Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

Growing Pains


Behold the undergraduate
A most amusing fellow
In all his jesting up-to-date
His sense of humor is so great,
His modern wit so mellow,
That no quip serves him lest it be
Rich in originality.

Assured of overwhelming odds,
Seizing the freshmen's persons,
Indelibly he daubs these clods,
To waken mirth in men and gods.
(Saving a few McPhersons
And other members of their race
Who have of humor, not a trace.)

The softier sort of joke that serves
Dull age - the quaint or quizzical
Gains his contempt, as it deserves;
Mere wordy wit gets on his nerves;
His jokes are ever physical,
And richer qualities attain
The more they hold of cosmic pain.

To torture victims till they squeal
Is mirthfully effectual;
Humor lacks pith unless these feel
Fierce torments: wit has no appeal
That's solely intellectual.
The quirk, the paradox outworn,
The epigram but earn his scorn.

No milder jest may give him joy
Strange, adolescent creature,
Suspended 'twixt the man and boy
No rag's worth while lest it employ
Some quaintly painful feature;
But jokes, that moved the stone-age man
To shrieks of mirth, he'll gladly plan.

Behold the undergraduate
And pity him a little,
Remembering 'twas once our fate
To linger in that loutish state
That holds of grace no tittle,
But comes alike to boy and pup
The penalty of growing up.

Submitted: Thursday, August 30, 2012

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