Fernandina, Florida – A Poem

Fernandina, Florida

By Rev. J. H. Martin, D. D.
as printed in The Florida Mirror, May 19, 1883

Apropos of our remarks upon our beach, we append the following lines received from distant Orlando, which express in true poetic terms the rapturous delight inspired by our beautiful sea-beach:

Would you enjoy, ‘neath glowing skies,
A tropic, winter paradise,
With climate soft and milk,
Where, wafted from the sounds and seas,
There blows a fresh, delightful breeze,
Untainted, undefiled?

Then come to Fernandina fair,
And breathe its pure and balmy air,
Its loveliness behold;
The various features that unite
To form a pleasing picture bright,
Here all their charms unfold.

Above, around what beauties meet!
A thousand things the vision greet,
And deep delight impart –
The town, the groves, the viens and flowers,
The stately trees and shady bowers,
With gladness thrill the heart.

The placid, broad and open bay,
And its surrounding shores display
A bright and glittering hue;
St. Marys in the sunlight glows,
And Dungeness its splendor shows –
A wide, enchanting view.

Crossing a narrow isle, you reach
A sandy, shining, smooth sea-beach,
Where surging billows roll;
You gaze, transported with delight,
Upon the glorious, lovely sight,
Entrancing to the soul.

In long and swelling waves that roar,
The waters beat upon the shore,
The foaming surf retires;
Arrested by the solid land,
The ocean’s boundary of sand,
The exhausted wave expires.

When fierce and stormy tempests blow,
The heaving, angry billows flow
With loud, terrific sound;
The raging surges, capped with white,
A grand, majestic, awful sight,
Dash in and then rebound.

In vain the strong and towering wave,
Like warrior daring, stout and brave,
Attacks the sandy coast;
Defeated and repelled, it flies
Back to its bed, recedes and dies,
No triumph it can boast.

For He that formed the mighty sea,
Affixed its bounds by firm decree,
To check its swelling pride;
And when He gave it ample room,
He said, “Thus far thy waves shall come,
Here shall be stayed thy tide.”

But view the deep in milder mood,
When skies serene above it brood,
And gentle zephyrs play,
The sportive waves each other chase
With gliding, undulating grace,
A lovely scene display.

When calm the sea and low the tide,
‘Tis then the beach, firm, smooth and wide,
Lies gleaming in the light,
A glittering, long-extended strand
Of glistening shells and whitened sand,
An ocean border bright.

The noble, fiery, foaming steed
Flies o’er this splendid course with speed;
The chariots swiftly roll;
Unequalled beach, without a peer,
What charms and pleasures mingle here,
Bewitching to the soul!

A prospect wide, enchanting, fair,
A cool, refreshing, bracing air,
Exhilarating breeze,
The matchless drive upon the shore,
The murmur of the billows’ roar,
Combine to cheer and please.

No other spot upon the coast
Attractions, joys like these can boast,
When winter rules the land;
Then visit Fernandina fair,
Distinguished for its balmy air,
And glorious beach of sand!

How to Cite This Article

Martin, Rev. J. H., “Fernandina, Florida,” The Nassau County Genealogist, 5 (Oct 1998): 74-75; html, Amelia Island Genealogical Society (https://aigensoc.org/general/fernandina-florida-a-poem/: accessed [date-today]).

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