'Musterin'

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

Oh, I've ridden 'em rough an' I've ridden 'em kind,
Brumbies and prads well-bred.
Of every colour and every kind
(The old stock-rider said).
I've broken the wild Blanchwater colts
An' Walers from down Noo South,
An' every sort that bucks or bolts,
With every sort of mouth.

An' I thought I knew the musterin' game
Right thro' from A to Z.
An' every sort of nag you'd name
(The old stock-rider said).
I've wheeled 'em up in the Queensland scrub,
An' tailed 'em back o' Bourke,
To skite in many an old bush pub
I was master of all bush work.

But musterin' cattle be aeroplanes?
What profit does it bring?
An' I don't see how a bushman gains,
For it ain't a natural thing.
Soaring' and roarin' an' rampin' round
In a rackety tin machine,
When a natural horse on natural ground
Beats all yer keraseen.

I suppose it's progress as they say,
But the thing's against all laws.
So I'm saddlin' up an' I'm off away
Where they ain't got them gee-gaws.
For I got no time for aeroplanes;
But a prad with a good, kind eye,
An' the press o' the knee and the feel of the reins
Is my game till I die.

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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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