For The Defence

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

'This Cen-TEEN-ary,' sez 'e
Sez I, 'You'll pardon me.'
(Perlite, like that, first off, and 'arf in laughter).
'You'll pardon me, I'm sure,'
I sez: 'but, speakin' pure,
Cen-TEN-ary, I think's, the word you're after.'

'Cen-TEEN-ary!' sez 'e;
An' looks fair, bang at me
All sort of snakey-eyed an' irritated.
Sez I, 'Don't be absurd,
For the dictionary word
Is Cen-TEN-ary. It's much more edjacated.'

'Cen-TEEN-ary!!' sez 'e.
Some'ow, 'e seemed to be
The sorta bloke wot gits me back up proper.
'Aw, brush yer brains!' sez I,
Gettin' 'ot. (I dunno why.)
'Cen-TEN-ary!' I sez. 'You darn clod-'opper!'

'Cen-TEEN-ary!!!' sez 'e,
As snarky as could be.
You know the sorta bloke I mean - pig-'eaded).
'Cen-TEN-ary, you fool!
Ain't you never been to school?'
Sez I. An' then things 'appened - like I dreaded.

'Cen-TEEN-ary!!!' sez 'e.
An' 'e swings a left at me
That would 'a' knocked me cold, if it 'ad landed.
'Ho! A gentleman!' I sneers;
'Full of nice, perlite idears.'
 Then I ups an' tears right into 'im, two-'anded.

'Cen-TEEN-ary,' squeaks 'e.
(Still obstinit, yeh see).
Well, it weren't no time for bein' tender-'arted,
So I spreads 'im on the floor,
An' 'e never sez no more ....
So, please yer Worship, that was 'ow it started.

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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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"For The Defence" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 13 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6320/for-the-defence>.

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