Eternal — prototype of God!
When first the morning stars did sing,
And the all-glorious sun was placed on high;
How didst thou rear thy awful crest
At His own bidding, and thy thunders spoke
Of the creation born — and ever onward
Through successive ages still is thy impetuous course,
Bespeaking praise to Him, thy great Creator:
Lo, the poor Indian doth bend before thee —
And in thy presence feels that God is nigh!
And the Great Spirit near him to protect:
All recognize in thee — power, greatness — vastness!
Beautiful, most beautiful, whether
In thy murmuring music
Or thy reverberating, echoing thunders,
And thy feathery spray, and rainbows,
Bespeaking hope and faith;
And as thou dashest o’er the ledge,
Behold the gorgeous emerald green,
Woven through with silvery thread —
And then thy milky flood below,
And eddies and o’erhanging rocks,
Call forth the exclamation, “beautiful.”
Serene — thou art and in thy presence
We do feel sweet peace to steal
O’er us, and that the soul all lost
To earth and all around, doth wing
Its thoughts to other scenes,
And we do dwell afar ‘mong those
Long lost and dwellers in a better land.
The mind is lulled to a repose
And we feel
Ready to lean on God and trust in Him.
Sublime — surpassing far all else
Of thy own nature — thou art monarch
Over all and doth feel thy power —
Who shall stop thy way,
Or say unto thy floods, flow not?
Thou wouldst dash aside the net
Woven by vain man to hold thee,
And rend them as the brittle reed.
I have paid my tribute to thee,
And now I will repose — thou hast been
To me a lesson deep and ineffaccable —
And I leave this spot, I trust, a better man.
Philadelphia, August 2, 1847.
Source: Table Rock Album and Sketches of the Falls and Scenery Adjacent. Buffalo: Steam Press of Thomas and Lathrops, copyright by Jewett, Thomas & Co.,1856c.1848
Also in the anthology Niagara Mornings by Andrew C. Porteus, 2016.