Surprised by C.J. Dennis

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Dad, don't yeh go fur out to-day,
   Jus' stay around about the place;
The parson's riding out this way,
   So you 'ad best be 'ere, in case.
Poll Smith wus over yesterdee,
   An' top' me then as 'ow she 'ear
That 'e would very likely be
   To call on us if 'e come near.
So you best keep about the 'ouse,
   An' get the -- wot? Oh, do 'ave sense!
Aw, Dad, there' ain't no need to rouse.
   W'y, yeh kin stop an' men' the fence --
It surely wants it bad enough.
   Ther's plenty 'ere fer yeh to do.
Now, don't yeh go an' cut up rough.
   Sich silly talk I never knoo!
W'y, 'e ain't go'n' to eat yeh. Wot?
   Me do the talking'? Yes, o' course;
So when he comes be on the spot,
   An' don't forget to take 'is 'orse.
An' if 'e -- 'Ere, where's Mary gone?
   'Ere, Mary, you best change yer clothes,
An' wear that sash thet you 'ad on
   At Johnson's party. Goodness knows
When I'll 'ave time fer gettin' dressed
   Meself, an' see that things -- where's Bill?
'Ere, you put on yer Sundee best.
   Oh, yes, indeed, me lad, ye will!
An' do take off that dirty rag,
   An' put a collar round yer neck.
Now, father, I ain't goin' to nag,
   But don't 'e look a shameful wreck?
Matilder, get yet 'air in curl.
   Now, don't yeh be impertinent,
An' don't show off too much, me girl.
   Nell, you kin wear yer spotted print.
Be careful uv yer language, Dad,
   An' do yer best ted talk perlite.
Leave out them stories that yeh 'ad
   Las' time 'e come. They wasn't right.
No, I ain't arstin' yeh to sham;
   But when 'e ses, "Now, shall we pray?"
Don't say, "Oh, I don't give a damn,"
   Like las' time. 'Taint the proper way.
O' course, the baby'll be baptised.
   No, Nell; 'e'll just be called the same's
'Is uncle Sam, as I advised.   
   'E don't need no new-fangled names.
There's Bill; 'e ain't been christened yet --
   Stop givin' me back answers, now!
You'll 'ave to be. A little wet
   Won't 'urt. Yeh need it, anyhow,
A boy your age! I'm just ashamed
   The neighbours round about should know
We 'aven't 'ad yeh properly named.
   'Ere! Where's Matilder? Off yeh go,
An' get that front room dusted out.
   An' tie an apron round yer dress
To keep it -- Wot's that row about?
   You've wot? Broke wot? Well, there's a mess
Lor', you beat all I ever see!
   Yeh'll 'ave to wear yer green one now.
An' it's that shabby -- goodness me!
   It's getting' late. I dunno how
I look meself. 'Ere, Bill, you go
   An' 'ave a look along the track.  
Aw, Nell. I ain't got time to sew --
   'Ere, Mary! Bring them 'airpins back!
Well, the idear! A girl your size!
   Indeed, you'll leave it 'angin' down.
Wot next? Nell, where's yer father's ties?
   Oh, drat yer fastnin's, girl! Turn roun'.
Why, 'alf the 'ooks and eyes is gone!
   There's no time now. Jes serves yeh right.
'Ere, Mary, put this pinny on,
   An' get the kitchen fire alight.
An' put that pork -- Ay? What's that, Bill?
   'Ow fur away? What sort uv man?
Did 'e 'ave -- Mary, do be still!
   Wot ribbon? Yes, uv course yeh can.
Now, Bill? Oh, never mind the 'orse!
   What sort uv man is on 'is back?
'Igh collar! Yes, that's 'im, uv course.
   Wot's that? Long coat, an' all in black!
That's 'I'm! Matilder, 'urry up.
   Now, father, put yer pipe away.
An', Nell, where's that best china cup?
   Wot shelf? I can't 'ear wot yeh say.
Oh, Bill! Yer nuff to break one's 'eart!
   See that great 'ole there in yer sock.
Now, are yeh ready, Nell? Look smart;
   'E'll soon be -- Goodness, there's 'is knock!
'Ere, Mary, clear them cards away.
   Now, Dad, take care uv yer replies.
Sh-h! Goodness! Fancy you to-day!
   My word, this is a glad surprise! 

First published in Melbourne Punch, 5 December 1905 

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 5, 2013 7:28 AM.

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