"Bloke" is given in the Oxford Dictionary as a slang substantive. Well, I knew Australia was a slangy country, and, like most lovers of poetry, I am rather fond of slang in its proper place. I must confess, however, I was a little startled by the Sentimental Bloke and his Songs. But when I really came to read it I found that, in whatever language it was written, it is real poetry, a charming old story, the old, old story, told in a new way.
"I wish't yeh menat it, Bill." Oh, 'ow me 'eart
Went out to 'er that evnin' on the beach.
I knew she weren't no ordinary tart,
My little peach!
To 'ear 'er voice! Its gentle sorter tone,
Like soft dream-music of some Dago band.
An' me all out; an' 'oldin' in me own
'Er little 'and.
An' 'ow she blushed! O, strike! it was divine
The way she raised 'er shinin' eyes to mine.
'Er eyes! Soft in the moon; such BOSHTER eyes!
An' when they sight a bloke...O, spare me days!
'E goes all loose inside; such glamour lies
In 'er sweet gaze.
It makes 'im all ashamed uv wot 'e's been
To look inter the eyes of my Doreen.
The wet sands glistened, an' the gleamin' moon
Shone yeller on the sea, all streakin' down.
A band was playin' some soft, dreamy choon;
An' up the town
We 'eard the distant tram-cars whir an' clash.
An' there I told Per 'ow I'd done me dash.
"I wish't yeh meant it." 'S
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