By F. G. Phillips
Where the mighty Mississippi spreads her waters to the sea,
Where the cypress and magnolia burgeon forth in majesty,
Where the cotton, rice and sugar cane in endless vistas rise,
And the darkies' crooning melody a symphony supplies,
There's a country rare, enchanting, that in tranquil beauty lies---
Louisiana, land alluring, nestled 'neath the southern skies.
Here three flags of yore had floated--Spanish, English, French were they,
Loved forsooth, but not so freely as the Stars and Stripes today.
Here the tall men from the mountains--Baratarians hard beside,
Stood with Jackson at New Orleans, crushed the Britons' vaunted pride.
From this state old "Rough and Ready" sailed forth to Mexico,
Stormed the heights of Buena Vista, there avenged the Alamo.
But replete as is her record in the grim annals of war,
There's a native charm and beauty that surpasses this by far;
From St. Mary's stately live oaks, from the Chandeleur Sound,
To the sunny banks of Caddo, scenes of pleasing grace abound.
First in time, renowned in story, Natchitoches entrancing lies,
Once by Red's impetuous waters, now a scenic paradise.
On the Teche, what freighted story those three words at once convey,
Epic lives of souls transplanted from Acadia's far Grand Pre;
Here it was that sainted maiden, driven from a distant plain,
Wandered lonely, sorrow-laden, Gabriel to seek in vain.
From Feliciana's portals, John James Audubon went forth,
"Birds of America," the sequel, portfolio of matchless worth.
Lovely city is New Orleans, with that graceful Gallic air,
Famed Cabildo, classic circles, Vieux Carre and Jackson Square.
Picturesque her many waters--bayous, rivers, lakes, lagoons--
Vari-colored vines and mosses hanging o'er them in festoons;
Ouachita from Ozark's fountains, Calcasieu from Kisatchie;
Atchafalaya, deep and turbid, surging southward to the sea;
Tensas wold, where nimble roebuck trips her deepest tangles through,
Lake St. John and wild Cocodri, Bodcau and Bartholomew;
Then LaFourche, with her traditions, Manchac lost in Ponchartrain,
Bistineau and Catahoula, silvery lakes that grace the plain.
Hyacinths, ten thousands blowing, lend their tint of orchid shade
Where the sweetest wodland minstrels trill their sylvan serenade.
'Tis a garden fair, this region, woods and vales and flowers o'er,
From the dogwood steeps of Bossier to Vermillion's sunlit shore.
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