To My First Born: Washington Harpur [poem by Charles Harpur]

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

To My First Born.

Washington Harpur.

My beautiful! For beautiful thou art
To me thy father, as the morning light
Which makes all common objects fresh and bright,
Yea gives them out of the dun void to start
As they were newly fashion’d from the Night!
For long there was a darkness round my heart,
Until thy mother made her life a part
Of mine, to pierce it with Love’s genial might —
The Aurora she and the young Morning thou
Of a new era in my worldly way!
Whence it behoves me heedfully to plough
The future for thy sake and for the vow
That I have made, to make thee (if I may)
A Man right worthy of our Australia.


Charles Harpur, The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems, Sydney: W. R. Piddington, 1853, page 126

Editor’s notes:
Aurora = the dawn (from Aurora, goddess of the dawn in Roman mythology)

dun = dark, dusky; dull; gloomy (may also refer to a greyish-brown or sandy-grey colour, especially regarding the coat of a horse; may also refer to a horse of such colour)

yea = yes; indeed; truly; an affirmation (especially an affirmative vote), an indication of assent

Old spelling in the original text:
art (are)
thee (you)
thou (you)
thy (your)

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