Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MR AND MRS MARTIN, by H. HEAD

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

MR AND MRS MARTIN, by            
First Line: Some time in the month of october
Last Line: "maybe they will think it his son."
Subject(s): Aborigines, Australian; Crime & Criminals; Family Life; Relatives

SOME time in the month of October,
Or maybe 'twas sooner than that,
A lot of the natives came over,
Their camp being on Eaglehawk Flat.

All the lubras had possum-skin rugs,
Which gold-diggers generally prize,
And behind piccaninnies and dogs
As various in colour as size.

So a couple, named Martin, oft came,
And of course quite uninvited,
To our camp with their kids, and the same
In damper and sugar delighted.

Papa was more partial to brandy
And very much troubled with thirst,
Mamma was light-fingered, and handy
At taking whatever she durst.

So we found in her wallet one day,
And thought it too much of a joke,
Not the spoons—they were all put away—
But Joseph's nice new tommyhawk.

Then her third boy was white, which indeed
Might only have been a strange freak
Of Dame Nature's, for of such we read
In newspapers week after week.

Then I asked Mr M. to explain,
Having first questioned the mother,
This answer was all I could gain,
"Him lib on white bread and sugar."

Having found out Mamma in a theft,
I thought she had otherwise sinned,
So I looked o'er my shoulder, the left,
At Joe, but as usual he grinned.

And, oh! such a grin, 'twas scarce human,
And far past my skill to describe,
It regularly frightened the woman,
Who fled like a deer to her tribe.

We saw her no more from that day,
But papa, having tasted a drop,
Said, "Long time yet me no pull away,
Me like longa whitefellow stop."

So to leave us the fellow refused,
Though still he continued to beg
For more brandy, whilst we were amused
To see how he stuck by the keg.

He would take us to where we could shoot
The emu and wild kangaroo,
Where the whitefellow had not found out
And none but the blackfellow knew.

There were turkeys, black swans and wild ducks,
And maybe some nuggets, he said,
But the brandy had been rather much
And that had got into his head.

My revolver he quickly espied,
To have it of course he desired,
So I held it down close by his side
And then unexpected I fired.

Then he sprang six feet high at the sound
And doubtless he thought himself shot,
Being quite black when he rose from the ground
But when he came down he was not.

That is, not quite so black as before,
Something between brown and yellow,
And I could not say which was the more
Frightened, the thief or the fellow.

Then said Joe, and maliciously smiled,
"I guess you have whitened him some,
So the next fool that looks on that child
Maybe they will think it his son."

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net