How sad, my God, to linger here, ‡‡‘Mid all these works of thine.
Alone, bereft of all I’ve loved, ‡‡And joys that once were mine!
Loud anthems cheer those crested waves, ‡‡And kiss the floods below;
Where hidden thunder smites the rocks, ‡‡And bursts in ceaseless praise,
Of HIM who fix’d the rainbow there, ‡‡To mark its brightest days!
Oh! where ‘mid all this radiant joy, ‡‡Can sorrow hope to live,
Deserted by those rays of Peace, ‡‡Which Thou alone can’st give?
* * * *
Cold, cold, and blank, that once bright home, ‡‡Where now, in lonely hours,
Love hovers round the vacant chair, ‡‡And haunts the silent bowers;
And Hopes once cherish’d there, have chang’d, ‡‡To Tears in sorrow shed,
Reflecting back the scenes I lov’d, ‡‡Ere that sweet spirit fled!
Kindred scenes, my GOD are these, ‡‡Which now around me lie,
Ever whisp’ring ― “cease poor soul, ‡‡WEtoo have yet to die!”
September 21, 1871
Source: Ridgway, Robert (ed.) The Canadian Magazine vol. 1 – July to December 1871. Toronto: Irving, Flint & Co., 1871. p. 295
Describe Niagara! Ah, who shall dare
Attempt the indescribable, and train
Thought‘s fragile wing to skim the heavy air,
Wet with the cataract‘s incessant rain?
The “glowing muse of fire“ invoked in vain
By Shakespeare, who shall hope from Heaven to win?
And “burning words“ alone become the strain,
Which to the mind would bring the awful din
Where seas in thunder fall, and eddying oceans spin.
Long had the savage on thy glorious shroud,
Fringed with vast foam-wreaths, gaz‘d with stoic eye
And deemed that on thy rising rainbow cloud
The wings of the Great Spirit hovered nigh;
And, as he marked the solemn woods reply
In echoes to thy rolling thunder tone,
He heard His voice upon the breeze go by,
And his heart bowed — for to the heart alone
God speaking through His works, makes what he utters known.
But ages passed away — and to the West
Came Europe‘s sons to seek for fame or gold;
And one, perchance, more daring than the rest,
Lured by the chase or by strange stories told
By Indian guide of oceans downward rolled,
Felt on his throbbing ear thy far-off roar,
Then sped the mighty wonder to behold,
Thy voice around him and thy cloud before,
Till breathless — trembling — rapt — he trod thy foaming shore. Continue reading “Niagara by Joseph Hart Clinch”→
On thundering feet you take the dread abyss,
Shaking the stolid earth around, below,
Where puny mortals gaze but may not know
The cosmic surge of elemental bliss,
The soaring passion of the lethal kiss
That hides within your swift arterial flow.
Most prodigal of waters, to bestow
So rich inheritance on man as this.
Niagara, the mighty, rainbow-spanned,
Majestic, terrible your potency!
What aeons since He cupped you in His hand
Who gave His space its wheeling argosy,
And bade you ride this rampart of our land
Companionless, alone, eternally!
Source: V.B. Rhodenizer, (ed.) Canadian Poetry Magazine vol. 22, no. 3, Spring 1959.
Majestic moves the mighty stream and slow,
Till from that false calm’s semblance, suddenly,
Wild and with echoes shaking earth and sky,
The huge tide plunges in the abyss below,
— It is the cataract! from whose thunderous ire
The wild birds flee in terror far away —
From that dread gulf when with her scarf of fire
The rainbow sits above the torrent’s sway!
Earth quakes, for sudden that vast arching dome
Of green is changed to hills of snow-white foam,
That seethe and boil and bound in tameless pride.
Yet this Thy work, O God, Thy law fulfils,
And while it shakes the everlasting hills,
It spares the straw that floats upon its tide.
Rose-Belford’s Canadian Monthly and National Review, July 1881, vol. 7, no. 1. Toronto: Rose-Belford Publishing Co., 1881. p. 26