Charles Harpur, Wordsmith (1813-1868)
Yesterday, the 1st of January 2011, I was returning with a friend from the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, to Sydney. Stopping in a tiny township by the name of Mount Victoria, we popped into a local cafe for all important coffee & cake, and noticed on the way out a secondhand bookshop.
Perusing the shelves, my friend delightedly found a copy of a play written by my Great, great great (great?) grandfather, poet and wordsmith Charles Harpur. We didn't buy it, but she quickly introduced me to the bookshop owner as his descendant. Upon leaving, I presented her (the proprietor) with a quickly hand-drawn cartoon, with the following poem by Charles scribbled on it: "This day I have left my office, and am again a free man; With the wide world as my oyster, which I'll open if I can."
In the tiny, beautiful moment that my friend showed me Charles' book, I felt I may have finally returned home...
"When art is young it slighteth nature, and when old, it loves her every feature!"
(c) Brent M Harpur, 2011.