To the American Fall at Niagara by Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen


Douglas Sladen. Courtesy of the State Library of Queensland

Niagara, national emblem !  Cataract
‡‡Born of the maddened rapids, sweeping down
‡‡Direct, resistless from the abyss’s crown
Into the deep, fierce pool with vast impact
Scarce broken by the giant boulders, stacked
‡‡To meet thine onslaught, threatening to drown
‡‡Each tillaged plain, each level-loving town
‘Twixt thee and ocean.   Lo ! the type exact !

America Niagarized the world.
‡‡Europe, a hundred years agone, beheld
An avalanche, like pent-up Erie, hurled
‡‡Through barriers, to which the rocks of eld
Seemed toy things— leaping into godlike space.
A sign and wonder to the human race.

October 18, 1889

Source: Douglas Sladen, ed. Younger American Poets, 1830 – 1890. London: Griffith, Farran, Okeden and Welsh, 1891

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