My Political Belief [poem by Charles Harpur]

[Editor: This poem by Charles Harpur was published in The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems (1853).]

My Political Belief.

O Liberty, yet build thee an august
And best abode in this most virgin clime;
The Old World yet, power-trampled to the dust,
Hath never known thee in thy perfect prime!
Seeing all Rule which at a given time
Expires not, as reposed in Public Trust,
And thence renewable but by Suffrage, must
Against thee in its nature be a crime!
Seeing that all not privileged to name
Their governors — and more, to govern too,
Choosing or chosen, but live unto thy blame!
That all are slaves in act who may not do
Whate’er is virtuous and in spirit who
Believing aught dare not avow the same!

Charles Harpur, The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems, Sydney: W. R. Piddington, 1853, page 114

Editor’s notes:
aught = anything; anything at all, anything whatsoever

Old World = Europe, Asia, and Africa, i.e. the known world before the discovery of the Americas, the latter being known as the New World (may also refer to something dating from or associated with olden times, especially something which is reminiscent of the past in a charming or pleasant fashion; old-fashioned; traditional)

Old spelling in the original text:
hath (has)
thee (you)
thy (your)
whate’er (whatever)

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