Goophic Phantasm

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

Tho' I own I have no adequate proofs
Of this queer tale of the quaint old Goophs
The Goophs who dwelt in the land of Guph
Still, I think it's a credible tale enough
When applied to Goophs; tho' it's realised
That it couldn't occur to the civilised,
Sane men like us, for it's quite absurd,
And the silliest tale that ever you heard.
To us, 'tis a fantasy vain. But then,
Of course, we're superior, normal men.

Now a peaceful Gooph, when a-stroll one day,
Looked over a fence in a casual way;
And realised he was staring hard
At a pile of stones in a neighbor's yard.
'Now what,' thought he, 'are the stones there for?'
Then he suddenly shouted, 'My, this means war!
That pile in there is the very stuff
We use for war in the land of Guph!'
And from that day forth his strength was spent
In gathering stones for armament.

Now, the Goophs who heard him were sore afright,
And the news spread forth in a single night.
Wild rumors grew, till the land was rife
With tales of terror and coming strife;
And every Gooph hied forth in haste
To gather him stones from wood and waste,
From the hills afar and fields near by,
Till the price of stones went up sky high.
And they said, 'War's madness! It can't make sense.
But a Gooph must look to his self-defence.'

Commerce languished; production waned;
Goophish relations grew co1d and strained;
And there wasn't a stone in Guph at all
To build a house, or a church, or a wall.
Each sat on his pile in his own backyard
And talked and shouted and argued hard,
Of nations and factions in 'isms' and schools.
(There is never a doubt of it, Goophs were fools).
Then someone foolishly heaved a rock;
And their world blew up with a horrible shock.

Then their costly stones they flung to the air
With great abandon and little care -
These stones they valued, they cast them about
Till a number of Goophs were knocked right out.
And the land of Guph grew loud with groans;
And the end of it all was a litter of stones.
And nobody knew what they started it for,
And nobody profited. Still, 'twas war,
Mere Guphic insanity, Goophish fuss,
And, of course, it couldn't occur to us.

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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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"Goophic Phantasm" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 13 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6348/goophic-phantasm>.

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