Gardeners Grouch

There's a looper caterpillar in my lupins,
There are weevils weaving strands about my stocks,
There are throngs of thieving thrips
On my seedlings and my slips,
And the hoppers hop around my hollyhocks.
While the aphis eats my early antirrhinums,
All oblivious to the dreadful damage done,
And the jassids, jazzing gaily
Round dead jonquils, jar me daily ....
Yet I'd thought to take up gardening 'just for fun.'

I have blown 'em with a bellows filled with sulphur;
I've assaulted 'em with arsenate of lead;
I have prayed a vengeful prayer
As I sprayed 'em with a sprayer;
But the cross-grained little cuses won't stay dead!
I have bathed 'em with enough benzole emulsion
And deadly drugs to dropp them in their tracks;
Then I vainly sought their slaughter
With a stong tobacco water ....
And I'd thought to take up gardening 'to relax.'

Now the strange, unlovely scent of lime-and-sulphur
Outvies the sweet bouquet of bud and bloom.
And the smell of Bordeaux mixture
On my person is a fixture;
So my wife won't let me in our drawing room.
Dark odors hang about herbaceous borders
Where I seek the stealthy sluglet after dark.
But my garden has undone me:
Even little children shun me ....
 And I'd thought to take up gardening 'for a lark.'

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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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    "Gardeners Grouch" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 26 Nov. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6335/gardeners-grouch>.

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