Arthur Patchett Martin

Arthur Patchett Martin Poems

There’s nothing so exasperates a true Australian youth,
Whatever be his rank in life, be he cultured or uncouth,

Not sweeter to the storm-tossed mariner
   Is glimpse of home, where wife and children wait
   To welcome him with kisses at the gate,
Than to the town-worn man the breezy stir

THE CHANCELLOR mused as he nibbled his pen
(Sure no Minister ever looked wiser),
And said, “I can summon a million of men
To fight for their country and Kaiser;

A sturdy fellow, with a sunburnt face,
And thews and sinews of a giant mould;
A genial mind, that harboured nothing base,—
A pocket void of gold.

Come I from busy haunts of men,
With nature to commune,
Which you, it seems, observe, and then
Laugh out, like some buffoon.

IN my hot youth I rashly penned
A Sonnet of the After-life.
It was the time of stress and strife
Through which the ardent soul must wend.

See the smoke-wreaths how they curl so lightly skyward
From the ivied cottage nestled in the trees:

Arthur Patchett Martin Biography

Arthur Patchett Martin, writer, was born on 18 February 1851 at Woolwich, Kent, England, son of George Martin and his wife Eleanor, née Hill. In December 1852 the family arrived at Melbourne where Martin was educated at St Mark's School, Fitzroy, and matriculated at the University of Melbourne in February 1868. He worked in the post office from November 1865 to 1883, but for most of these years was a casual writer, prominent in giving papers and debating in the Eclectic Society where he succeeded H. K. Rusden as secretary. For six years Martin edited the Melbourne Review, which he and H. G. Turner established in 1876. Martin's lifelong belief was that Australian literature could best develop with an Australian school of criticism beside it; only then would it adjust its perspectives. He published Sweet Girl Graduate (1876), which included short poems and a sentimental novelette. More verses followed: Lays of To-day: Verses in Jest and Earnest (1878), and Fernshawe: Sketches in Prose and Verse (1882), collected from the Melbourne Review and other journals. He was closely associated with the theatre through his brother-in-law, Arthur Garner. A. D. Mickle describes Martin as a 'born Bohemian', and recalls the regular walks his father took with the 'brilliant talkers' Patchett Martin and Alfred Deakin. Walter Murdoch refers to Martin's light mockery, wit and indolence. In 1883 Martin left Australia under a cloud, as co-respondent in a divorce case, and remained embittered by friends shunning him. However, he soon became established in London journalism, writing regularly for the Pall Mall Gazette. He was the satirist of the 'Australasian Group' who regarded themselves as exiles but retained a keen interest in Australian affairs, particularly literature. He wrote an introduction to the 18th edition of the poems of Adam Lindsay Gordon and was his advocate in many articles. In The Beginnings of an Australian Literature (London, 1898) he hailed the first volumes of Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson with pride and triumph, avowing that 'the un-English, thorough Australian style and character of these new bush bards' appealed to 'the rising native population'. In 1889 he published Australia and the Empire, a patchwork of essays on Australian affairs and prominent men, and in 1893 True Stories from Australasian History. His major work, Life and Letters of the Right Honourable Robert Lowe, Viscount Sherbrooke (1893), was a clearly-structured, dignified work and generally accurate, with information from Lowe's friends and relations. He also wrote the entries on Sir Henry Parkes, William Charles Wentworth and Sir William Windeyer in the Dictionary of National Biography. On 11 January 1886 in London Martin had married a widow, Harriette Anne Bullen, daughter of Dr John Moore Cookesley. Together they wrote verse and arranged the publications of expatriate Australians in various periodicals. The Bulletin, 7 March 1896, described his talent as rather thin, claiming that his verse was 'deficient in wit and poignancy, but with sufficient fluency and sentiment to be readable'. He was a minor poet, at best remembered for his literary criticism and journalism. Though reputedly influential in promoting Australia's broader interests, he was, according to Deakin in May 1889, 'ill-informed on public affairs' and 'did not pretend to follow them' before leaving Australia. His influence in Britain seems illusory despite his activities in Liberal Union politics. His health collapsed and his wife sought help from friends in Britain and Australia. By their aid he went to Tenerife where he died on 15 February 1902.)

The Best Poem Of Arthur Patchett Martin

My Cousin From Pall Mall

There’s nothing so exasperates a true Australian youth,
Whatever be his rank in life, be he cultured or uncouth,
As the manner of a London swell. Now it chanced, the other day,
That one came out, consigned to me—a cousin, by the way.

