The Tree of Liberty

The Tree of Liberty

Original Text

The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur, ed. Elizabeth Perkins (London, Sydney and Melbourne: Angus & Robertson, 1984): 9-10.

1We'll plant a Tree of Liberty
2        In the centre of the land,
3And round it ranged as guardians, we
4        A wall of men will stand;
5And sages bold and mighty souled
6        Shall dress it day by day:
8        Would break one branch away.
9Then sing the Tree of Liberty
10        For the boast that we have made;
11May it so flourish, that when we
12        Are buried in its shade,
13Fair Womanhood and Love and Good,
14        All pilgrims pure shall go
15Its growth to bless for happiness --
16        Oh may it flourish so!
17Till felled by gold as Bards have told,
18        In the Old World once it grew,
19Though there its fruits were always sold,
20        And only to the Few:
21But here at last, uncurst by caste,
22        Each man at Nature's call,
23Shall pluck as well, what none may sell --
24        The fruit that blooms for All!
25By gold 'twas felled as Bards have held,
26        In the Old World long ago,
27But here what there its life dispelled
28        In with its sap shall flow:
29The evil bout of Time is out,
31Shall here but build for Truth, and gild
32        The fruit that blooms for All.
33Then sing the Tree of Liberty,
34        And the men who shall defend
35Its glorious future faithfully
36        For this so righteous end:
37That happiness all men to bless
38        Out with its growth may grow --
39Our Southern Tree of Liberty
40        Shall flourish even so.


7] recreant: a coward, or a person who is unfaithful to a belief. Back to Line
30] thrall: slave, servant in bondage. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors
Cameron LaFollette
RPO Edition