Round a camp fire in a country that was far across the sea,
Were a party of brave soldiers dressed in blue,
And one was reading slowly from a letter on his knee,
Words that told of love that ever would be true.
He was from Niagara County, where the apple blossoms bloom,
Where you hear all day the murmur of the bee;
Where Ontario's blue waters reflect a bluer sky,
And he thought "A dear girl's waiting there for me.
"From your mother?" asked a comrade who had fought with him all day;
"There's a smile upon your face I like to see,
And a letter from a mother is a thing I never had,
Won't you kindly read a line or two to me."
"Not a mother, dear old comrade," and the soldier's eyes grew bright,
"But a dear girl who is waiting o'er the sea;
Back in old Niagara County where the apple blossoms bloom.
And she's sent a spray of blossoms, lad to me."
Round a campfire in their blankets sleep the soldiers dressed in blue,
And one dreaming of a dear girl far away,
Back in old Niagara County where the apple blossoms bloom,
And next to his heart he held a fragrant spray.
I am proud to represent thee, Royalton,
And proud of thy grand record of the past;
I love thy busy villages and fields,
Thy wooded glens where wild birds linger last.
When men think of choicest spots to dwell,
Thy name is ever in their minds the while;
For nature showered on thee her brightest gifts,
O! Royalton, Niagara's fairest child.
Thy sons have known the battle and the march,
The field o'ver strewn with dying and with dead,
The bivouac beneath the silent stars,
The parched earth oft the soldiers only bed.
And fair "Columbia" oft has turned to thee,
And weeping, gave thee back thy precious dead;
Thou kissed her hand and gave her other sons,
The stars and stripes must ever float 'oer head.
And so again I say, I'm proud of thee,
And promise for to serve thee true and well;
God grant that, in the after years to come,
My record will be one, men love to tell.
Source: "Niagara and Other Poems," William H. Lee, 1944. Former New York State Senator from Lockport, New York, Niagara County.
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