Salutation by Evelyn M. Watson

watson salutation
I. To Niagara

watson salutation
Niagara Falls (From near Clifton House), 1837, by W.H. Bartlett engraving by J. Cousen. Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

‡‡‡“My heart is fixed; therefore I sing.” ― Bible

Niagara, my singing heart is fixed;
I love the rich contentment of your wood,
Your wind-scourged cliffs and that calm sisterhood
Of islands.    As man-birds crest the wind betwixt
The Falls and the farther skies, on azure highways,
So poets look from heights yet more sublime,
Inviting Nature-lovers from life’s byways
To experience beyond all touch of time,
Aware of rhythm in a heart that’s living
Become attuned to fuller consciousness
Exalting joys that consecrate and bless. . .
Niagara, we join your song Thanksgiving.

‡‡‡‡‡‡‡II   To the Public

Oh love the character of rocks, each tree
Along this course, each grot in solitude
With phantom—eerie ponds—the wind’s mood—
This thundering torrent in its majesty
With Nature’s attitude so grave and stern.
One feels the unity of truth and good
With beauty on life’s course—without return
Both condemnation and Beatitude.
Join now these staves of melody, the chording
Organ-tones with birds in blending choir—
And note heart-aching charms of misty fire:
May Memory receive each jewel for hoarding.

Source: Evelyn M. Watson. Poems of the Niagara Frontier. New York: Dean & Company, 1929.

Click to see more poems from Watson’s Poems of the Niagara Frontier

watson salutation

The Winter King at Niagara Falls by Caroline Eleanor Wilkinson

winter king

winter king
Horseshoe Falls and American Falls in Winter, March, 1927. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

The Winter King makes splendent gems, to deck Niagaras
‡‡‡‡rugged shore.
At night he deftly strings them there, then adds in daylight to
‡‡‡‡his store;
He captures snow, the pearly spray, and weaves them into
‡‡‡‡patterns rare;
The waters edge, the banks so steep he wraps in frosted
‡‡‡‡garments fair.
With filmy lace in clinging grace, the little shrubs are sweetly
All crusted oer with diamonds bright, they trail on snowy
‡‡‡‡coated ground.
The trees of pine in glory shine, their branches bending
‡‡‡‡very low,
Laden down and drooping neath the crystallized and
‡‡‡‡gleaming snow.
Below the Falls an ice mound glints — by old King Winters
‡‡‡‡breath twas formed;
The amethystine waters edge with great ice hummocks
‡‡‡‡is adorned,
From shore to shores a bridge of ice, as marvellous as
‡‡‡‡artists dream.
While underneath imprisoned is the sobbing, surging
O fairyland of ice and snow, mysterious is your allure! —
A picture chaste and beautiful and symbolizing all
‡‡‡‡things pure.

Source: Caroline Eleanor Wilkinson. Poems that Appeal. Niagara Falls, Ont. : F. H. Leslie, Limited, Printers, 1928


Voice of Niagara by Caroline Eleanor Wilkinson

voice niagara

voice niagara
General View of Niagara Falls, ca. 1900. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Thou art the queen of all rivers, rejoicing in song,
‡‡As you toss the white spray, driving mist to the shore;
And your voice echoes jubilant, resonant, strong —
‡‡O such music neer greeted a mortal before.

And sublime your melodious, thundering boom, —
‡‡A far reaching refrain, so triumphant and long,
Tis the meeting of waters that dash to their doom,
‡‡And the sweet intermezzo that creeps in your song.

But the centuries come and the centuries go,
‡‡And the white man now treads where the Indian raced;
Loud your waters still sing, and as restlessly flow,
‡‡As when near the great cataract, wigwams were placed.

You are tragic in splendour, primordially grand,
‡‡And your mystical waves glow with opaline sheen,
With perpetual song, swelling out oer the land,
‡‡You enchant us forever, magnificent Queen.

Source: Caroline Eleanor Wilkinson. Poems That Appeal. Niagara Falls, Ont. : F.H. Leslie, Limited,. Printers, 1928.

voice niagara

Niagara Falls by Caroline Eleanor Wilkinson

niagara wilkinson

niagara wilkinson
Niagara Falls. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Stupendous in their majesty, the maddened waters leap,
‡‡Then raging like a demon who disdains the thought of sleep,
In wild abandon oer the brink they toss and foam and curl —
‡‡In the great abyss they surge and sink, then down the river whirl.

A silver cloud of spray, ethereal as bridal veil,
‡‡Rolls gaily toward the shore, in misty, shimmring masses pale,
When in the suns clear light, revealed, are bright prismatic rays,
‡‡That scintillate in rainbow hues, enchanting all who gaze.

But when the laggard sun, has not the surging waters kissed,
‡‡Then moody old Niagara sulks, in pall of dull grey mist,
While meeting waters dash and fight, then boiling pass along,
‡‡With a deep toned voice resounding in an everlasting song.

O the tumult and the grandeur of the water as it rolls —
‡‡We marvel as we look, with exaltation in our souls;
A seething, rushing torrent flows, whose troubled heaving breast,
‡‡Through ages has not known repose, tranquility or rest.

Source: Caroline Eleanor Wilkinson. Poems That Appeal. Niagara Falls, Ont. : F.H. Leslie, Limited, Printers, 1928.

Niagara by George Houghton

  houghton niagara   

houghton niagara
A Distant View of the Falls of Niagara. 1835, by Thomas Cole.  Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library.

Formed when the oceans were fashioned, when all the world
‡‡was a workshop;
Loud roared the furnace fires, and tall leapt the smoke
‡‡from volcanoes,
Scooped were round bowls for lakes, and grooves for the
‡‡sliding of rivers,
Whilst, with a cunning hand, the mountains were linked

Then through the daw-dawn, lurid with cloud, and rent
‡‡by forked lightning,
Striken by earthquake beneath, above by the rattle of
Sudden the clamour was pierced by a voice, deep-lunged
‡‡and portentous —
Thine, O Niagara, crying: “Now is created completed!”


Millions of cup-like blossoms, brimming with dew and with
Mingle their tributes together to form one slow-trickling
Thousands of brooklets and rills, leaping down from their
‡‡home in the uplands,
Grow to a smooth, blue river, serene and flowing in

Hundreds of smooth, blue rivers, flashing afar o’er the
Darkening ‘neath forests of pine, deep drowning the reeds
‡‡in the marshes,
Cleaving with noiseless sledge the rocks red-crusted with
Circle at last to one common goal, the Mighty Sea-Water.

Lo! to the northward outlying, wide glimmers the stretch
‡‡of the Great Lake,
White-capped and sprinkled with foam, that tumbles its
‡‡bellowing breakers
Landward on beaches of sand, and in hiding-holes hollow
‡‡with thunder,
Landward where plovers frequent, with the wolf and the
‡‡westering bison.    Continue reading “Niagara by George Houghton”