To My Infant Daughter "Ada"

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To My Infant Daughter "Ada" (1859)
by Charles Harpur

First published in The Australian Home Companion and Band of Hope Journal, 1 June 1861

4254394To My Infant Daughter "Ada"1859Charles Harpur

Aged Three Years.

CHILD of my heart, my loved one,
I view thy beauties shine,
My work on earth is nearly done,
Yet still I feel thou'rt mine.

My treasur'd child, my beautiful,
With front of guileless mein
And eyes like stars—(my heart is full,
From wrongs I've felt and seen.)

But thou, sweet child, so young in years,—
Dost wonder when I sigh—
(Ah, could I weep—my deep-drawn tears
Are still and sunk mine eye,)

On thee I gaz'd, as thou lay calm
In sleep's refreshing rest,
Yet when I sleep I close that balm
That fills thy placid breast.

This very morn I stood beside
The couch whereon you lay
So still, so calm—Oh! I must hide
The "grief that wears away!"

And wilt thou weep thy father's death
When down'd in sable dress--
When I'm laid low!—no flatt'ring breath—
No blessing, nor caress!

Sweet Ada, thy infantive kiss
Is all I crave from thee,—
A brighter world, more fair than this
I hasten to—I'm free!

And soon I'll die:—They cannot wane
Thy feelings, child, astray
From him whose greatest fault hath been
The love of thee alway.

Farewell! Oh, on that parting word
I breathe a father's pray'r—
A prayer that is in Heav'n heard—
Borne to me, Ada, there!

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired. According to Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright, the following works are public domain:

  • published non-government works whose author died before January 1, 1955,
  • anonymous or pseudonymous works and photographs published before January 1, 1955, and
  • government works published more than 50 years ago (before January 1, 1974).

This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was first published outside the United States (and not published in the U.S. within 30 days), and it was first published before 1989 without complying with U.S. copyright formalities (renewal and/or copyright notice) and it was in the public domain in Australia on the URAA date (January 1, 1996). This is the combined effect of Australia having joined the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.

Because the Australian copyright term in 1996 was 50 years, the critical date for copyright in the United States under the URAA is January 1, 1946.

This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

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This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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