The Last Sundowner by C.J. Dennis

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He sat upon a fallen log
   And heaved a long, deep sigh.
His gnarled hand fondling his old dog
   As his gaze went to the sky.
"There goes another pane," said he --
   "A soarin', roarin' pest!
They robs a man of privacy,
   An' motor cars of rest."

"Sundownin' ain't the game ut was
   Since men have took to wings;
An' life grows narrer, jist because
   Of plans an' cars an' things.
For the planes have pinched me privit skies
   An' the cars have grabbed me earth
An' all the news by wireless flies;
   So what's sundownin' worth?

"Time was when I could sit me down
   Where man had left no sign,
An' earth an' sky for miles aroun'
   For that one hour was mine.
And I could sit an' think me thorts
   An' watch the sun go west
Without no crazy ingine's snorts
   To break into me rest.

"And as the afternoon grew late
   I'd seek the haunts of men,
An' at some lonely homestead gate
   I'd have sure welcome then;
An' tucker-bags were gladly filled,
   And rest found for my back,
In 'change for bits of news I spilled
   And gossip of the track.

"But now that wireless spreads its lies
   From this and other lands,
They look on me with hard, cold eyes
   An' give with grudgin' hands.
It's them that has to give me news;
   And when I seek some wide,
Once silent scene, planes spoil me views,
   An' cars honk me aside."

He sat upon a fallen log
   And heaved a long, deep sigh:
"We're agein', me an' my ole dog,
  An' old things have to die.
Sundownin's dead; men's minds an' ways
   Is changin' with a jerk.
Seems like I'll have to end me days,
   Travellin'; in search of work."

First published in The Herald, 17 December 1934;
and later in
The Queenslander, 24 January 1935; and
Classic Australian Verse edited by Maggie Pinkney, 2001.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 17, 2013 7:23 AM.

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