As he landed from the steamer at the somewhat dirty pier,
He took my hand; and lispingly remarked, ‘How very queer!
I’m glad, of course, to see you—but you must admit this place,
With all its mixed surroundings, is a national disgrace.’

I defended not that dirty pier, not a word escaped my lips;
I pointed not—though well I might—to the huge three-masted ships;
For, although with patriotic pride my soul was all aglow,
I remembered Trollope’s parting words, ‘Victorians do not blow.’

On the morrow through the city we sauntered, arm in arm;
I strove to do the cicerone—my style was grand and calm.
I showed him all the lions—but I noted with despair
His smile, his drawl, his eye-glass, and his supercilious air.

As we strolled along that crowded street, where Fashion holds proud sway,
He deigned to glance at every thing, but not one word did say;
I really thought he was impressed by its well-deserved renown
Till he drawled, ‘Not bad—not bad at all—for a provincial town.’

Just as he spoke there chanced to pass a most bewitching girl,
And I said, ‘Dear cousin, is she not fit bride for any earl?’
He glanced, with upraised eyebrows and a patronizing smile,
Then lisped, ‘She’s pretty, not a doubt, but what a want of style!’

We paused a moment just before a spacious House of Prayer;
Said he, ‘Dear me! Good gracious! What’s this ugly brick affair—
A second-rate gin-palace?’ ‘Cease, cease,’ I said; ‘you must—
O spare me,’— here my sobs burst forth, I was humbled to the dust.

But, unmindful of my agonies, in the slowest of slow drawls,
He lisped away for hours of the Abbey and St. Paul’s,
Till those grand historic names had for me a hateful sound,
And I wished the noble piles themselves were levelled to the ground,

My young bright life seemed blasted, my hopes were dead and gone,
No blighted lover ever felt so gloomy and forlorn;
I’d reached the suicidal stage—and the reason of it all,
This supercilious London swell, his eye-glass and his drawl.

But, though hidden, still there’s present, in out darkest hour of woe,
A sense of respite and relief, although we may not know
The way that gracious Providence will choose to right the wrong,
So I forthwith ceased my bitter tears—I suffered and was strong.

Then we strolled into the Club, where he again commenced to speak,
But I interrupted saying, ‘Let us leave town for a week.
I see that Melbourne bores you—nay, nay, I know it’s true;
Let us wander ’midst the gum-trees, and observe the kangaroo.’

My words were soft and gentle, and none could have discerned
How, beneath my calm demeanour, volcanic fury burned.
And my cousin straight consented, as his wine he slowly sipped,
To see the gay Marsupial and the gloomy Eucalypt.

Ah! who has ever journeyed on a glorious summer night
Through the weird Australian bush-land without feeling of delight?
The dense untrodden forest, in the moonlight coldly pale,
Brings before our wondering eyes again the scenes of fairy tale.

No sound is heard, save where one treads upon the lonely track;
We lose our dull grey manhood, and to early youth go back—
To scenes and days long passed away, and seem again to greet
Our youthful dreams, so rudely crushed like the grass beneath our feet.

’Twas such a night we wandered forth; we never spoke a word
(I was too full of thought for speech—to him no thought occurred)
When, gazing from the silent earth to the star-lit silent sky,
My cousin in amazement dropped his eye-glass from his eye.

At last, I thought his soul was moved by the grandeur of the scene
(As the most prosaic Colonist’s I’m certain would have been),
Till he replaced his eye-glass, and remarked—‘This may be well,
But one who’s civilized prefers the pavement of Pall Mall.’

I swerved not from that moment from my purpose foul and grim;
I never deigned to speak one word, nor even glanced at him;
But suddenly I seized his throat,…he gave one dreadful groan,
And I, who had gone forth with him, that night returned alone.

Arthur Patchett Martin Comments

Shobana Gomes 28 April 2014

I loved the humor in his analogy.

1 0 Reply
Ian-paul Mason 27 October 2007

i have a book written by a.patchett martin that is signed to his niece and wondered if anyone knows the book that was published in 1893 named `true stories from Australasian history. the interest is in the book has me on an edge

0 0 Reply

Arthur Patchett Martin Popularity

Arthur Patchett Martin Popularity

Error Success