The Elusive New Zoo Gnu

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

They had a new gnu at the Zoo
And nobody knew.
Tho' the keeper, they say, had a clue;
And that's probably true,
Since he knew a new gnu was due,
And well he knew, too,
That the mother would hide it from view,
As a natural gnu
Will do.

For the instinct, innate in the gnu,
Known only to few
Is to hide a new gnu lest it rue
What ill-doers do.
Why should nature, we wonder, imbue
A beast like a gnu
With such caution? This fact, hitherto,
Few knew to be true.
Did you?

But they've found it at last at rhe Zoo -
Such a shy little gnu,
White of tail and the coat that it grew
Of indefinite hue.
And now, I suppose, a long queue
Will be waiting to view
This nice little new Zoo gnu.
Such sights ever drew
Quite a crew.

But who knew the new gnu at the Zoo
For the first day or two?
Who guessed where 'twas hidden, and who,
As new rumors flew,
Ever thought, ever dreamed ever drew
Some vague hint, or grew
Suspicious? Where was he? Who knew?
Not the crane, not the white cockatoo
Who ejaculates, 'How do you do?'
Not the apes all emblazoned in blue,
Not the owl with his dreary 'Too-woo!'
Nor tapir, nor tiger who slew
His prey 'mid the ginat bamboo
Once, back of Bengal, in Kooloo;
Not elephant, not kangaroo,
None knew; none knew;
Not aman, not a beast in the Zoo
From its hub to its furthrest purlieu . . .
But the new gnu knew.
Too true!

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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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"The Elusive New Zoo Gnu" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 15 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6631/the-elusive-new-zoo-gnu>.

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