The Ground Thrush

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

I'm a business man; and I can't spare time
 For this fluting and fussing and frilling.
The song of my cousin may be sublime,
 But I never have found it filling.
So I run and I dig and I dig and I run,
And I'm at it soon as the day's begun,
And I never knock off till the light is done
 Over the garden and lawn and tilling.

I'm a business man on my business bent,
 And I've never an hour of leisure.
I have little regard for sentiment,
 And I fritter no time in pleasure.
But I dig and I run and I run and I dig;
And you never see me at my ease on a twig,
Prinking and posing in holiday rig
 Or trilling a tuneful measure.

I'm a business man, and I've much to do;
 So the day's work must be speeded.
For time is fleeting and worms are few-
 I've never had all I needed.
So I run and I dig and I dig and I run
From sun to shadow, from shadow to sun,
I'm a business man, and the world I shun;
 So I live and I die unheeded.

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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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