Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
III. War
Liberty Tree
Thomas Paine (1737–1809)
 
[1775]

IN a chariot of light from the regions of day,
  The Goddess of Liberty came;
Ten thousand celestials directed the way,
  And hither conducted the dame.
A fair budding branch from the gardens above,        5
  Where millions with millions agree,
She brought in her hand as a pledge of her love,
  And the plant she named Liberty Tree.
 
The celestial exotic struck deep in the ground,
  Like a native it flourished and bore;        10
The fame of its fruit drew the nations around,
  To seek out this peaceable shore.
Unmindful of names or distinction they came,
  For freemen like brothers agree;
With one spirit endued, they one friendship pursued,        15
  And their temple was Liberty Tree.
 
Beneath this fair tree, like the patriarchs of old,
  Their bread in contentment they ate,
Unvexed with the troubles of silver and gold,
  The cares of the grand and the great.        20
With timber and tar they Old England supplied,
  And supported her power on the sea;
Her battles they fought, without getting a groat,
  For the honor of Liberty Tree.
 
But hear, O ye swains, ’t is a tale most profane,        25
  How all the tyrannical powers,
Kings, Commons, and Lords, are united amain,
  To cut down this guardian of ours;
From the east to the west blow the trumpet to arms,
  Through the land let the sound of it flee,        30
Let the far and the near, all unite with a cheer,
  In defence of our Liberty Tree.
 
 
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