'Jim Of Maribyrnong'

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

They were forthright days when Jim was born,
When they called a spade a spade.
And statesmen held in lofty scorn
he trickster's sticky trade.
For their eyes were clear and their views were strong,
And they'd be no party's too!
And big, bluff Jim of Maribyrnong
Learned wisdom in this school.

For black was black, and white was white,
When good Victoria reigned,
And argument made no wrong right,
No demagogue explained
That good might ever come of wrong,
Or black be painted white,
When big, bluff Jim of Maribyrnong
Went out to fight the fight.

'Twas thus Jim learned his politics;
And he's little changed today;
For he failed to learn those subtle tricks
That modern 'statesmen' play.
To aid the folk who'd suffered long
Thro' tyranny's base laws,
Marched big, bluff Jim of Maribyrnong,
Staunch for the Labor cause.

But times have changed a deal of late,
And the 'art' of politics;
And they say that Jim is out of date,
And will not learn new tricks.
But still unswayed by wrangling throng,
Forthright and conscience free,
Goes simple Jim of Maribyrnong
With his crude, blunt honesty.

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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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