When the bridegroom
Reaches the room
With breath bated
The moment long awaited.
He takes off his loud cravat
And his shirt and his hat,
His trousers and his shoes,
And his undershirt and drawers.
Naked, as from his mother,
He attempts with another
To return to that sweet night of the womb.
Source: James Reaney. The Red Heart. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1949
How many heart-wed lovers here have stood,
Like us, beside the Niagara‘s folding brink,
Watching the thirsty gorge the torrent drink!
How many, like ourselves, in solitude
Have stood above the fierce moon-smitten flood,
Through whose mist clouds a myriad star-points twink,
And felt the grandeur of the cataract sink
Into their souls until was thought subdued.
How many human hearts here throbbed with love
And dreamed their love would live beyond the grave,
Strong as Niagara‘s rush, deep as its fall,
Only within a little space to prove
Their love as changing as the tumbling wave
Which breaks in mist that darkly shadows all.
Source: Kevin McCabe, ed. The Poetry of Old Niagara. St. Catharines, Ont. : Blarney Stone Books, 1999.
Originally published: Dominion Illustrated, June 22, 1889