On the Erection of a Monument On the Battlefield of Lundy’s Lane by Edward W. Miller

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Monument to the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. Photo by Chantal Cameron, courtsesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Dear to a land is the name of its heroes,
They who have given their lives for her honor,
Who in the danger and turmoil of battle
Have fought and have died for the land of their fathers.
What is more worthy of lasting remembrance
Than the deeds of our heroes, whose patriot spirit
This day we are praising?  Let memory undying
Hold green in our minds the tale of their glory.
Tall be the monument raised to their mem’ry,
Let it be wreathed with the flowers of vict’ry;
Firm be it built as a symbol forever
Of Canada’s glory in years that have vanished.
For here where ye tread with your footsteps so eager,
Where rises the pillar so proud to the heavens,
Lay strewn with the dead who had died for their country.
Treble their number the foes that assailed them.
Rank over rank poured the enemy’s forces
Shot after shot belched forth from the cannon,
Thinning their numbers and strewing the meadow
With wounded and dying, whose groanings of anguish
And prayers for relief rose sad on the night air,
And mixed with the roar, dull-murmuring, distant,
Where Niagara rolls on her billows of water. Continue reading “On the Erection of a Monument On the Battlefield of Lundy’s Lane by Edward W. Miller”

The Over-Song of Niagara by John Daniel Logan

Why stand ye, nurslings of Earth, before my gates,
    Mouthing aloud my glory and my thrall?
Are ye alone the playthings of the fates,
    And only ye o'ershadowed with a pall?
Turn from this spectacle of strength unbound —
    This fearful force that spends itself in folly!
Turn ye and hark above the organ-sound
    My Over-song of Melancholy!

        "I rush and roar
        Along my shore, —
            I go sweeping, thundering on;
        Yet my days, O man,
        Are but as a span,
            And soon shall my strength be gone!
        My times are measured
        In whose hand I am treasured,
            (Think not of thy little day!)
        Though I rush and roar
        Along my shore,
            I am passing away —   
                Passing away!

        "The sun and the moon
        They too shall soon
            Sink back into eternal Night :
        All earth and the sea
        Shall cease to be,
            And the stars shall melt in their flight!
        Their times are measured
        In whose hand they are treasured,
            (Think not of thy little day!)
        The celestial throng
        Chant my Over-song, —
            ' Passing away, —
                Passing away!' "

Then stand not, nurslings of Earth, before my gates,
    Mouthing aloud my glory and my thrall :
Not ye alone are playthings of the fates,
    Nor only ye o'ershadowed with a pall!

        But hark to my song
        As I sweep along,
            Thundering my organ-tone —
        "O vain is all Life,
        O vain is all Strife,
            And fruitless the Years that have flown!
        As the Worst; so the Best —
        All haste to their rest
            In the void of the Primal Unknown."

Source: Logan, John Daniel. Songs of the Makers of Canada and Other Homeland Lyrics. Toronto: William Briggs, 1911.

Drummond: Indomitable Soldier by John Daniel Logan

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General Sir Gordon Drummond
FROM SAFFRON dawn that lit the morning sky
Until the moon passed, blanching at the sight
Of fearful slaughter crying for respite,
Thy faithful forces heard thy battle cry
Above the stubborn, fierce, tumultuous sway
Of weltering lines. Then thy undaunted heart
Sustained thy heroes in their awful part
And glorified the sanguinary fray.

To us yon battleground is as a fane,
A holy place, a sacrificial spot
To thee and thy Canadian host who wrought
Immortal warrior deeds at Lundy’s Lane;
            And thine own glory, Drummond, gleameth far,
            Undimmed and constant as the purest star.

Brock: Valiant Leader by John Daniel Logan

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General Sir Isaac Brock leaving Fort George on the morning of Oct 13th 1812 for Queenston Heights. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

O VALIANT leader of the little band
That, fearless, forward rushed to victory,
Tho far outnumbered by the enemy,
And, daring death, saved our Canadian land, —
What honors can we pay the noble name
Of one who held as naught th’ invaders’ art
Of war,— whose glory hath become a part
For evermore of our Canadian fame?

Lo, on the looming crown of that ascent
Where thy life ceased, a loyal host hath reared
To thee — whose patriot heart was pure, nor feared,—
A high commemorative monument!
            Still is thy memory green who fell to save,
            Still, Brock, art thou the bravest of our brave!

Source: Logan, John Daniel. Songs of the Makers of Canada and Other Homeland Lyrics.  Toronto: William Briggs, 1911.

Mrs. Anna Edson Taylor, Goddess of Water by P.M. Reynolds

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Annie Edson Taylor and her Barrel. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Since earth’s creation down the stormy way,
All human feats have been surpassed today.
Mrs. Edson Taylor, in her barrel sound,
Through the wild rapids did in safety bound.

Peerless Niagara to maddened fury grew,
Raging more strongly not to let her through.
But on she went and all the rapids crossed;
By their turbulence she was roughly tossed.

Her venturous voyage still she did pursue,
With undaunted courage nearing the horseshoe.
Once at its brink, a second seemed to stop,
Then came the awful and the wondrous drop.

In her barrel, victorious and alone,
As when great Vulcan was from Heaven thrown,
A minute later on placid waters green
In rising foam the barrel then was seen.

Fast heading inland for the rocky shore,
As from fifty thousand came a cheerful roar.
Time’s wide dial, her brilliant name will show
Till time’s no more, as on the ages go.

Cataract Journal, October 28, 1901.

Source: Whalen, Dwight. The Lady Who Conquered Niagara: The Annie Edson Taylor Story. Brewer, Maine: EGA Books, 1990.