The Joy Ride

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

Ah Gawd! It makes me sick to think
Of what I 'eard an' seen;
Poor 'Arry like a wet rag flung
Across the wrecked machine;
An' Rose, 'er far all chiner-white
Against the gory green.

Now 'Arry Cox 'e drives a car
For Doctor Percy Gray.
Ses 'e to me: 'On Sund'y nex'
The Doc. will be away.
'Ow is it for a little trip
To Fernville for the day?

'I know two bonzer girls,' 'e ses;
'Fair 'otties, both, they are.
There's Rose who serves behind the joint
In Mudge's privit bar,
An' Lena Crump who jerks the pump
Down at the Southern Star.'

Now, who'd refuse a Sund'y trip
With girls an' all give in?
The car was there an' oil to spare.
To rat would be a sin!
An' who'd refuse a dropp o' booze
When pals is flush o' tin?

Wot all the courts an' papers say
Can't add to my distress....
Rose, with the blood upon 'er face
An' on 'er crumpled dress!
An' that poor champ who got the bump
Ah, Gawd! 'E was a mess!

The girls 'ad stout at ten mile out,
An' we was drinkin' beer.
I swear they lies like 'ell who ses
That we was on our ear!
For, or we was both, I take me oath,
As sober as me here.

Now, Lena was a dashin' piece,
'Igh-spirited an' flash.
'Twas plain enough to me that day
That 'Arry'd done 'is dash.
An' Rose - (Ah! how 'er eyes did stare)
Rose was my speshul mash.

It's easy now fer folks to talk
who might have done the same.
We meant no 'arm to anyone,
An' 'Arry knew 'is game.
'Twas like a flash, the skid - the crash.
An' we was not to blame.

I wisht I could shut out that sight;
fergit that awful row!
Poor Rose! 'Er face all chiner-white,
Like I can see it now;
An' 'Arry like a heap o' clothes
Jist chucked there any'ow.

They ses we painted Fernville red;
They ses that we was gay;
But wot come after dull's me mind
To wot them liars say.
We never dreamed of death an' 'ell
When we set out that day.

'Twas ev'nin' when we turned for 'ome:
The moon shone full that night:
An' for a mile or more ahead
The road lay gleamin' white:
An' Rose sat close aside o' me.
'Er face turned to the light.

Wot if we sung a song or two?
Wot it they 'eard us shout?
Is song an' laughter things to curse
An' make a fuss about?
'Go faster! faster!' Lena screams.
 An' 'Arry let 'er out.

I'd give me soul jist to ferget.
Lord! how 'er eyes did stare!
'Er kisses warm upon me lips,
I seen 'er lyin' there.
Blood on 'er face, all chiner-white,
An' on 'er yeller 'air.

I never took no 'eed o' pace
(I've been on twenty trips).
An' Rose was restin' in me arms,
'Er cheek against my lips.
A precious lot I dream of skids,
A lot I thought of slips.

I only know we never thinks
I know we never dreams
Of folk walkin' on that road;
Till, sudden, Lena screams....
An', after that, the sights I saw
I've seen again in dreams.

We never seen the bloke ahead!
'Ow can they call us rash?
I jist seen 'Arry move to shove
'Is arm around 'is mash;
I seen 'er jump to grab the wheel,
Then, Lord!...there came the smash!

Aw, they can blame an' cry their shame!
It ain't for that I care.
I held 'er in my arms an' laughed....
Then seen 'er lying' there,
The moonlight streamin' on 'er face,
An' on 'er yeller 'air.

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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 Joy Ride" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 9 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6688/the-joy-ride>.

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