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The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke »


By Clarence James Dennis

Australian poetry

The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke

by

Clarence James Dennis

To Mr and Mrs J. G. Roberts

La vie est vaine:
Un peu d’amour,
Un peu de haine...
Et puis–bonjour!

La vie est breve:
Un peu d’espoir,
Un peu de reve...
Et puis–bonsoir!

Leon Montenaeken

Foreword

My young friend Dennis has honoured me with a request to write a preface to his book. I think a man can best write a preface to his own book, provided he knows it is good. Also if he knows it is bad.

“The Sentimental Bloke”, while running through the Bulletin, brightened up many dark days for me. He is more perfect than any alleged “larrikin” or Bottle—O character I have ever attempted to sketch, not even excepting my own beloved Benno. Take the first poem for instance, where the Sentimental Bloke gets the hump. How many men, in how many different parts of the world–and of how many different languages–have had the same feeling–the longing for something better–to be something better?

The exquisite humour of The Sentimental Bloke speaks for itself; but there’s a danger that its brilliance may obscure the rest, especially for minds, of all stations, that, apart from sport and racing, are totally devoted to boiling

“The cabbitch storks or somethink”

in this social “pickle found—ery” of ours.

Doreen stands for all good women, whether down in the smothering alleys or up in the frozen heights. And so, having introduced the little woman (they all seem “little” women), I “dips me lid”– and stand aside.

HENRY LAWSON
SYDNEY, 1st September, 1915.

Contents

I. A SPRING SONG
The world ’as got me snouted jist a treat;...

II. THE INTRO ’Er name’s Doreen...Well, spare me bloomin’ days!...

III. THE STOUSH O’ DAY Ar, these is ’appy days! An’ ’ow they’ve flown–...

IV. DOREEN
I wish’t yeh meant it, Bill.“ Oh, ’ow me ’eart...

V. THE PLAY “Wot’s in a name?” she sez... An’ then she sighs,...

VI. THE STROR ’AT COOT Ar, wimmin! Wot a blinded fool I’ve been!...

VII. THE SIREN
She sung a song, an’ I sat silent there....

VIII. MAR
“’Er pore dear Par,” she sez, “’e kept a store”;...

IX. PILOT COVE “Young friend,” ’e sez...Young friend! Well, spare me days!...

X. HITCHED “An’–wilt–yeh–take–this–woman–fer–to–be–...

XI. BEEF TEA
She never magged; she never said no word;...

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