In Liberty Tree by Thomas Paine, Paine imagines liberty as a plant given by the goddess of liberty to the Americans to care for. Liberty causes the nations around to seek to come to her and they live in peace and contentment, all their needs supplied. Soon the tyrannical powers of the world attempt to destroy the tree and the citizens must unite to defend it.
Liberty Tree was intended as a song to be sung to the tune of The Gods of the Greeks, a well known British song. It first appeared in the Pennsylvania Magazine in July, 1775.
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For the PENNSYLVANIA MAGAZINE,
LIBERTY TREE. A new Song.
Tune, The Gods of the Greeks.
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,
Where millions with millions agree,
She brought in her hand as a pledge of her love,
And the plant she named Liberty Tree.
II. The celestial exotic struck 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.
III. 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.
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.
IV. But hear, O ye swains, 'tis a tale most profane,
How all the tyrannical powers,
Kings, Commons and Lords, are uniting 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,
Let the far and the near, all unite with a cheer,
In defence of our Liberty Tree.
Published October 10/24/11