Today conditions seemed reversed :
I paced such old Emporium
As grace Niagara’s streets — immersed
In thoughts that forced themselves to come :
The aisles of souvenirs, and such
As litter up old parlors and
Crimped antique furniture, brought much
Of childhood interest at hand.
I saw small tables cluttered tight
With “after dinner” cups, scarce room
For salts and peppers, very bright
To grace some full Victorian gloom.
Then reminiscences that slept
Grew quick when, lifting high a ball
Of watery glass, a snowstorm swept
Across the too chromatic Fall.
The snow spun wildly till I felt
A childhood agony, a-shiver
For souls emperilled — storm but spelt
Gray death upon the painted river !
I found afresh the tense delight
In pain, so paradoxical
And lived anew the sleeted night —
And then replaced the watery ball.
Oh, sugar bowls, oh, strings of shells,
Oh, silver fit for banquet halls,
What grief and laughter when one dwells
On certain memories of the Falls :
A relative, in hurrying me,
Brought back a sense of time, but far
I’d traveled lanes of memory
Within that dazzling Bazaar.
Source: Evelyn M. Watson. Poems of the Niagara Frontier. New York: Dean & Company, 1929.