Original Text

The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur, ed. Elizabeth Perkins (London, Sydney and Melbourne: Angus & Robertson, 1984): 541. Online at the University of Sydney Library at http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit

1Words are Deeds. The words we hear
2May revolutionize or rear
3A mighty state. The words we read
5Excelling any fleshly one,
6As much as the celestial sun
7Transcends a bonfire, made to throw
9A simple proverb, tagged with rhyme,
10May color half the course of time;
11The pregnant saying of a sage,
12May influence every coming age;
13A song in its effects may be
15While a great book is in my view
17And many a lay that schoolboys scan


4] orb: to circle. Back to Line
8] Raree-show: an exhibition of pictures or objects viewed through a small hole or magnifying glass. Back to Line
14] Thermopylae: the site in Greece of the Battle of Thermopylae, which took place in 480 BCE. In the battle, 300 Spartans and their allies fell to the army of the Persian king Xerxes after relentless fighting at the Pass of Thermopylae. But for Greek victories at Salamis (a naval battle) and Plataea the following year, Greece would have been conquered by Xerxes. Back to Line
16] Waterloo: a town in central Belgium where in 1815 Napoleon suffered his final defeat. Back to Line
18] Inkermann: a battle fought in 1854 as part of the Siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War. The battle was between the armies of Britain and France against the Imperial Russian Army. Despite being severely outnumbered, the allies defeated the Russians. Back to Line
Publication Start Year
Publication Notes

Poems (Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide: George Robinson, 1883).

RPO poem Editors
Cameron La Follette
Data entry: Sharine Leung
RPO Edition