On the Falls of Niagara by Henry Ellison

Niagara Falls, c1880 by Henry Martin
Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ontario

Sweep on, thou mighty stream magestical,
Monarch of waters, broad, and still, and deep,
That, in the consciousness of strength, dost keep
As yet proud silence, and take from thy fall
Sublime voice mighty and poetical,
To tell the world, as headlong o’er the steep,
With foaming thunders, thou dost bound and leap,
That mightiest things are calmest still of all!
Then sink to sublime silence as before—
As if it cost thee nought to speak as though
Thou could’st outvoice the mighty Ocean’s roar,
Whene’er occasion called on thee to show
The power which thy silence in it bore,
Not lightly roused, but mightiest when so!

Source: Henry Ellison.  The Poetry of Real Life: A New Edition Much Enlarged and Improved (First Series).  London: G. Willis, 1844

Read  A Critical and Biographical Essay of Henry Ellison by Alexander B. Grosart

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