Niagara by R. W. Sanders

Terrapin Rock in Winter, Niagara Falls. Image courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Mighty Niagara, the source of great power.
‡‡Seventh wonder of nature’s great toils,
Giving service to all, from God’s great dower;
‡‡Beauty sublime: as the river it coils
Through ravines, cut from the mighty rock bed.
‡‡Splendor superb, by its rainbows are made,
Grandiose scenes: as our willing ears are fed
‡‡By the musical roar of the mighty cascade.

Beautiful Niagara, a most wonderful sight,
‡‡Massive volume of waters, cascading ever;
Filling the vision and mind with delight.
‡‡Rushing headlong, obstruction ’twill sever
And hurl to destruction.  Naught can impede
‡‡Its progress, or hold the swirling turmoil,
Except nature’s deep rockbound gorge.  Indeed
‡‡With rising vapours, its waters seem to boil.

Ancient Niagara, aged work of unknown years
‡‡Patiently cut by the water’s great powers.
Its roaring noises, incite trembling fears,
‡‡Its wind whipped spray, make falling showers,
By moonlight, a weird fanciful elfin display,
‡‡With myriad light beams, mocking the stars.
Its loud roaring sounds, producing utter dismay
‡‡Like the ocean rollers, crossing the bars.

Wintery Niagara, most impressive white array
‡‡Mountains of ice, topped with covering snow,
Its immense power in near to stillness display
‡‡To the vision.  As if its great bulk to show.
Crystal reflections a kaleidoscope make,
‡‡Grotesque shapes form while one watching stands.
The terrible ceaseless roar of waters unseen
‡‡Tell their story, of the might of unseen hands.

Source:  R. W. Sanders. Up Into the Hills & Other Poems.  St. Catharines, Ont.: The Author, 1958

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