Niagara by Anonymous

I stood within a vision's spell;
    I saw, I heard. The liquid thunder
Went pouring to its foaming hell,
            And it fell,
            Ever, ever fell,
Into that invisible abyss that opened under.

I stood upon a speck of ground;
    Before me fell a stormy ocean.
I was like a captive bound;
            And around
            A universe of sound
Troubled the heavens with ever-quivering motion.

Down, down forever - down, down forever,
    Something falling, falling, falling,
Up, up forever - up, up forever,
            Resting never,
            Boiling up forever,
Steam-clouds shot up with thunder-bursts appalling.

A tone that since the birth of man
    Was never for a moment broken,
A word that since the world began,
            And waters ran,
            Hath spoken still to man -
Of God and of Eternity hath spoken.
And in that vision, as it passed,
    Was gathered terror, beauty, power;
And still, when all has fled, too fast,
            And I at last
            Dream of the dreamy past,
My heart is full when lingering on that hour.
Source: Myron T. Pritchard, comp. Poetry of Niagara. Boston: Lothrop Publishing Co., 1901.

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