift of Charity.)

But, brothers, we, the godly of to-day,
Know that the stoning is the better way.
The path of truest Charity must lie
In scorn and sneers that, save the Marriage Tie.

Thus shall the followers of HIM, the Mild,
Brand with a hateful name the blameless child;
Pelt one poor sinner in the pillory;
And damn the other for eternity.

And never, while frail women fall to shame,
And luckless babes are born without a name,
Shall wicked statesmen with a pious sham,
Deprive us of our Holy Right to damn.

First published in The Bulletin, 4 July 1912

The Woes of Bill by C.J. Dennis

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Although there are 75 members in the House of Representatives, still owing to the lack of a working majority on either side, the passing of any effective legislation will be difficult, not to say impossible, under the present system of Party Government. - Political item

Once upon a recent even, as I lay in fitful slumber,
Weaving dreams and seeing visions vague and utterly absurd,
Suddenly I seemed to waken, somewhat scared and rather shaken,
For I thought my name was mentioned, coupled with - "a certain word."

'Twas the Adjective that roused me, sanguinary and familiar,
That embellishes the diction of my fellow countrymen,
When they do commune together in regard to crops or weather -
Such a word as never, never shall defile this pious pen.

Sitting, upright on my pillow, filled with weird, uncanny feelings,
Once again I heard, distinctly someone calling on my name.
And I gazed around me vainly as a voice exclaimed quite plainly:
"Strike me up a blessed wattle if it ain't a blessed shame!"

"'Tis some idiotic joker, 't's some festive friend," I muttered,
Gazing toward my chamber window where the moonlight faintly gleamed
Then, before my bedroom curtain, I beheld a shape uncertain,
Something vague and dim and doubtful, slowly taking form it seemed.

Then, all obvious before me stood a figure most familiar,
Clad in bushman's boots and breeches and a colored cotton shirt.
Said he: "No, yer eyes don't fail yer: Here's yer cobber, BILL AUSTRALIER,
An' I've come to ask you plainly if this game ain't blessed dirt!"

"Pardon.  BILL," said I politely; "but I hardly get your meaning."
"Strewth!" said BILL.  "Dead crook, I call it!" But I stayed him with a smile.
"By your leave, my worthy bloke, we'll drop these oaths and terms colloquial,
And just talk the matter over in a peaceful, friendly style."

BILL choked back a warm expletive - for my smile was most engaging -
And, upon my invitation, sat beside me on the bed.
And, omitting decorations - fancy oaths and execrations -
That his woeful story garnished, I shall tell you what he said.

"Now my name is BILL AUSTRALIER, just plain BILL without no trimmin's,
And you'll tumble that I'm ownin' quite a tidy bit o' land;
Land that needs a bit o' workin'; an' there ain't no time for shirkin',
An' there ain't no call for loafers on the job I got on hand.

"My selection is extensive; right from sea to sea it stretches;
An' I'm needin' willin' grafters for the toil there is to do:
So some blokes called politicians speaks for overseers' positions,
An' I hands 'em out the billets, thinkin' they would see things through.

"'Strewth!  They ain't signed on 10 minutes 'fore they downs their tools in anger,
An', without no word o' warnin', started fightin' tooth an' nail.
An' I yelled till I grew husky, an' me face with rage went dusky,
But me most expensive language wasn't of the least avail.

"Tell yeh,  I was fair bewildered till a bloke gives me the office,
Puts me wise about them factions an' this Party Guv'ment lurk.
Seems, if one side takes to toilin', then the other aims at spoilin'
Ev'ry blessed job they tackle. An' the blighters calls it WORK!

"So I puts it to 'em plainly.  Sez I: 'This here Party scrappin'
In the time for which I'm payin' ain't a fair thing, anyway!'
An, I calmly asks 'em whether they can't work in peace together,
An' consider me a trifle, seein' as I find the pay.

"But it weren't no use o' torkin', they just howls and fights the harder,
Leaves me pressin' jobs to languish while they plays their party games;
Till one push turns out the stronger; then I don't chip in no longer,
For they done a bit o' graftin' while the others calls 'em names.

"Now, this year their contracts finished, so I gives 'em all the bullet,
Sacks the lot an' advertises for fresh men; an' when they came,
With near even sides, by Heaven! 38 to 37.
They remarks: 'The job be jiggered!  We're too close to play the Game.'

"Game!  What game?  Of all the blighters!" - (Here BILL'S language grew tremendous.
I have never heard a vision curse so much in all my life.)
"Five an' seventy I'm payin' for to work, an' here's them sayin'
That the sides is too near equal an' 'twould only lead to strife!

