Niagara Falls by Mary J. Wines

Niagara Falls, NY, c1875.
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

 God ! within Thy glorious temple, mute with awe
We stand and listen to the pealing hymn 
Of thine Omnipotence. In all this wide, wide world 
Where can earth’s children go to learn a grander lesson 
Of Thy Majesty ? What human tongues with burning 
Words of power can tell Thy glories and Thine awful might, 
Or stir the doubting heart of man, as this sublime 
Creation of Thy mind Divine ?   Here, fashioned by 
Thy mighty hand, Nature’s gigantic organ stands, 
And ceaselessly rolls forth terrific notes of praise. 
Here Thine established choir forever thunder forth. 
In grandly thrilling tones, a mystic song of 
Thine unfathomable, infinite power. Here Thou hast 
Placed Thy solid altar on the shores of Time, and from 
Thy very lips the overpowering strains of holy eloquence 
Burst forth.

Who can withstand the heavenly music of Thy voice ; 
Who can, with heart unstirred, behold the amazing 
Splendor of Thine earthly court ; who can gaze on this 
Matchless structure by Thy fingers wrought, and calmly say, 
There is no living God ?

…………………………….Here let the boasting and the 
Lofty come and feel their nothingness ; here let the 
Sophist bring his treacherous creed, and obtain from 
Jehovah’s book logic invincible.  Here let the stolid 
And unthinking come and start their sleeping 
Senses from the sluggish trance. Here let the yearning 
Spirit and aspiring come, and, climbing Nature’s ladder, 
Grasp the reaching hand of God.

………………………………………Here the weary-hearted 
May sweet comfort find when resting on the shining 
Banks ; life-giving draughts from beauty’s fountain 
They may quaff, and from the appalling depths and 
Awful rush of waters wild look up, where, ever arching 
O’er the temple’s misty veil, the radiant bow of promise 
Sheds its cheering rays. So shall the glorious emblem 
Of Thy mercy teach the sorrowing heart, that o’er each

Dread abyss of human woe, each fearful path, where 
Life’s fierce tempests beat, the golden promise of 
Thy love and pity hangs. Here let the heart be 
Humbled to the dust, and no vain thought of 
Mortal consequence intrude.

…………………………………Oh, if these forest sentinels 
That ages long have watched the glories of this sacred 
Shrine, still with emotion shake, and join their trembling 
Voices in the tremendous hymn, shall not weak 
Mortals lowly bend, and in the footsteps of their 
Father, God, a loving tribute cast  not with a craven 
Thought of human fear  at the overwhelming power of 
His arm, but holiest love and adoration give, 
Ever rejoicing with ecstatic joy that they are off-springs 
Of so glorious a sire.

Source: Mary J. Wines. Infant Harper and Other Poems. Cambridge, Mass.: Hurd & Houghton, 1874, p. 193-195

Cataract of Niagara and Suspension Bridge by Roswell Rice

roswell rice
Roswell Rice
from the frontispiece of his Orations and Poems

….ALL day, as days are counted here below, 
I’ve ranged the banks of this myster’ous Chasm ; 
Whose raging voice has boomed, like thunder in 
Distant tones, ever since the morning stars 
Their song began. And as I gazed on the 
Huge transparent mass, plunging the foaming 
Gulf below, my heart was struck with fear, like 
Viewing specters in the magic glass, or 
Raging winds that swell the deep. And as I 
Sat me down for nature to revive, sad 
And fearful thoughts rushed on my soul, as I 
Gazed on this phenomenon of nature’s 
Birth .

……………The king of day was now descending 
The western horizon ; and ever since
The morning light had dispersed night’s dreary 
Mantle, my vision gazed on this direful
Cataract ; producing scenes terrific
And sublime. The crystal fountains of the 
Northern lakes, condensed in old Niag’ra,
With incessant sweep, near, and forever
Near the verge of this drear, and dreadful gulf ! 
And as they descend the vast abyss, the
Shock is heard in the distance as the voice
And proof of nature’s God. Were it not for 
Habit, proving no alarm, man would be 
More fearful of this terrific sound, than 
Of the lightning’s burst in a stormy sky. 
Such are the wonders of nature in this 
Mighty Cascade, that the spell yet remains 
Upon me; and their mementos enchant 
My spirit, and blend with my existence.

