Brightness Breaches and the Beak

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 Blo…






Bright young thing: Thou on the beaches
Life is gay and pleasure laden
All in vain the law beseeches
Courtesy from man and maiden
When a car, adorned with beauty
Unadorned, swings down the road,
There's a certain civic duty,
There's a cop, and there's a code,
There's Dame Caution - stuffy ogress -
Who deplores your carefree progress.

Bright young thing, who, with one finger
Nonchalantly on the steering,
(Ever indisposed to linger)
Down the beach road goes careering -
Youth's high claims need no endorsement,
Ever at convention scoffing;
But the fiends of law-enforcement
Lurk obscurely in the offing,
Prone to pounce on any stir made
Even by a scorching mermaid.

Bright young thing: Life can be brighter
When devoid of traffic danger.
E'en this poor pedestrian blighter,
E'en that slow and aged stranger
Has some right to go on living,
On this earth superfluous lagging.
But not the Law, so far forgiving,
Tires of its paternal nagging,
Ill-content to look askance
On sun-tanned insouciance.

Bright young thing upon the beaches,
Youth is urgent, youth is eager.
But no more the Law beseeches
With its admonitions meagre
Your observance of its ruling,
Your respect for cop, and Code,
But, if you must still go fooling,
'Stepping on it' up the road,
At its end, for flapper, shiek,
Lurks, relentlessly, The Beak.

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