"Strike me - !"  (BILL again, in anger, aired his vast vocabulary,
Using words against his "workmen" stronger than the law allows;
And his ultimate expletive! - Fain would I remain secretive,
But I may not.  In his anger.  BILL described them as FAIR COWS!)

"Fair dashed Cows!  That's wot I call 'em.  An' I want your straight opinion. 
Am I boss of this selection that extends from sea to sea?
Here's these blinded politicians hangin' on to them positions!
An' I want the dead, straight griffen: Are they workin' points on me?"

"BILL," said I - and tears were streaming down my whiskers as I answered -
"Precedent, and rule, and custom cannot be ignored, you know.
This Great System was imported by our fathers" (Here BILL snorted) 
"From the dear old Mother Country, and we cannot let it go."

"Wot!" yelled BILL.  "Still more imported pests upon the job to plague me!
Like the rabbits an' the foxes, burrs an' thistles, an' the rest.
Must I ever curse in anguish? Must my Big Jobs ever languish?
Can't I clear me blamed selection of this Party Guv'ment pest?"

"BILL!" I sobbed, choked with emotion - then in wonder gazed about me;
Marked the moonlight, white and ghostly, faintly gleaming through the pane:
Saw mine old familiar trousers - (Pardon this allusion, Wowsers) -
Hanging on the bedpost sadly.  But I searched for BILL - in vain.

Gone had he from out my chamber.  Yet I sat and pondered deeply
Through that chilly winter even; and I ponder deeply still.
Evidence I've none to show men; but, I ask, was it an omen?
Did it presage good or evil, that strange vanishing of BILL?

First published in The Bulletin, 3 July 1913

The Song of the Younger Men by C.J. Dennis

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The Old men sit at the Council, craft and wise with years
Mouthing the Old Men's proverbs, filled with the Old Men's fears;
And they tell of a young land's folly, of a nation mad with haste,
   As they hark back to an ancient day
When that land was named a waste.
And the grey heads nod together, as they speak of a strange unrest --
To the Old Man, done with striving, peace ever seems the best --
And they seek to stay with a precept, with the stroke of a futile pen,
   With a sounding phrase from the olden days
The march of the Younger Men.

Son of a Scottish crofter, son of an English hind,
Son of an Irish rebel - seed of the venturing kind -
Here is a tie to bind us; here is a bond shall hold:
This is the land we know and love, scorning the things of old!
Naught of an old land calls us - highland, or meadow, or fen.
Ours is the voice of the Nation!  Way for Younger Men!

For ye of the older order let there be fitting praise.
We pay our meed to our fathers and the labor of their days.
They ventured, as brave men venture, out of a Northern clime
   In a goodly cause; and they lived by laws
Wrought in an olden time.
But we are the country's children; we are the Nation's own;
And the hope of our hearts is ever with the land where we have grown.
Ye have fashioned and planned and figured by an ancient rule o' thumb;
   Ye have cleared the way; ye have served your day;
Now have the Builders come!

Out of the Isles of Britain, Germany, Finland, France,
They came - yet half regretting, with many a backward glance;
They carved them a place for their children by the work of their strong, brave hands;
   Toiled with a will and a manly skill
Learned in the older lands.
But ever their hearts were yearning for a scene of the olden kind;
And ever their eyes were turning to the land that they left behind;
And ever a vague hope held them that once, ere they went to rest,
   They would journey again to the valley, the plain,
In the land they loved the best.

And all that they fashioned and builded, all that they planned and wrought
Was after the ancient model, in the way that their fathers taught.
And the Old World's modes and customs, and the Old World's feuds and spites
   Have they fostered here full many a year;
But the Young Men claim their rights.
For the Young Men wait impatient while the Old Men linger yet
Maundering still at the Council of the things they will not forget.
We are tired of their brawls and wrangles, tired of their percepts sage;
   But the knell is toiled of the order old
When the Young Man comes of age.

For their vision, so dulled and blunted by the bounds of the older land,
Saw naught of the new land's vastness, naught of its promise grand.
Cooped in their crowded cities built by the ocean's rim,
   Naught cared they for lands away
Back in the distance dim.
But we of the clearer vision, we of the broader view
Chafe at the Old World's shackles, longing to build anew.
Out o'er the rolling spaces, there is our young gaze bent.
   And our eyes are wide with a brave young pride -
Viewing a continent.

