The Foresters: A Poem Descriptive of a Pedestrian Journey to the Falls of Niagara…by Alexander Wilson

Alexander Wilson. Image from his book American Ornithology

The foresters: a poem, descriptive of a pedestrian journey to the falls of Niagara, in the autumn of 1804
by the author of American Ornithology (Alexander Wilson).

An 80 page poem with an additional 26 pages of notes. Charles Dow* says of this poem “A narrative poem describing a journey from the banks of the Schuylkill, through Pennsylvania and New York to Niagara Falls, published in the Portfolio of Philadelphia in 1809 and 1810…the following lines show that Wilson’s fame rests more securely on an ornithological rather than on a poetical basis.”

From pg. 74:

Heavy and slow, increasing on the ear ,
Deep through the woods a rising storm we hear,
Th’ approaching gust still loud and louder grows,
As when the strong north-east resistless blows,
Or black tornado ,rushing throughthe wood,
Alarms th’ affrighted swains with uproar rude .
Yet the blue heavens displayed their clearest sky,
And dead below the silent forests lie;
And not a breath the slightest leaf assailed;
But all around tranquillity prevaile .
“What noise is that ?” we ask, with anxious mein ,
A dull salt driver passing with his team,
“Noise! noise! — why nothing that I hear or see,
But Niagara Falls — Pray, whereabouts live ye?”

See the full text of this poem at the Hathi Trust

Read about Wilson & The Foresters in the blog Of Birds and Poetry: Alexander Wilson and The Foresters

*Dow, Charles Mason. Anthology and Bibliography of Niagara Falls. Albany: State of New York, 1921.  p. 698

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