To Niagara by G.D. Canale

Terrapin Point by Ferdinand Richardt, c1856. Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Niagara! As I look upon thy ever-foaming
‡‡and ever-rushing waters, my heart is filled
‡‡with awe and admiration.
Thou standest as a wonder of Ages, to which
‡‡man may look and discern the overruling
‡‡power of Him who governs the Universe.
When the steamer, from the pure and clear waters
‡‡of the Ægean sea bore me to Patmos,
There I beheld the very spot where John heard
‡‡the voice of God, as the “sound of many
‡‡waters ;”
And now, as I hear  “the sound of many waters,”
‡‡I am amazed and trembled ! Thy
‡‡voice, O Niagara, is Jehovah’s voice!
I heard many seas roaring, and powerfully beating
‡‡our frail bark.
I heard the mighty waves of the Ocean in their
‡‡greatest fury dash and roar.
But thy thunder-like voice surpasses all. Unrivalled
‡‡stands thy majestic tone!
Let me admire thee, 0 monument of unsurpassed
‡‡greatness, let me drink of thy crystal
Many sad and pleasant recollections cluster
‡‡around thy watery grave! Who ever thought
‡‡that I would look upon thy mighty cataracts ?
That I would see the tri-colored-diadem which
‡‡the sun daily lays upon thy imperial brow!,
But alas ! I must leave thee! Other places
‡‡invite me, farewell ! thy voice, O Niagara !
‡‡shall for ever ring in my ears.
May thy waters roll on for ever, to charm others,
‡‡and enchant them with a view of thee,
‡‡which so many desire to see.
And if I return to my native land, and visit
‡‡again Athens and the shores of fair Pallas,
There amidst those classic scenes, I shall remember,
‡‡O Niagara, with undying affection,
‡‡the pleasant moments I spent upon thy eternal banks!

Canale first published this poem in the Boston Journal, July 10, 1858

Source: Robert S. Littell (ed.)  The Living Age August 28, 1858 (vol. 58)

From The Boston Journal:


Mr. Canale, a Greek gentleman residing in this city, has kindly furnished to us a literal translation of a Greek lyric poem which he wrote while viewing “Niagara Falls.” The poem is marked for its simplicity and beauty, and although the translation presents but a very faint picture of the original, depriving it of the harmony and the onomatopoetic structure upon which so much of the beauty of lyric poetry depends, still we publish it with pleasure, being the first time, so far as we know, that Niagara the “wonder of the world,” has been immortalized in the language of Pindar.

The original poem, we understand , has been forwarded to be published in one of the Athenian Magazines.

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