Land of my birth! land of the “stripes and stars!”
Studious of peace, victorious in thy wars!
How has my bosom swelled with patriot pride,
To think no rival could thy fame divide.
Oft as I’ve climb’d thy summit’s loftiest mounts,
And traced thy mightiest rivers to their founts,
Or braved the fury of thy inland waves,
Or sought the depths of thy capacious caves —
How has my heart exclaimed, “Land of the free,
What matchless wonders centre all in thee!”
With thoughts like these I sought these Western shores,
Where Niagara’s stream its current pours.
I passed the rapids to the Isle of Goats,
(But saw no creature save the cows and shoats);
Toiled up the turret, walked beneath the cliff,
And crossed the foaming waters in a skiff;
Rode up the bank, and stood on Table Rock,
Felt the earth’s tremor at the wondrous shock!
But here for thee I felt a thrill of shame —
No conscious triumph warmed my drizzled frame.
My pride was humbled, and my boast was small;
For England’s King has got the fiercest Fall!
United States, June 1, 1836.
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
This link takes you to the scanned version of the 1855 version of Table Rock Album from the Hathi Trust
See the Table of Contents of the Table Rock Album on this site.