The Invalid

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

The pale young man he comes to me,
An' chats me good an' fair;
'The langwidge that you use,' ses he,
'Pollutes the good, clean air.
Why don't yeh chuck sich silly rot,
An' line-up with the Clean Lip lot?'

But, square 'n' all, I got no use
For them poor, shrinkin' guys,
Who, at the sound of coves' abuse,
Turn pale, an' rolls their eyes.
To use the fancy swears I hear
Comes natural as sinking beer.

Beef an' blood-gravy's fightin' food,
Not milk; but, all the same,
I come to see there ain't no good
In this crook-landwidge game.
An' so a little vow I made,
An' joined their swell Clean Lip Brigade.

'Twas 'ard! But sternly I pursoo'd
Me course; an' wore a frown
Thro' swallerin' me speech unchewed,
An' chokin' curse-words down.
Oh, dear! It was a dreadful stunt!
Then, gracious me, I hit the Front!

A feller in the firin' line,
Tied up with sich a gag,
Who has to curse by look an' sign,
He fair gets out the rag.
An' so, I ses, each time I shoots,
'I'll teach you, you - you - you - you broots!'

I don't care wot the goodies say,
It's cruel fightin' dumb!
To curse a bit, once in a way,
Relieves yer feelin's some.
I kills four men in fair, clean fight,
An' seven extra out er spite.

An' then there come the bay'nit charge.
The blokes to left an' right
They all was cursin' fine and large,
But I keep mum, an' fight.
I plunks a square-'ead in the wind
'Annoying fellow; there!' I grinned.

With that a great, big 'ulking chap,
Comes at me with a sword
(The thing I need in that scrap
Was just one little word).
'Haw! You - you person,' I begun;
But while I talks, he gets in one.

Far in the chest I gets that swipe,
An' crumbles in a heap.
An' starts to think the time is ripe
To 'ave a long, deep sleep.
'You are intensely rude,' I said
An' so they leaves there for dead.

They invaleeds me 'ome, although
The wound gives me no cares.
The cause of my complaint, know,
Was bottlin' up me swears
Congestion of me 'Damn' denied:
It made me feel all swelled inside.

The pale young man he comes to me.
'Ah, friend,' he says, 'how now?
Your lips are clean, I'm pleased to see,
An' you 'ave kep' your vow!'
'Me lips is bonzer,' I replied.
'But, 'struth, me throat is scarified!'

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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 Invalid" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 13 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6687/the-invalid>.

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