Beautiful Florida! land of the flowers,
Home of the mocking bird, saucy and bold,
Sweet are the roses that perfume thy bowers,
And brilliant thy sunshine like burnished gold.
Soft are thy rivulets, gentle thy water-falls,
Rippling so merrily toward the broad sea;
Fringed with bright daisies, which bloom on thy borders,
E'en Nature herself pays a tribute to thee.
Sweeter and lovelier than all thy fair sisters,
Thy gentleness surely hath fame for thee won,
While thy star, not forgotten, shines forth in a glory
That crowns the best flag that waves under the sun.
Thy name brings a scent of the dogwood and myrtle,
The jessamine, too, comes in for a share,
With great yellow petals so heavy with perfume,
That can with the tube-rose's only compare.
Tho' large be the family, there's room for the fairest;
No house is too small for a family with love:
So Florida, thou who art brightest and dearest,
The "Pet of the Household" forever shall prove.
Thy rivers are broad and thy lakes fringed with grasses,
The glint of the waves of the bright Santa Fe,
With her edging of cypress and long-floating mosses,
Forever are murmuring a sonnet to thee.
While high on a hill sits the Queen of the Villas,
Sweet Melrose! whose name is the least of her charms,
Waves a welcome to all, to come over the billows
And find a safe home 'neath her sheltering arms.
And so they are coming, the weak and the weary,
From near and from far, the strong and the brave,
All ready to drink of the life giving breezes,
The only Elixir that truly can save.