Niagara Falls by Ezekiel Bacon

“Labitur—labitur—et semper labetur.” 

Niagara Falls, 1845. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

WHEN from the realms of chaos dark
‡‡God chased the shades of night,
And on creation’s midnight void
‡‡Poured floods of living light;

Then o’er the darkness of the deep
‡‡The Almighty spirit stood,
Gave to the eternal hills their place,
‡‡Its bounds the unfathomed flood.

Long rolled that angry, sullen wave
‡‡In its imprisoned bed,
In Erie’s wild and watery waste,
‡‡By mighty torrents fed.

Till bursting from its ramparts high
‡‡Niagara’s current flowed,
And o’er the mountain and the glen
‡‡Its fearful surges rode.

Through long lost generations since
‡‡Thy ceaseless round hast run;
For generations yet to come
‡‡Thy race is but begun.

Roll on to thy deep ocean bed,
‡‡Thou wild, mysterious stream !
When ages yet unborn are passed
‡‡As fades a baseless dream.

Faint emblem of eternity !
‡‡Thy teaching sure is given
To point the enraptured wonderer through
‡‡Life’s narrow strait, to heaven !

Source: Ezekiel Bacon. Ægri Somnia: Recreations of a Sick Room.  New York : John Allen, 1843

Biography of Ezekiel Bacon

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