I found a place where Angelica grows,
In Sydney Harbour, where marsh birds incline.
I went there one mist-bounded, warm April morning
With three eager children, sea-treasures to find.
They found pretty sea shells, pearl blue in the water;
They splashed through snow rivers and dampened their clothes;
Pieces of driftwood they vowed they would cherish,
And I found a place where Angelica grows.
Angelica, sea-loving gentle white flower,
Was brought here from France, so an old legend goes;
To Louisbourg’s cold rocky land by the sailors,
Who, longing for home, threw its seed on our shores.
Today, ‘gainst the stone of Louisbourg’s ramparts
One sees the white flower lend its grace through the mists;
Its lacy-like bloom has outlasted the generals,
Outlasted the cannons, and maids sailors kissed.
The old legend says that the seeds in the New World
Grow only at Louisbourg, speak France’s woes.
Imagine my joy on that moist April morning
When I found a place where Angelica grows!
The past haunted me as of history borning
As I gathered the children sea-wet from their toes,
Their pockets were crammed to the full with their findings,
But I found a place where Angelica grows.
June Maginley c. 1977