Charles Harpur

(23 January 1813 – 10 June 1868 / Windsor, New South Wales)

Charles Harpur
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Charles Harpur was an Australian poet.

Early Life

Harpur was born at Windsor, New South Wales, the third child of Joseph Harpur — originally from Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland, parish clerk and master of the Windsor district school — and Sarah, née Chidley (from Somerset; both had been transported.) Harpur received his elementary education in Windsor. This was probably largely supplemented by private study; he was an eager reader of William Shakespeare. Harpur followed various avocations in the bush and for some years in his twenties held a clerical position at the post office in Sydney.

The Poet

In Sydney, he met Henry Parkes, Daniel Deniehy, ... more »

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Best Poem of Charles Harpur

An Aboriginal Mothers's Lament

An Aboriginal Mother’s Lament
Charles Harpur


[About the year 1842 a party of stockmen, several of whom were afterwards hanged for the crime, made a wholesale slaughter of a small tribe of defenceless blacks; one woman only, with her infant, escaped from the murderers.]

Still farther would I fly, my child,
To make thee safer yet,
From the unsparing white man,
With his dread hand murder-wet!
I’ll bear thee on as I have borne
With stealthy steps ...

Read the full of An Aboriginal Mothers's Lament