Country Towns - Portland

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

Here she hides, an aged dame.
Here she dreams beside the waves.
Ever baulked of modern fame
And the deep-sea trade she craves.
Tall ships, riding at her port,
  Waking her to life anew -
Here she hides, and holds the fort,
  Hoping yet dreams will come true.

Charming lady, dignified,
  Proud, hospitable and kind;
With full half her rights denied.
Here she waits, and calls to mind
Pictures of the olden days
When the whalers, sailing down
To her quiet waterways
Gave first promise to her town.

First came Dutton - half forgot
To establish well her claim
As the land's historic spot.
After him stout Henry came;
Followed Major Mitchell then,
Pushing forward with the task
Still she waits, denied by men
All she has a right to ask.

But Dame Portland is not done;
For her pioneering blood
Yet shall have ambition won,
And her fortunes at the flood.
Tall ships riding at her port
Thriving life about her strand;
She, the storehouse and the fort
Of her fertile hinterland.

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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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