Niagara Falls by John Imrie

Man Looking Over Niagara Falls From the Brink of the Boardwalk
Photograph by George Barker, 1885
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Oh, Niagara ! as at thy brink I stand,
‡‡My soul is filled with wonder and delight, 
 To trace in thee that wonder-working Hand,
‡‡Whose hollow holds the seas in balance light !
 Worthy art thou to be a nation’s pride, — 
‡‡A patriot’s boast — a world’s unceasing wonder ; 
 Like some bold monarch calling to thy side 
‡‡Subjects from every clime in tones of thunder !

Deep on my soul thy grandeur is impress’d,
‡‡Thy awful majesty — thy mighty power ;
Thy ceaseless tumult and thy great unrest.
‡‡Like nations warring in dread conflict’s hour !

Rainbows of glory sparkle round thy shrine.
‡‡Cresting thy waters with effulgence bright ;
And in thy foaming currents intertwine
‡‡Rare corruscations of commingl’d light !

Like roar of battle, or like thunder’s call,
‡‡Thy deep-toned echoes roll with solemn sound ;
Like pillar’d clouds thy vapours rise, and fall
‡‡Like sparkling pearls upon the thirsty ground !

Rush on ! rush on ! in thy uncheck’d career,
‡‡With avalanchic power thy course pursue ;
While rending rocks quake as with mortal fear,
‡‡And stand in awe to let thy torrents through !

Naught but the hand of God could stay thy course,
‡‡Or drive thee back to Erie’s peaceful keep ;
Then onward press with thy gigantic force,
‡‡Till in Ontario’s bosom lull’d to sleep !

Emblem of Freedom ! who would dare essay
‡‡To bar thy noisy progress to the sea ?
Then onward press ! while bord’ring nations pray
‡‡For strength and wisdom to be great and free !

Source:  John Imrie. Sacred Songs, Sonnets, and Miscellaneous Poems. Toronto: Imrie & Graham, 1886

Read about John Imrie



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *