Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

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

'Mac' - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

In every little country place, all up and down the land,
From ageing cradles of the race to Never-Never Land
From the towns about the cities to the little towns out back,
There dwells a man of all trades; and he's mostly known as 'Mac.'
He's dwelt there since the Lord knows when and never seems to die;
And everybody, now and then, when his present job is thro' -
And twenty other little jobs that he has still to do.

A plumbing job, a painting job, a bit of fence to mend;
They want him in a hurry; and he's everybody's friend.
Kettle-mending, carpentry, a bit of scrub to cut -
There's nothing comes amiss to him - a door that will not shut,
A safe that will not open, or a roof that hangs askew,
A plough to mend, a pump to tend - there's nothing he can't do.
He has never learned a single trade, yet somehow has the knack;
And, no matter what the trouble is, it's safe to send for 'Mac.'

He never makes much money, yet he never seems to care,
Tho' a dozen jobs await him, he has heaps of time to spare -
A friendly yarn, a cup of tea, a piece of sage advice,
He's willing for them every day, and never counts the price
Of half an hour or half a day spent in a neighbor's need.
He sells his toil, but not his time. For what is time, indeed,
Save for a man to labor in just as he feels inclined?
So, if Smith's job amuses him, Brown's job can lag behind.

In every little country place he's known, or once was known,
Ere the urge that men call Progress claimed the broad earth for its own,
When man found pride in labor and the cunning of his hand,
Nor set a price in money on the arts he could command.
And many a little country place with pride today can show
Some sturdy structure 'built by 'Mac' nigh fifty year ago.'
Oh, they jerry-built their palaces; but many a stout bush shack
Shall stand to honor workmanship of that proud workman, 'Mac.'


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012



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