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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Southern States: St. Augustine, Fla.

St. Augustine

By Nathaniel Morton Safford (b. 1848)

  • (Excerpt)
  • St. Augustine, Fla., was founded by the Spaniards in the year 1565. During the past three centuries it has been the scene of many sieges, and has been many times ravaged by the French, Indians, and Spanish. But little of the old city now remains; time and war have done their work. But its picturesque appearance and historic associations, added to its being the oldest town in North America, still invest it with great interest.

  • IN the realm of flowers, a perfumed land,

    Girt by the sea, by soft winds fanned,

    Ravaged by war in years grown old,

    Its former glory a tale long told,

    Stands the quaint old Spanish city.

    The scene of many a hard-fought fight,

    Of many a siege, when Spanish might

    Was o’er the land: in its decay

    It hath a beauty to live alway,

    That quaint old Spanish city.

    There ’s a charm in the ancient narrow street,

    Where lovely dames erst walked to meet

    Cavaliers in the days gone by,

    When strife of valor and love ran high

    In the quaint old Spanish city.


    There ’s a charm in the convent’s crumbling wall;

    In old cathedral with turret tall,

    With moss-grown roof and merry chime,

    Man outliving, defying time,

    In the quaint old Spanish city.