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05 March 2013

Liberty Tree

I found this interesting site about America's Great Seal. Apparently there's a lot of symbolism in it, and I'm looking forward to exploring it. I found the site this afternoon as I was looking up a snippet of a poem by Thomas Paine that is printed in the front pages of the book we just picked up, Guns for General Washington. I was considering using it for memory work, but I'm thinking, after reading it, that it may be a bit hard for a 6 year old. I want him to be comfortable with difficult language, but I also want him to be able to understand what he's memorizing. Here's the poem, though. It's beautiful.

The Liberty Tree – A Song by Thomas Paine (1775)

"In a chariot of light from the regions of the day,
   The Goddess of Liberty came,
Ten thousand celestials directed her way,
   And hither conducted the dame.
A fair budding branch from the gardens above,
   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 stuck deep in the ground,
   Like a native it flourished and bore;
The fame of its fruit drew the nations around
   To seek out this peaceable shore.
Unmindful of names or distinctions they came,
   For freemen like brothers agree;
With one Spirit endued, they one friendship pursued,
   And their temple was Liberty Tree.

"But hear, O ye swains ('tis a tale most profane),
   How all the tyrannical powers,
Kings, Commons, and Lords, are uniting again
   To cut down this guardian of ours.
From the east to the west blow the trumpet to arms,
   Thro' the land let the sound of it flee:
Let the far and the near all unite with a cheer,
In defense of our Liberty Tree."

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