The Mountain Laboured

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

A patriot spake thus to an eager throng:
'Give me the power and I shall right each wrong.
And Fortune, smiling, on our land shall look'
His name was COOK.

Lo, I beheld, throughout a continent,
A nation wrestle with affairs of State,
And patriotic cries, wher'er I went,
Poured forth alike from groundlings and the great.
I heard man reason with his fellow man;
From shore to shore rang out one mighty screech,
As, daily, from a thousand platforms ran
Rivers of speech.

Consul and Senator keen combat waged.
Doctor and Saint joined hotly in the fray;
North, South and West and East the battle raged;
And ev'ry citizen had much to say;
Bland politicians talked incessantly
It seemed a very battle of the gods;
Though much they said appeared to me to be
Over the odds.

Then lo, upon the great Election Day,
The day appointed for the mighty test,
Cab, jinker, motor-car and humble dray
Hither and thither sped at the behest
Of rival statesmen whose bold streamers flared
On wall and hoarding....You can guess the rest
'Twere easy spared.

My wife remained at home to mend my socks;
But forth went I to claim my sovereign right,
To win my freedom at the ballot-box....
I got back home at twelve o'clock that night.
Or was it two next morning? I forget.
But I had done my duty like a man:
Helped in the noblest scheme man's fashioned yet
The Party Plan.

And then a solemn hush fell on the land
(I was content, considering my head,
Next Morning). And behold, on ev'ry hand,
Expectancy and hope one plainly read,
Till through the land rang out the herald's voice
Telling the upshot of that mighty fray:
'Joseph is consul! Citizens, rejoice!
 'Ip, 'ip, 'ooray!'

Rejoice I did; and my prophetic soul
Saw for my country happiness and peace.
For he had reached at last the longed-for goal.
Now would our corn and oil and beer increase!
What would it profit else, this strike, this pain
A mighty Nation shaken to its soul?
Sans good result, all hope ('twas very plain)
Was up the pole.

Into the Hall of State I blithely went,
Eager to hear the dignified debate
Grave, reverend seigneurs in grave argument
Engaged, discussing great affairs of State,
Wise counsellors....But stay! What's here amiss?
Are these the honoured makers of the Law?
Now Heav'n defend our Party Plan! for this
Is what I saw:

A yelping, clamorous, unruly clan;
A small bald, agitated, snapping man;
And, as they raved, his fist he fiercely shook
His name was COOK.

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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 Mountain Laboured" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 10 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6733/the-mountain-laboured>.

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