Conducted Tour

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis 1876 (Auburn) – 1938 (Melbourne)

Walk up! Walk up to the Bureaucratic Fair!
All the tasters and the testers and the tallymen are there.
All the freaks and other fancies of the mighty tax machine.
A unique conglomeration not believed until it's seen.
Walk up! Walk up to the strangest show on earth!
And learn how the tax-collection costs near all a tax is worth;
Learn all about the latest departmental funny cracks.
Buy your tickets at the window. Two and six - plus tax.

Come and see the biscuit-biter. No performance could be brighter.
Learn how shortbread can affect the human girth.
Come and see the pastry chewer. Green complexioned, but a doer
Holds the cup for the most bilious bloke on earth!
Come and see the lip-stick licker. Quick as lightning - even quicker
Picks the British from the foreign at a lick.
Come and help the politician patch the country's sad condition.
With the latest catch-a-penny parlor trick.

Come and see the cove so pure that he bans the literature
That all Britain may devour, and stays serene.
Watch his calories increase as he scans a spicy piece,
While he gradually turns a sickly green.
Good, clean fun, but vastly funny. Every act is worth the money!
Every turn is full of merry harmless fun.
Come and see the dope-detectors, see unhappy sweet-inspectors
Testing chocolates for gin - and finding none!

Walk up! Walkup to the Bureaucratic Fair!
All the latest acquisitions of the Government are there;
All the testers and the tasters, all the poor dyspeptic blokes,
And so very, very earnest, tho' the public throw them jokes.
Walk up and see the show arranged especially for you,
And help the harried Government to earn more revenue
That stuff they spend so freely and the population lacks
Buy your tickets at the window - Two and sixpence - plus tax.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis, better known as C. J. Dennis, was an Australian poet known for his humorous poems, especially "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in the early 20th century. Though Dennis's work is less well known today, his 1915 publication of The Sentimental Bloke sold 65,000 copies in its first year, and by 1917 he was the most prosperous poet in Australian history. Together with Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, both of whom he had collaborated with, he is often considered among Australia's three most famous poets. While attributed to Lawson by 1911, Dennis later claimed he himself was the 'laureate of the larrikin'. When he died at the age of 61, the Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons suggested he was destined to be remembered as the 'Australian Robert Burns'. more…

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"Conducted Tour" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 5 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6263/conducted-tour>.

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