Niagara ! to thee
‡‡‡‡My spectacles I turn !
I see the waters boil,
‡‡‡‡As if all . . . did burn,
And Satan’s imps, with ardour hot,
Were thrusting wood beneath the pot.
‡‡‡‡O what a deaf’ning noise
Thy tortur’d waters make !
‡‡‡‡The thunders of thy voice
Kept me all night awake :
I could but hear the lumbering sound,
When all were sunk in sleep profound.
‡‡‡‡And then what clouds of spray
Bedim my weaken’d sight ;
‡‡‡‡And then, in light of day,
Bring rainbows to my sight :
Well might poor Snip thus make his note —
“Mem — What a place to spunge a coat !”
‡‡‡‡And then, O what a waste
Of water-power is here !
‡‡‡‡‘Twould move ten thousand water-wheels,
And run them thro’ the year !
Well might the Yankee say — “be still —
Oh what a place to build a mill.”
Source: Dr. Thomas Rolph. A Brief Account, Together With Observations, Made During a Visit in the West Indies, and a Tour Through the United States of America, in Parts of the Years 1832-3; Together With a Statistical Account of Upper Canada. Dundas, U.C. : G. Heyworth Hackstaff, Printer, 1836.
Rolph mentions this poem was written in the Table Rock Album; it is not published in Thomas & Lathrop’s excerpts from the Table Rock Album. Rolph would have been looking at the original. See the Table of Contents of the Table Rock Albums