Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

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

Old Jim Shore - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

He prospered in an olden day
When down the rutted waggon track,
Thro' scenes that seem a world away,
His bullocks lumbered forth and back;
A tall old man, deep voiced, erect
Despite the load of years he bore,
His patriarchal beard, grey flecked,
He won from all men deep respect,
Doyen of drivers - old Jim Shore.

'Gee-off, Headman. Come here, Tony.
Darkey, Redman! Woo there, Roany.'
Goad upraised in stern pretending
Writhed aloft, yet ne'er descending
To fulfilment of the threat.
Men have said that never yet
Had Jim's whip-lash marked a hide
Of the sleek beasts that were his pride.
'Get on, Rodney! Steady, Moonlight!'
Thro' the disk or dappled moonlight,
Down the deep green ways of yore
Went the team of old Jim Shore.

The times have changed; it could not last,
The glamor of those halcyon days.
The loud exhaust, the siren's blast
Wake echoes now by old bush ways.
Yet oft, when dusk steals down the sky,
I sit again by my house door
To hear a ghostly team go by,
And, mingling with the night wind's sigh,
That rich deep voice of old Jim Shore.

'Gee-off, Headman. Stand up, Tony.
Darkey, Redman! Come here Roany!'
At the yoke I see them straining;
Waggon timbers are complaining;
As, from some vague spirit land,
I see the driver wave a hand,
As long ago he used to wave
Ere the years claimed him, and the grave.
'Up there , Major! Darby! Drummer!'
Again, as on some long lost summer,
The team drifts by and disappears
Down the green aisles of vanished years.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, August 30, 2012

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