Biography of Arthur Maquarie
Arthur Maquarie was born in Dubbo, NSW, as Arthur Frank Macquarie Mullens, later changed his name by deed poll. After graduating from the University of Sydney in 1895 he worked in England as a freelance writer, in Italy as a teacher of English, and also lived in France and Spain; he was active in the Royal Society of Literature and organised the British committee which promoted intellectual harmony among the Allies in the First World War. He wrote several plays on medieval subjects and several volumes of lyrical verse, but is most significant for the assistance he provided to Henry Lawson in London in 1900-1; as well as writing articles about Lawson which helped introduce him to literary London, Maquarie arranged meetings with editors, publishers and literary agents, and lived with Lawson while part of the Joe Wilson sequence was being written. Lawson's poignant portrait of Maquarie's struggle as a hack writer in London forms part of recently discovered material and is included in Brian Kiernan's The Essential Henry Lawson (1982).
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Arthur Maquarie Poems
The yellow poplar leaves have strown Thy quiet mound, thou slumberest Where winter's winds will be unknown; So deep thy rest,
MIRROR of the trackless sky, Priestess of its changing mood, Ere thy shores were piled on high Thou didst feel God’s Spirit brood;
Of Taking things Easy
TELL me what boots to battle, when the end Is foreseen failure? What, by heaven, I ask— By bearded martyrs, and the holy cask Of papal comfort, what can struggle lend
WHO will persuade me that one perfect song Is not more glorious than a victor’s bays? I know not who. I ask because the phrase Runs lightly and the final words are strong.
IF the woodland and the heath, And the hedgerows thick with may, And the weed-flowers underneath, And the clambering honey-sheath,
LOVERS, are you faring forth? Will you seek the icy north? Are you steering by the sun? Where you journey there is none
WHO will persuade me that one perfect song
Is not more glorious than a victor’s bays?
I know not who. I ask because the phrase
Runs lightly and the final words are strong.
But did you press me for a right or wrong,
Then would I bid you hunt for perfect lays,
And rouse the dust of dead heroic days,
And pass your judgement if you live so long.