Sonnet Read at the Unveiling of the Lundy’s Lane Monument, 25th July, 1895 by William Kirby

Unveiling of the Battle of Lundy's Lane Monument, 1895
Unveiling of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane Monument, 1895 Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

STAND FAST! STAND FAST! STAND FAST!” A mighty cry
Rang from the British line at Lundys Lane.
CLOSE UP YOUR RANKS! STAND FAST! the foes again
Swarm up the hill, where our brave colours fly,
And Drummond shouts: To conquer or to die.”
Mid roar of guns, that rend the heavens in twain,
Our flashing bayonets back upon the plain
Hurl down their columns, heaps on heaps they lie;
And Canada, like Greece at Marathon,
Stands victor on the field of freedom won.
This Pillar fair, of sculptured stone, will show
Forever, in the light of glory, how
England and Canada stood fast that night
At Lundys Lane, and conquered for the right.

Source: An Account of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, Fought in 1814, Between the British and American Armies From the Best and Most Authorized Sources.   Niagara Falls: Niagara Publishers, 1947.

The Hero of Bridgewater by Charles L.S. Jones

hero bridgewater General Winfield Scott at the Time of the War of 1812
General Winfield Scott at the Time of the War of 1812

Seize, O seize the sounding Lyre,
With its quivering string!
Strike the chords, in ecstasy,
Whilst loud the valleys ring!
Sing the Chief, who, gloriously,
From England’s veteran band,
Pluck’d the wreaths of Victory,
To grace his native land!

Where Bridgewater’s war-fam’d stream
Saw the foemen reel,
Thrice repuls’d, with burnish’d gleam
Of bayonet, knife, and steel;
And its crimson’d waters run
Red with gurgling flow,
As Albion’s gathering hosts his arm,
His mighty arm, laid low.

Strike the sounding string of fame,
O Lyre! Beat loud, ye drums!
Ye clarion blasts exalt his name!
Behold the hero comes!
I see Columbia, joyously,
Her palmy circlet throw
Around his high victorious brow
Who laid her foemen low!

Take him Fame! For thine he is!
On silvery columns, rear
The name of Scott, whence envious Time
Shall ne’er its honors tear!
And thou, O, Albion, quake with dread!
Ye veterans shrink, the while,
Whene’er his glorious name shall sound
To shake your sea girt isle!

Source: Charles L. S. Jones,  American Lyrics; Comprising The Discovery, a Poem; Sapphic, Pindaric and Common Odes; Songs and Tales of American and Patriotic Subjects, and also Imitations From the Greek, Latin, French, and Spanish. Mobile: Pollard & Dade, 1834

Dedication of the Bells by Rev. Martin R. Jenkinson

Dedication bells
View of the Bells in the Carillon Tower of the Rainbow Bridge by George Bailey. Photo courtesy Niagara Falls Public Library Digital Collections

It stands amid floral splendour,
Its feet firmly set on the sod,
Its tower upreaching to Heaven,
Like a finger, pointing to God.

Though it stands on Canada’s soil,
It looks to America’s shore,
And the common music to both,
Is the sound of the river’s roar.

And out from that beautiful shrine,
There will come melodious knells;
The cause of this musical flood?
The tower is a Chapel of Bells.

They’re the fruit of a people’s pride.
A means of showing their praise;
In honour of two of earth’s great,
Who led them through dark, dreary days.

Their words gave balm to the weary;
Then they rallied their nations’ power.
To battle the hosts of darkness.
And give freedom one shining hour.

Their words defied the defiant,
And imparted strength to the brave,
And like some heavenly trumpet,
Aroused man’s shy hopes from the grave.

Held in high respect by earth’s great,
And loved by the humble as well,
We will be hearing their voices, when
We list to the song of the bell.

Your songs are the art of blending,
By the touch of a master’s choice.
May all who hear, catch the meaning,
Who stand within sound of your voice.

So cast on the air your message,
May if come again and again.
In notes of comfort and uplift,
Like a benediction to men.