Still do the greybeards linger, mouthing their platitudes,
Clinging to dead traditions, cherishing old-time feuds;
And the bland, unfaithful statesman, seeking their cause to guard,
   With a sophist's tongue would cheat the young....
Oh, the ways of the old die hard!
And the grey heads wag their warning, and the old heads shake with fear,
And the old tongues con the wisdom of a sage of yester-year.
But the hearts of the Young are gladdened with a vision beyond their ken;
   And the land around shall a slogan sound --
'Tis the chant of the Younger Men!

We have winnowed your ancient wisdom, marking each fault and flaw,
We have noted the evil borrowed from the dregs of an olden law;
And we pledge our youth to the building in our great and glorious land,
   And the senile rage of a bygone age
Shall never delay our hand!
Had our fathers lagged in the old land, fearing the strange and new,
We had been hinds and peasants, helots and rebels too.
But we found in our own loved country, space for our souls to grow.
   Yield ye then to the Younger Men!
For the things of the old must go!

The Old Men sit at the Council, weary and sick with years,
Mouthing the Old Men's proverbs, filled with the Old Men's fears.
But the Young Men wait at the portal, and their cries shall never cease
   Nor the stress! the storm!  Oh, their veins run warm....
But the Old Men long for peace.
Way for the Nation Builders!  Way for the Younger men!
For our eyes have seen a vision that is far beyond your ken.
We are the New Land's children, proud of a nation's birth!
   And the New, White Race shall take her place
'Mid the Peoples of the Earth!

Son of a Scottish crofter, son of an English hind,
Son of an Irish rebel - here is a tie shall bind:
We are the Land's own people: we of the native born!
Here is a land we know and love; and the feuds of old we scorn!
Naught of the Old World calls us - highland, or meadow, or fen.
Ours is the Voice of the Nation!  Way for the Younger Men!

First published in The Bulletin, 2 July 1914

Father Jim by C.J. Dennis

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We ain't much shook on parsons up on the Wareo;
But, fer a parson, Father Jim's the whitest man I know.
'E works around the stations, and without no fuss or noise,
'E sorter gains the confidence of nearly all the boys.
'E's got no sniv'lin', cantin' ways or 'abits of that kind,
But ups and lets you know straight out jus' wot 'e 'as in mind.
There ain't no beatin' round the bush, or splittin' 'airs with 'im,
'E's a good, confidin', straight, 'ard ridin' cove is Father Jim.

"The world, me boys," 'e says, "is like a rampin', rearin' colt;
But sit down in the saddle 'ard, an' get a good firm holt;
A-tighten up the girths o' faith, an' see they ain't too thin,
Or else 'e'll land you on yer 'ead into the mire o' sin.
'E'll pig an' rear, but never fear; grip tight yer bloomin' knee,
And 'ang on to the monkey strap of Christianitee." 

'E strolls into the shearin' shed an' meets you like a man;
'E's rounded up ole "Bill the Lad," an' yarded "Whiskey Dan."
'E 'elps us with the musterin' an' joins in any fun,
An' ain't afraid to sit the biggest outlaw on the run.
In fact, 'e's pals with every one from rouseabout to boss,
An' even John, the cook's, begun to doubt 'is favourite joss.
'E'll meet you in a pub, an' shout and 'ave 'is glass of beer,
But if 'e 'as a notion that yer getting on yer ear,
"Come on," 'e says, "yer goin' ome."  It's no use sayin' no,
'E 'as a sorter way with 'im thet simply makes you go.
'E ain't no chicken with the gloves, an' moves 'is maulers slick,
In 'alf a dozen rounds 'e makes the best of us look sick,
But if bare fists is wanted in a row 'e's alus there,
'E stouched Long Joe a week ago fer interruptin' prayer.

Like draftin' sheep on Judgement Day, 'e tells us it'll be,
"An' either to the right or left you'll 'ave to go," ses 'e.
"If you've the devil's ear-mark you'll be put into 'is fold;
You'll no require no fleeces there to keep you from the cold.
The scabby ones," ses 'e, "'ll go to blazes in a heap,
An' ther' ain't no pleasant pastures where the devil runs 'is sheep."

"Then buckle up yer girth," ses 'e, "an' see ther' firm and strong;
Grip 'ard the kneepads all you know, an' then you can't go wrong.
You'll bump about, ther' ain't no doubt, but take advice from me,
And 'ang on to the monkey strap o' Christianitee." 

First published in The Evening Journal, 1 July 1899;
and later in
The Critic, 29 June 1901.

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