I longed for Andes all around, and Alps,
Hoar kings and priests of Nature robed in snow,
Throned as for judgement in a solemn row,
With icy mitres on their giant scalps,
Dumb giants frowning at the strife below.
I longed for the sublime. Thou art too fair,
Too fair, Niagara, to be sublime!
In calm, slow strength thy mighty floods do flow
And stand a cliff of cataracts in the air,
Yet all too beauteous Water, bride of Time!
Veiled in soft mists and cinctured by the bow,
Thy pastoral charms may fascinate the sight,
But have not power to set my soul aglow,
Raptured by fear and wonder and delight.
Source: Kevin McCabe, ed. The Poetry of Old Niagara. St. Catharines, Ont. : Blarney Stone Books, 1999.
Originally published: G. W. Holley, ed. Niagara: Its History and Geology, Incidents and Poetry. New York, 1872.