Furnley Maurice was the pseudonym of Frank Wilmot who was born in Melbourne and educated at North Fitzroy State School. He started work as an errand boy at Cole’s Book Arcade in Melbourne in 1895, gradually working his way up to become manager. He started contributing poetry to a local Labour paper before he was 20; his first collection of poetry was published in 1903, a second in 1904, both under his own name. He then adopted the pseudonym of Furnley Maurice.

Married with two young children at the outbreak of the First World War Wilmot was a pacifist and a strong opponent of conscription. In 1917 he published To God: from the Weary Nations in which he criticised the war and conscription: the poem was later published in a slightly revised form in his 1920 collection Eyes of Vigilance. Also in 1917 he published The Bay and Padie Book: Kiddie Songs written for young children. In 1932 he became the manager of the Melbourne University Press, a position he held until his death in 1940.

Furnley Maurice’s Poems