Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

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

Antarctic Pioneers - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Because some unimportant man
In politics talks loud and high,
Or some wild, economic plan
To lift depression takes his eye,
The apathetic citizen
Pays little heed in these dark days
To Mawson and his merry men
Back from the desolate sea ways.

'A rather chilly trip,' says he,
What time the page he idly flicks,
With visions of an ice-bound sea,
Then turns again to politics.
Fish, fur and iceberg, seal and whale;
He gives the thing a passing glance
And misses all the wondrous tale
With all its high significance.

Because the voyagers return
With no tale that the mind beguiles
Of mystic caves where jewels burn
And treasure lies about in piles.
We turn aside with weary sighs;
The story hasn't 'pep' enough.
And, after all, what profit lies
In all this scientific stuff?

But, later, when this ice-locked wealth
By sturdy labor is set free;
And fortne comes, almost by stealth,
Out of a wild Antarctic sea,
We'll come with tardy praises then,
And look back gladly thro' the years
For Mawson and his merry men,
To set them with the Pioneers.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, August 31, 2012

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