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

By 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

It gayly holds its way,

And past the ancient ramparts,

Long fallen to decay.

Peace reigns within the valley,

Peace on the mountain side,

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

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,

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

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,

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

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.

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,

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,

In future ages destined

To stand among the great;

Then hail to old Port Royal!

Although her ramparts fall,

Canadian towns shall greet her,

The mother of them all.