Things to Come

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

When you have gone and I have gone
Beyond the ken of earthly things,
Yet watch the old race carry on
As to precarious life it clings,
Gazing together from afar,
Perched on some fixed or unfixed star,
We may find cause to meditate
Full thankfully upon our fate.

And you shall say - or I shall say:
Those were man's great days, yours and mine,
Before his glories passed away,
His kingship fell into decline,
When he walked proudly o'er the earth
Questing his joy at its broad girth
Ere fear and folly claimed his soul
And bade him emulate the mole.

And you shall gaze and I shall gaze
In pity from our distant star
And witness, thro' the cosmic haze
Earth's bosom scored by many a scar
Where in and out, in furtive haste
Strange, pallid little creatures raced,
Short-limbed, large-pawed, with small weak eyes
That feared to look up to the skies.

We'll watch the timid little gnomes,
So altered now in shape from us,
Peer from their subterranean homes
Half vengefully, half curious;
Then, at the barking of a gun,
Back to their holes we'll watch them run.
And I shall say - or you shall say:
'These were earth's masters in our day.'

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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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