The Bore [poem by C. J. Dennis]

[Editor: This poem by C. J. Dennis was published in Backblock Ballads and Other Verses (1913) and Backblock Ballads and Later Verses (1918).]

The Bore

Ah, prithee, friend, if thou hast aught
Of love and kind regard for me,
Tell not yon bore the stories droll
That yesternight I told to thee.

Nor tell him stories of thine own,
Nor chestnut of antiquitee;
Nor quip nor crank, nor anything
If thou hast aught of love for me.

For sense of humour hath he none,
No gift for telling tales hath he;
Yet thinks himself, within his heart,
A wit of wondrous drolleree.

And in the golden summer-time
With ear a-cock he roameth free,
Collecting quibble, quip, and crank;
And anecdotes collecteth he.

Then in the dreary winter nights
He sits him down ’neath my rooftree,
And in a coarse, ungentle voice
He fires those stories back at me.

He hath no wit for telling tales,
He laughs where ne’er a point there be;
But sits and murders honest yarns,
And claims them as his propertee.

And when he laughs I rock and roar,
And vow he’ll be the death o’ me.
For, mark thou, friend, my martyrdom —
He is a creditor to me.

Ay, prithee, friend, if thou hast love
For goodly jests or care for me,
Then tell him not the merry tale
That yesternight I told to thee.



Source:
C. J. Dennis, Backblock Ballads and Later Verses, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1918, pages 89-90

Previously published in:
C. J. Dennis, Backblock Ballads and Other Verses, Melbourne: E. W. Cole, [1913], pages 190-191

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