Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

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

Old Town Types No. 5 - Mr Mead The Printer - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

'Mr Mead, the printer' - so the townsfolk called him;
But never in his presence since his reign began;
Such a plain, plebeian title would most surely have appalled him
Felix Mead, Esquire, the literary man.
Down the street each morning to the office of The Banner
Crazy little tin shed - gravely he'd proceed;
Most sedate his measured gait, dignified his manner.
And all the town was very proud of F. T. Mead.

'Have you met our Mr Mead, sir? A bookman and a scholar.'
A grave man, a deep man, rarely known to laugh.
Toiling at the week's news, ever in the collar,
With his little printer's devil, single member of 'the staff.'
Toiling at the type-case, toiling at the leader;
Clothing leading citizens with fleeting, local fame:
'Got to hold the balance, sir; can't be a special pleader.
Tact, sir, tact is the secret of the game.'

He censured Mr Gladstone, and in no uncertain manner;
Vainly might the Russian Czar, the Turkish Sultan plead;
Vainly might the nations crave the mercy of The Banner
If they once aroused the anger of our F. T. Mead.
But the local feuds and furies must be handled circumspectly
The local advertiser must be treated with respect:
Tho' he warned the German Emperor and sneered at him directly,
'It's tact, sir, tact that no pressman may neglect.'

The little Banner 'went to bed' every Wednesday morning.
To be scattered thro' the district with news of all the 'Hub.'
Every Wednesday afternoon found Mr Mead adorning
The little back parlour of the little back pub:
Mr Mead a mite relaxed, but still austere of manner,
With a pot of beer before him and, mayhap, a galley proof.
While lesser folk discussed the news in this week's Banner,
Our local Solon sat and soaked, lonely and aloof.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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