Love and War

Arthur Patchett Martin 1851 (Woolwich, Kent) – 1902 (Tenerife)

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;
 
“While that shallow charlatan ruling o’er France,
 Who deems himself deeper than Merlin,
Thinks he and his soldiers have only to dance
 To the tune of the Can-can to Berlin.
 
“But as soon as he gets to the bank of the Rhine,
 He’ll be met by the great German army.”
Then the Chancellor laughed, and he said, “I will dine,
 For I see nothing much to alarm me.”
 
Yet still as he went out he paused by the door
 (For his mind was in truth heavy laden),
And he saw a stout fellow, equipped for the war,
 Embracing a fair-haired young maiden.
 
“Ho! ho!” said the Chancellor, “this will not do,
 For Mars to be toying with Venus,
When these Frenchmen are coming—a rascally crew!—
 And the Rhine only flowing between us.”
 
So the wary old fox, just in order to hear,
 Strode one or two huge paces nearer;
And he heard the youth say, “More than life art thou dear;
 But, O loved one, the Fatherland’s dearer.”
 
Then the maid dried her tears and looked up in his eyes,
 And she said, “Thou of loving art worthy:
When all are in danger no brave man e’er flies,
 And thy love should spur on—not deter thee.”
 
The Chancellor took a cigar, which he lit,
 And he muttered, “Here ’s naught to alarm me;
By Heaven! I swear they are both of them fit
 To march with the great German army.”

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Arthur Patchett Martin

Arthur Patchett Martin, was an Australian writer and literary critic. Martin was born in Woolwich, Kent, England, the son of George Martin and his wife Eleanor, née Hill. The family migrated to Australia in 1852, arriving in Melbourne that Christmas. Martin was educated at St Mark's School, Fitzroy and later matriculated at the University of Melbourne in February 1868. Martin worked in the post office from 1865 to 1883; however he was also a casual writer in this period. Having established the Melbourne Review with Henry Gyles Turner in 1876, Martin edited the publication for six years. Martin was a member of the Eclectic Association, fellow members included Theodore Fink, Arthur Topp, Alfred Deakin and David Mickle. In 1883 Martin moved to London amid controversy in a divorce case; he became a journalist and wrote regularly for the Pall Mall Gazette. Martin was the satirist of the 'Australasian Group' - who regarded themselves as exiles - but retained an interest in Australian literature and other affairs. One of Martin's most solid achievements was the publication of a work entitled "Australia and the Empire", specially dedicated to the First Lord of the Treasury, Mr. Balfour. The opening essay in this work, entitled "Robert Lowe in Sydney," formed the nucleus of the undertaking on which Martin later worked on—the complete political biography of Lord Sherbrooke. Among other literary efforts in London may be mentioned "Oak-bough and Wattle-blossom," the first of those collective stories by "Australians in England" of which there are now quite a series. "Over-the-Sea Stories for the Children of Two Worlds" a profusely illustrated gift-book, is also a collection by Martin. Martin married a widow, Harriette Anne Bullen (daughter of Dr John Moore Cookesley) on 11 January 1886 in London. Together they wrote verse and organised the publications of expatriate Australians in various periodicals. Martin's health deteriorated and he moved to Tenerife, Canary Islands where he died on 15 February 1902. A sister, Letitia Hill Martin, who was also an accomplished writer, married the theatrical impresario Arthur Garner. more…

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"Love and War" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 14 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/3915/love-and-war>.

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