Half a Man

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

'I wash me 'ands uv 'im,' I tells 'em straight.
  'You women can do wot yeh dash well like.
I leave this 'arf a man to 'is own fate;
  I've done me bit, an' now I'm gone on strike.
Do wot yeh please; but don't arsk 'elp from me;
'E's give me nerves; so now I'll let 'im be.'

Doreen an' ole Mar Flood 'as got a scheme.
  They've been conspirin' for a week or more
About this Digger Smith, an' now they dream
  They've got 'is fucher waitin' in cold store
To 'and 'im out, an' fix 'im up for life.
But they've got Buckley's, as I tells me wife.

I've seen them whisperin' up in our room.
  Now they wants me to join in the debate;
But 'Nix,' I tells 'em. 'I ain't in the boom,
  An' Digger Smith ain't risin' to me bait;
'E's fur too fly a fish for me to catch,
An' two designin' women ain't 'is match.'

I puts me foot down firm, an' tells 'em, No!
  Their silly plan's a thing I wouldn't touch.
An' then me wife, for 'arf an hour or so,
  Talks to me confident, of nothin' much;
Then, 'fore I know it, I am all red 'ot
Into the scheme, an' leader uv the plot.

'Twas Mar Flood starts it. She got 'old uv 'im --
  You know the way they 'ave with poor, weak men --
She drops a tear or two concernin' Jim;
  Tells 'im wot women 'ave to bear; an' then
She got 'im talkin', like a woman can.
'E never would 'ave squeaked to any man.

She leads 'im on -- It's crook the way they scheme --
  To talk about this girl 'e's let be'ind.
Not that she's pryin'! Why, she wouldn't dream! --
  But speakin' uv it might jist ease 'is mind.
Then, 'fore 'e knows, 'e's told, to 'is surprise,
Name an' address -- an' colour uv 'er eyes!

An' then she's off 'ere plottin' with Doreen --
  Bustin' a confidence, I tells 'em, flat.
But all me roustin' leaves 'em both serene:
  Women don't see a little thing like that.
An' I ain't cooled off yet before they've got
Me workin' for 'em in this crooked plot.

Nex' day Mar Flood she takes 'er Sunday dress
  An' 'er best bonnet up to town.
'Er game's to see the girl at this address
  An' word 'er in regard to comin' down
To take Smith be su'prise. My part's to fix
A meetin' so there won't be any mix.

I tips, that girl won't 'esitate.
  She don't. She comes right back with Mar nex' day,
All uv a fluster. When I see 'er state
  I thinks I'd best see Digger straight away;
'Cos if I don't, 'e's bound to 'ear the row,
With 'er: 'Where is 'e? Can't I see 'im now?'

I finds 'im in the paddick down at Flood's.
  I 'ums an' 'ars a bit about the crops.
'E don't say nothin': goes on baggin' spuds.
  ''Ow would yeh like,' I sez to 'im, an' stops.
''Ow would it be' ... 'E stands an' looks at me:
'Now, wot the 'Ell's got into you?' sez 'e.

That don't restore me confidence a bit.
  The drarmer isn't goin' as I tipped.
I corfs, an' makes another shot at it;
  While 'e looks at me like 'e thinks I'm dipped.
'Well - jist suppose,' I sez; an' then I turn
An' see 'er standin' there among the fern.

She don't want no prelimin'ries, this tart;
  She's broke away before they rung the bell;
She's beat the gun, an' got a flyin' start.
  Smith makes a funny noise, an' I sez ''Ell!'
Because I tumbles that I'm out uv place.
But, as I went, I caught sight uv 'er face.

That's all I want to know. An', as I ran,
  I 'ear's her cry, 'My man! Man an' a 'arf!
Don't fool me with yer talk uv 'arf a man!'...
  An' then I 'ear ole Digger start to larf.
It was a funny larf, so 'elp me bob:
Fair in the middle uv it come a sob...

I don't see Digger till the other night.
  'Well, 'Arf-a-man,' I sez, ''Ow goes it now?'
'Yes, 'arf a man,' sez 'e. 'Yeh got it right;
  I can't change that, alone, not any'ow.
But she is mendin' things.' 'E starts to larf.
'Some day,' 'e sez, 'she'll be the better 'arf.'

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Collection  Edit     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

46 Views

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…

All Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis poems | Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Half a Man" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 19 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6359/half-a-man>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    Other poems by

    Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

    »

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.