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A War Song for the Nineteenth Century by Charles Harpur

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The march of Knowledge hasten;
   Charge onward, and be free!
Before are Mercy, Justice, Truth,
   Our standard-bearers three!
Heed not the threat of hirelings;
   Be bold in deed and word!
But spare to use the murderous gun,
   Nor meddle with the sword.


Oh! fought we for the despot,
   To plunder -- not to save;
To surfeit dungeons with the good --
   The eloquent -- the brave:
With patriot blood to redden
   The violated lands --
Yes, then! -- but only then! -- 'twere fit
   The sword should arm our hands.


But on! huzza for Freedom!
   Behold our puny foes!
Crowns, stars, and ribband wearers they,
   And such as worship those:
They see us wield no weapon,
   But in our front shall find
Th' artillery of the Intellect --
   The thunder of the Mind!   

First published in The Australian Chronicle, 31 January 1843;
and later in
The Guardian, 20 April 1844;
People's Advocate, 7 January 1854;
The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur edited by Elzabeth Perkins, 1984; and
The Age Monthly, 5 September 1986.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

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