To the Harp of Australia [poem by Charles Harpur, 19 September 1835]

[Editor: A poem by Charles Harpur.]

To the Harp of Australia

By C. Harpur.

Wild Harp of Australia ! — will none ravish thee
From the dark trackless forest the hand unrefin’d,
Yea — the savage no more thy sole master shall be,
No longer thy lay be but wrote on the wind.
Tho’ the hand that shall woo thee be able — oh never
To call forth thy spirit as ’twere from a grave,
Yet should but Australia smile on the endeavour,
’Tis all that I ask — it is all that I crave.

O Harp of Australia! alas! — had but I
The wild strength of Burns, or of Byron the fire,
Oh ! then would I raise thee in glory on high
As the guardian of beauty, of valour the sire,
And could I but hope that one song waked by me —
As a voice in the gale that drives over the glade,
Should ride — (when my country’s adopted by glory)
On the tide of her ages, I’d ’count me repaid.

With her green forest round me, above her blue sky
I blend thy strong voice with my soul’s ardent dream
And find that our songs tho’ unpolish’d are high,
When the glory of future Australia’s the theme.
And e’er let thy lay be the breath of devotion —
The voice of the Isle where the evergreen grows,
Be to souls like the strong wind that swelleth the ocean —
To hearts like the spring breeze that opens the rose.

The Sydney Monitor (Sydney, NSW), Saturday 19 September 1835, page 4

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