Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

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

Ballad Of Bopard Defied - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

As I came to a playing-field on happy summer day
Two strudy youths I did espy; at cricket they did play.
One had the ball, one had the bat, and, with a right good smack,
As one tossed up the crimson sphere, the other smote it back.
Now, as I reached the bowler's end, I saw the young man quail;
His hand they shook, his knees went crook, his face was ashen pale;
Then, with a gulty kind of look, he cast the ball away,
And in a weak and trembling voice these words to me did say:
(In a tearful, pleading voice, with plenty of temolo and shivering grass.)

'Don't tell them that you saw me,
Or that I misbehaved.
Their methods over-aw me;
But I would not be enslaved.
I love my freeders, msiter, as much as any man;
But, oh, I love my bit of cricket, too.
And I dearly love to bowl,
But the great Board of Control,
They would chain me to their chariot if they knoo.'
(Adopt severe judicial manner, frowning darkly.)

'Young man,' I said, 'it grieves me this state of things to find,
For it is all too clear to me you have the crim'nal mind.
Thus to play without a licence and the noble Board defy
Is very reprehensible. 'Tut, tut!' I said, 'Fie, fie!'
With salt tears streaming from his eyes, he bowed his head in shame.
'Come, come,' I said, 'there's hope for you. Buck up and play the game.'
Then I eyed the other stripling; but, much to my dismay,
In tones most ungrammatical these words I heard him say: -
(In ringing, defiant accents, full of roughneck pride.)

'Go tell them that you seen me;
Go bowl it in their ear.
But no Board won't come between me
An' the game I 'old so dear,
I don't want to go to Indier or England with no team,
Fair Ostral-i-ar is good enough fur me!
I will never sell me soul
To no crool Board of Control;
For me favorite game is ping-pong, an' I'm free!'

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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