Roar loud, ye winds! ye awful thunders peal!
And instant rouse them from their fatal sleep,
Ere (cruel chance) they sink amid the deep,
Whose secrets Death permits not to reveal.
They wake! O heavens! What now avails their zeal?
Precipitous their maddening course they keep;
And reeling now they make the shuddering leap,
Down-dashed ‘mid watery worlds with all their weal!
And thus are they forgot! Not such the fate
Of that immortal maid — enchantress sweet —
Who from Lucadia‘s rock (provoked by Hate)
Plunged fearless in the waves that round it beat.
Her name the sighing winds still breathe around,
And Sappho, all the mournful caves resound.
Source: Myron T. Pritchard, comp. Poetry of Niagara. Boston: Lothrop Publishing Co., 1901.
The Leap of Niagara was originally published in Henry Pickering’s The Ruins of Pæstum: And Other Compositions in Verse. Salem: Cushing and Appleton, 1822