Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Americas
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Americas: Vol. XXX.  1876–79.
 
British America: Annapolis (Port Royal), N. S.
Port Royal
James Hannay (1842–1910)
 
FAIR is Port Royal river
  In the Acadian land;
It flows through verdant meadows,
  Widespread on either hand;
Through orchards and through cornfields        5
  It gayly holds its way,
And past the ancient ramparts,
  Long fallen to decay.
 
Peace reigns within the valley,
  Peace on the mountain side,        10
In hamlet and in cottage,
  And on Port Royal’s tide;
In peace the ruddy farmer
  Reaps from its fertile fields;
In peace the fisher gathers        15
  The spoils its basin yields.
 
Yet this sweet vale has echoed
  To many a warlike note;
The strife-compelling bugle,
  The cannon’s iron throat,        20
The wall-piece, and the musket
  Have joined in chorus there,
To fill with horrid clangor
  The balmy morning air.
 
And many a gallant war-fleet        25
  Has, in the days gone by,
Lain in that noble basin,
  And flouted in the sky
A flag with haughty challenge
  To the now ruined hold,        30
Which reared its lofty ramparts
  In warlike days of old.
 
And in the early springtime,
  When farmers plough their fields,
Full many a warlike weapon        35
  The peaceful furrow yields;
The balls of mighty cannon
  Crop from the fruitful soil,
And many a rusted sword-blade,
  Once red with martial toil.        40
 
Three hundred years save thirty
  Have been and passed away
Since bold Champlain was wafted
  To fair Port Royal Bay;
And there he built a fortress,        45
  With palisadoes tall,
Well flanked by many a bastion,
  To guard its outward wall.
 
Here was the germ of Empire,
  The cradle of a state,        50
In future ages destined
  To stand among the great;
Then hail to old Port Royal!
  Although her ramparts fall,
Canadian towns shall greet her,        55
  The mother of them all.
*        *        *        *        *
 
 
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