Niagara, Niagara, careering in its might,
The fierce and free Niagara shall be my theme to-night.
A glorious theme, a glorious hour, Niagara, are mine —
Heaven’s fire is on thy flashing wave, its thunder blends with thine
The clouds are bursting fearfully, the rocks beneath me quiver,
But thou, unscathed, art hurrying on forever and forever.
Years touch thee not, Niagara, — thou art a changeless thing,
And still the same deep roundelay thy solemn waters sing.
There is a chainless spirit here whose throne no eye may reach,
Awakening thoughts in human hearts too deep for human speech.
This is the shrine at which the soul is tutored to forget
Its earthly joys, its earthly hopes, its sorrow and regret;
For who that ever lingered here one little hour or twain,
Can think as he hath thought, or be what he hath been again?
Where’er the wanderer’s foot may roam, whate’er his lot may be,
‘T is deeply written on his heart that he hath been with thee.
Chippewa, August, 1834.
Source: Table Rock Album and Sketches of the Falls and Scenery Adjacent. Buffalo: Steam Press of Thomas and Lathrops, copyright by Jewett, Thomas & Co.,1856c.1848
Published in slightly different form in George Menzies. The Posthumous Works of the Late George Menzies: Being a Collection of Poems, Sonnets, &c., &c., Written at Various Times When the Author was Connected With the Provincial Press. Woodstock: Printed by John Douglass, 1850