Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis (7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)
A Dirge of the Morning After
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE (wailing dismally):
'Who can deliver us, Lord of our destiny!
Out of the depths comes our passionate cry,
Wrung from the soul of us. Aid for the whole of us!
Tell us, we pray, that our succor is nigh.
'Where is the super-man? Where the deliverer?
Where is the Captain to win us relief
Surcease from sorrowing, respite from borrowing?
Oh, for a philtre to deaden our grief!'
ANXIOUS VOICE FROM RIGHT WING:
'Patience, 0 populace! Wait for a little while!
Labor shall succor you - cleave to your Jim!
James and the rest of them, sure, are the best of them
Jimmy, the agable, trust ye to him!
'Lo, from the Chosen lures he the capital.
Bright golden, capital! Glorious loans!
Millions and mill-i-ons! Soon 'twill be bill-i-ons!
Patience awhile till he floats 'em.' (Loud groans.)
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE (irritably):
'Jim? Oh, be d-d to him. Doors are all slammed to him
Cohen's and Isaac's and old Ikey Mo's.
We would live decently! Up the spout recently
He has shoved everything barring our clothes.
'Who can deliver us? Is there no saviour?
Is there no Chief with a Will and a Plan?
Not in a city-full? Oh, it is pitiful!
The hour it is striking - but where is the man?'
VOICE FROM LEFT WING (eagerly)
'Cheer up, my countrymen! Here is your Gregory!
Long he!s been shut from the councils of State.
He'll banish care for you; he'll do and dare for you.
Wade is the captain to fashion your fate.
'Long was he languishing, sunk in obscurity;
Now his wise counsel the populace seeks.
He is the man for you; he'll plot and plan for you.
Rest on his Liberal bosom.' (Wild shrieks.)
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE (petulantly)
'Out on your Gregory! Visions of beggary
Haunt us whenever we bear of his name.
Labor or Liberal, Jimmy or Gregory.
Wade or McGowen, they're both much the same.
(With increasing anguish):
'Who can deliver us? Who is to win for us
Money at four per cent., five per cent., ten?
In what futurity, out of obscurity,
Shall there arise this great leader of men?'
GREASY VOICE FROM THE FLIES:
'Sufferin' Solomon! Vot is dis howl aboudt?
Hary to yer Uncle, he'll tole yer vot's right;
Not more at four per shent. - no, nor at more per shent
Can you get capital! Monish is tight.
'Listen, goot beobles, your beano is finished mit;
Und obligations you neffer can shirk.
Monish vos tight, my tears; dot vos all right, my tears.
Loans vas maturin'. You'll haf to get vork.'
VOICE OF THE PEOPLE (howling):
'Work? O preposterous! What are we coming to?
Is there no super-man armed with a scheme
Scheme to win capital? Is there no chap at all
Willing to plan for us? Work! Do we dream?
'Who can deliver us? Who can win ease for us?
Rescue us out of this ocean of debt?
We've come to wreck in it; up to the neck in it
Won't someone help us get out of the wet?'
(With gloomy reiteration):
'Who can deliver us? Who can deliver us?
Are none to pit such desperate elves?
Here or in other State? Oh, the poor Mother State!'....
CHORUS FROM THE GALLERY (in disgust):
'Aw, turn it up, an' deliver yerselves.'
Comments about this poem (A Dirge of the Morning After by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis )
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