Happy Heathen: (With limited apologies to G.K.C.)

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

The heathen's not efficient;
He sits down in the sun
And doesn't care a tuppn'y dump
When the day's work's begun.
He works to eat and eats to live,
All day he'll dance and sing;
And if you mention overtime
He laughs like anything.

But we are most efficient!
And, goodness! Look at us!
Our nights are filled with restless dreams,
Our days with fret and fuss.
And we can have depressions
And modern things like that,
And monoplanes and motor cars
And trousers and a hat.

The heathen's not efficient;
He does not value gold;
And when we'd teach him of its worth
He simply won't be told.
He'll hang gold coins about his neck
For foolish ornament,
While half a bread-fruit or a ham
Bring him complete content.

Oh, we are most efficient;
We'd pile up heaps of gold
And leave it to ungrateful heirs
When we descend to mould.
But the heathen's not efficient;
He is lazy, free, unkempt,
And from the highly civilized
Earns nothing but contempt.

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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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    "Happy Heathen: (With limited apologies to G.K.C.)" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6360/happy-heathen:-(with-limited-apologies-to-g.k.c.)>.

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