Niagara by John Campbell, Duke of Argyll, Marquis of Lorne

Portrait of the Marquis of Lorne,1884
by John Everett Millais
From the collections of the National Gallery of Canada

A ceaseless, awful, falling sea, whose sound
Shakes earth and air, and whose resistless stroke
Shoots high the volleying foam like cannon smoke !
How dread and beautiful the floods, when, crowned
By moonbeams on their rushing ridge, they bound
Into the darkness and the veiling spray ;
Or, jewel-hued and rainbow-dyed, when day
Lights the pale torture of the gulf profound !
So poured the avenging streams upon the world
When swung the ark upon the deluge wave,
And, oer each precipice in grandeur hurled,
The endless torrents gave mankind a grave.
Gods voice is mighty, on the water loud,
Here, as of old, in thunder, glory, cloud!

Source: Lorne, Marquis of. Memories of Canada and Scotland: Speeches and Verses.  Montreal: Dawson Brothers, Publishers, 1884.

Also published with the author listed as John Campbell, Duke of Argyll in Kevin McCabe, ed. The Poetry of Old Niagara. St. Catharines, Ont. : Blarney Stone Books, 1999.

Marquis of Lorne, also Duke of Argyll, was John George Edward Henry Sutherland Campbell, the Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883. Read about him here


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