Niagara’s canon, swept by waters grand!
No gorge like thine, nor depths, the mighty hand
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡Of time hath wrought.
Thy cataract stupendous is, and fierce;
No human voice or sound can ever pierce
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡Its deaf’ning roar.
Thy seething currents rend with awful might
Great rocks, that nature in chaotic night
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡Did rear on high.
A whirlpool deep within thy walls doth hiss,
And, raging ’round, sinks down in dark abyss
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡To unknown depths.
Around Ontario’s blue and wide domain,
No mountains check, nor lofty barriers chain.
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡Thine outlet vast.
In the great ocean’s infinite expanse
Thy volumes rest, and with their powers, enhance
‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡The vasty deep.
Source: R. Lespinasse. Notes on Niagara, 2nd ed. Chicago: R. Lespinasse, Publisher, 1884
Also published in Johnson, Richard L. (ed). Niagara: Its History, Incidents and Poetry. Washington: Walter Neale General Book Publisher, 1898
The author’s name, Wilhelm Meister, is probably a pseudonym, as Meister is the protagonist of two of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s novels.