Source:  Bridges – Rainbow – Carillon Vertical File. Niagara Falls, Ont. : Niagara Falls Public Library.

Read on the occasion of the dedication of the carillon bells, June 16, 1947.

Niagara Falls Coat of Arms and Motto

 

 

Niagara Falls Coat of Arms
Niagara Falls Coat of Arms. Used with permission of the City of Niagara Falls

On May 15, 2006, the Canadian Heraldic Authority issued a new Coat of Arms to the City of Niagara Falls.  At the same time, a new motto was chosen, Tread the Smoother Ways of Peace, which was taken from the poem Niagara by Dr. Arthur William Fisher which was found on this website. The description of the coat of arms is reproduced below.

Blazon

Arms

Argent three pallets wavy Azure, on a chief enarched three pallets counterchanged;

Supporters

Two lions Or each holding a lightning bolt Argent and standing on a rocky mound proper;

Crest

Issuant from a mural crown Argent masoned Azure charged with maple leaves Gules and hurts bearing mullets Argent, a thunderbolt Or;

Motto

TREAD THE SMOOTHER WAYS OF PEACE;


Symbolism

Arms

The design is a symbolic representation of the Canadian, or Horseshoe, Falls, the City’s most famous feature and one of the natural wonders of the world. The top part indicates the flowing water of the Niagara River, the division line the shape of the Horseshoe Falls, and the lower part the tumbling water as it goes over the Falls.

Supporters

The lions have been used by the City since 1939, and the lightning bolts refer to the importance of hydro-electric power generated by the Falls. As gold lions are found in the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom and of Canada, they also allude to the important role the Niagara region played in the defence of Canada during the War of 1812, such as at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane in what is now Niagara Falls. The rocky ground on which the lions stand alludes to the Niagara Gorge.

Crest

The mural crown is a traditional symbol of municipal authority. The maple leaves and stars indicate Niagara Falls’ status as a border city, across from the city of the same name in New York State. The thunderbolt is a symbol derived from classical mythology. It alludes to the name Niagara, thought to mean “thunder of water” in the aboriginal Neutral language. It also reinforces the idea of electrical power as expressed in the lightning bolts held by the supporters.

Motto

This sentence is taken from Dr. Arthur William Fisher’s poem “Niagara”, published in 1924. As Niagara Falls is the most famous border city in Canada, this alludes to the peaceful relationship with the United States, valued particularly in a region that saw terrible battles in the War of 1812. This motto can serve as an exhortation to all citizens to advance the cause of peace.

Lines Written in Drummond Hill Cemetery by Ada Elizabeth Fuller

(The site of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane in 1814)

Gravestone of Robert Randall,  Drummond Hill Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Gravestone of Robert Randall, Drummond Hill Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

The brooding voice of spring is in the air,
The mighty winds are hushed, are very still;
Within a burial ground I wind my way 
A sunny place upon a sunny hill.

I fain would read a legend here and there,
But Time has passed with his erasing hand;
And, on the battered stones that head these graves,
The half-intelligible letters stand.

The peace of God, which no man understands,
Beams kindly down upon the greening sod,
And, underneath, where sacred ashes lie
Of those whove gone before to meet their God.

Full many an unknown spirit lies at peace
With heart against the earths warm heart close-pressed:
Their dust, as ashes of the rose that lie,
Its perfume gone, fallen to earths soft breast.

The summer sky is kind to all alike,
And over all the skies are fair and clear;
And, in the solemn stillness of this hour,
It seems as if I were intruding here.

But no resentment these poor ashes feel,
For God has called their souls from here below;
And in this hour He speaks to my lone soul —
He seems to call and I could wish twere so.

But God has measured out my length of days,
And His sweet will is all in all to me.
O Father, guide my thoughts, my life, my soul,
To thy great glory, till Thou callest me!

Source: Kevin McCabe, ed. The Poetry of Old Niagara. St. Catharines, Ont. : Blarney Stone Books, 1999.

Originally published: Ada Elizabeth Fuller. Sunshine and Shadow. Niagara Falls, 1919.