Niagara Dry by James McIntyre

The ice boom on Lake Erie at the mouth of the Niagara River, designed to stop ice from stopping the flow of water in the Niagara River. Photo by Dr. Frank Seglenieks

It happened once in early spring,
‡‡While there did float great thick ice cakes,
That then a gale did quickly bring
‡‡Them all down from the upper lakes.

And from Buffalo to Lake Erie,
‡‡Across the entrance to river,
It was a scene of icebergs dreary,
‡‡Those who saw will remember ever.

Then gale blew up lake and river,
‡‡And left Niagara almost dry,
This a lady did discover
‡‡As above the Falls she cast her eye.

Such scene it had been witnessed never,
‡‡Since Israelites crossed the Red Sea,
When they had resolved forever
‡‡From Pharaoh’s bondage to flee.

Lady she resolved to venture,
‡‡Proudly carrying British flag,
Erecting it in river’s centre
‡‡In crevice of a rocky crag.

It seems like a romance by Bulwer,
‡‡How she captured Niagara,
But it was seen by Bishop Fuller,
‡‡Who did at sight of flag hurrah.

Ten thousand years may die away
‡‡Before another dry can tread,
In bottom of Niagara,
‡‡For she doth jealous guard her bed.

But ice her entrance did blockade,
‡‡And wind it kept the waters back,
So that a child could almost wade
‡‡Across the brink of cataract.

Source: McIntyre, James. Poems of James McIntyre.  Ingersoll: The Chronicle, 1889.

Biography of James McIntyre in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

Read When Niagara Falls Ran Dry on the Niagara Falls Museums’ website

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