Niagara Falls by Thomas Frederick Young

Horseshoe Fall, Niagara, Seen From Below on the Canadian Side by an unknown artist. Colour tint by Erna Jahnke. Courtesy of the Niagara Falls Public Library

Niagara, thou mighty flood,
I’ve seen thee fall, I’ve heard thee roar,
And on the frightful verges stood,
That overhang thy rocky shore.

I’ve sailed o’er surging waves below,
And view’d the rainbow’s colour’d light,
And felt the spray, thy waters throw,
When leaping, with resistless might.

I’ve seen the rapids in their course,
Like madden’d, living things rush on,
With wild, unhesitating force,
To where thy mighty chasms yawn.

And there to take the awful leap,
And fall, with hoarse and sullen roar,
Into th’ unfathomable deep,
Which rolleth on, from shore to shore.

Niagara, thou’rt mighty, grand,
Thou fill’st human souls with awe,
For thee, and for that mighty Hand,
Which maketh thee, by nature’s law.

Thou’rt great, thou mighty, foaming mass
Of water, plunging, roaring down,
But so are we, yea, we surpass
Thee, and we wear a nobler crown.

Thy mighty head is crowned with foam,
And rainbows wreathe thy robes of blue ;
Our earthly forms — our present home —
Are insignificant to you.

But look, thou mighty thund’rer, thou,
Tho’ puny be our forms to thine,
These forms possess, yea, even now,
A spark, a ray of life divine.

Rush on, O waters ! proudly hurl
Thyself to roaring depths below,
And let the mists of ages curl,
And generations come and go.

But know, stupendous wonder, know,
Thy rocks would crumble, at the nod
Of Him, who lets thy waters flow ;
Thy Maker, but our Friend and God.

Thy rocks shall crumble, fall they must ;
Thy waters, then, shall plunge no more,
But we shall rise, e’en from the dust,
To live upon another shore.

Source: T.F. Young.  Canada, and Other PoemsToronto: Hunter, Rose & Co., Printers, 1887

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