The Milk Billy

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

So nice it is of you to call . . .
Yes; Monday week we done it;
Right 'igh-clarse weddin' - church an' all.
Cost Bill a bit to run it.
An' wotjer think 'e ups and sez
First night, or thereabout?
'Hey, Lil!' (Lor, it give me sich a thrill),
'Didjer think to put the milk-billy out?'

'Im! Thinkin' of the milk like that.
Show's 'e's domesticated.
'Er? She's no right to tork, the cat!
Although they are related.
It shows my Bill ain't like she sez:
A harum-scarum lout.
'Hey, Lil?' 'Wot's yer troubles, Bill?'
'Didjer think to put the milk-billy out?'

Sounds funny, comin' like from 'im,
A lover so 'igh mettled.
Show's a wife's chances ain't too slim;
Seems like 'e's gittin' settled.
S'pose every girl must fret a bit;
But them words stills me doubt:
'Hey, Lil?' 'Well? Wot's up, ole sill'?'
'Don't fergit to put the milk-billy out.'

Well, 'owja think me parler seems?
Them chairs? 'E 'elped me choose 'em . . .
S'pose all young wives must 'ave their dreams,
Gawd! I don't wanta lose 'em . . .
Real 'omey, ain't it? . . . All I 'ope's
When we are old an' stout
I'll 'ear him at it still: 'Hey, Lil!
Didjer think to put the milk-billy out?'

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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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