The Tree of Liberty : A Song for the Future single work   poetry   "We'll plant a Tree of Liberty"
Is part of Poems by Charles Harpur Charles Harpur 1846 series - author poetry Morsels from Charles Harpur's 'Wild Bee of Australia' Charles Harpur 1849 series - author poetry
  • Author: Charles Harpur http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/harpur-charles
Issue Details: First known date: 1845 1845
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Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Notes:
Comprises 32 lines.
Notes:
Comprises 32 lines.
Notes:
The poem appears in the People's Advocate and New South Wales Vindicator as part of the series: Morsels from Charles Harpur's 'Wild Bee of Australia'

The poem appears with an extensive note reproduced below.

Notes:
Author's note: For the republican spirit of this and others, if not all of my national poems, I can offer no apology. Why, indeed, should I? Believing, as I do, that men progress as sequently from monarchical to republican ideas (when they make any moral and social progress at all), as they do from feudal and despotic ones to those of a limited monarchy. This is strikingly evident in the political tendencies of all modern colonies. Let civilized men be but placed for a few generations beyond the direct action of courtly and aristocratical influences, and the idea of Equality becomes fundamental in their sense of political and social obligation. They are republicans, in short, and mostly democrats also, before they can render a definite reason, it may be, for the faith that is in them. And this results, I repeat it, from a moral and social progress purely natural to civilized men, though quickened by peculiar circumstances.
Notes:
The empires, kingdoms, and aristocracies of Europe were founded either in military dictation, or piece-meal conquest by provincial combinations, during barbarous, or semi-barbarous times, and have been perpetuated by force and craft, either despotic or legal ; - by state debts and unequal taxes (as in England), which stipend and favour the wealthy, while they grind the poor into abjectness ; or by imperial war-craft, and the not less imperial knout (as in Russia), which brutalize men into hordes of bloodhounds ; and they neither would have originated in enlightened times, nor could have obtained over communities previously civilised, in any rational and rightly applied sense of the term.
Notes:
But though utterly a republican in my politics, speculatively, I yet believe that it will be best for Australia to continue during the present century (at the very least) a part of the British monarchy. For even the state-botches of Downing-street are full fifty years in advance of our present half-educated wool-kings; and such forms of government, therefore, as they may from time to time fabricate for us, though upon the most thread-bare models, will be altogether preferable to any thing of the kind which the latter would or could tinker up in the event of a premature separation. And hence, I have called the poem, parenthetically in the heading – A Song for the Future.
Notes:
But the mere form of a government is, after all, a question of only secondary importance. With our prime moral and intellectual rights thoroughly, that is ,constitutionally secured to us; namely, the right of all free men to pursue together upon political and social terms of perfect equality, both their own individual happiness and their country's welfare ; to discuss publicly any and every public matter ; and to dissent openly from any system of Religion, or conform unmolestedly to any mode of worship, however peculiar ; with these great rights thus secure, the mere official machinery of government were, in fact, but a progressive testing and development of the best modes of inter-municipal combination for the general good and security of the state. And thus simplified, its places-being conferative of onerous honor rather than of pecuniary emolument or political patronage - would no longer be gambled and scrambled for, as hitherto, by countryless lawyers and unprincipled men of talent ; nor would they be convertible, as heretofore, into baits and bribes for furthering the worst designs of the self-begodding ambitionist.

Works about this Work

Charles Harpur (1813-1868) : Baptised into Independence Charles Harpur , 1998 selected work prose
— Appears in: Our First Republicans : John Dunmore Lang, Charles Harpur, Daniel Henry Deniehy : Selected Writings, 1840-1860 1998; (p. 57-111)
Contains a selection of Harpur's prose pieces, many of which originated as notes attached to poems published in newspapers and journals.
Charles Harpur (1813-1868) : Baptised into Independence Charles Harpur , 1998 selected work prose
— Appears in: Our First Republicans : John Dunmore Lang, Charles Harpur, Daniel Henry Deniehy : Selected Writings, 1840-1860 1998; (p. 57-111)
Contains a selection of Harpur's prose pieces, many of which originated as notes attached to poems published in newspapers and journals.
Last amended 12 Dec 2012 09:02:10
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