….God’s hand made these mighty waters, to plunge 
The deep ! to shake the earth afar ; and roll
On amid the gulf, plowed by nature’s stream 
In solid rock, through the flight of ages.
Six thousand years this trump of God perchance 
Has sounded in the savage ear ; and thus 
Made known the Spirit Land. Above the Falls 
The current is so strong, and suction so 
Severe, the fowl can hardly rise. The red 
Man, in his barque, applies the oar too late !
His hope is lost ! he to the Spirit cries !
And with a mortal groan descends the grave 
Of graves. The swiftwinged birds of heaven, in 
Sundry plumage decked, parched by sunbeams of 
The Summer’s rays, bathe in vapors rising 
From this foaming deep, and chant their songs to 
Greet its cooling spray. Pilgrims, far and near, 
Rush on to view this king of Cataracts ; 
And by nature’s incessant anthem, some 
Have learned the Author of the song.

…………………………………………………………The dread
Mastodon of the elder world, whose tread 
Made the forests shake, perchance in days of 
Yore has by these waters slaked his thirst. Fierce 
Armies in their pride have near this Chasm met, 
With martial din, where the dying groans and 
The sad echoes of the cannon’s roar were 
Heard in fearful blast. The storms and tempests 
Have swept around it ; and the lightning’s flash, 
And bolts of thunder, have shook the heavens 
Above ; yet these waters rush on with their 
Eternal song, from nature’s golden harp. 
This music still salutes the ravished ear, 
With strains that blend amid the raging storm.

….Near two miles below this Chasm is seen the 
Iron Bridge, the wonder of art, sustained 
By bolts and bars, posts and rails, gigantic 
Cables, and sundry fixtures ; fastened to 
The ironbound shores of two nations  pride, 
O’er which the lion and the eagle soar. 
On this suspended structure is seen the
Iron horse of rav’nous maw inspired with 
Wood and fire, passing and repassing with 
His gorgeous trains, journeying East and West 
On their rushing pinions ; bearing mankind 
And nature’s golden products, far and near. 
Four iron cables, made of wiry braid, 
ast in their size, and strong with curly strands, 
Extend from shore to shore, and terminate 
With fast’nings, secured in solid rock more 
Than twelve score feet above the river’s base. 
Eight hundred tons comprise the weight of this 
Gigantic Bridge ; twentyfour feet its width ;
Eight hundred feet its length ; and the strength of 
Its vast cables twelve thousand tons will bear. 
Hard by this structure , on each tow’ring bank 
Man’s frightful vision views the turbid stream 
Of raging waters, rolling and tumbling 
O’er their rocky base, to plunge the distant
Lake below. Immortal be the artist’s
Name that framed, and bound this gorgeous Bridge o’er
The dread Niag’ra, with light and knowledge 
Drawn from the funds of the great Supreme.

….Amazing magnificence is seen in
The dire waters of this mighty Cascade. 
But this is a mere point in the wonders 
Of nature. The forest green, waving in
The gale ; the birds with plumage decked, beaming 
In the sun ; earth’s millions of flow’rs kissed by 
The dews of heaven ; the swift winged clouds on which 
The beauties of earth and sky commingle ;
The Summer’s Sun glowing like the gate of 
Paradise ; the tow’ring mountain, on whose 
Summit remains eternal snow ; the vast 
Prairies lit up by sunbeams waving in 
The gale ; the flowing rivers, mountain born, 
That wend their way to kiss the briny deep ;
The islands of fire that rise in the main,
And straightway are seen no more ; the rushing 
Tornado, with giant pinions, sweeping
Before it the groves and hamlet ; and the
Oceans deep, which like clean hearts return heaven’s
Image ; or in their wild commotion swell
Like the heaving breasts of lions chained in 
Agony ; all combine in nature’s book,
To tell the matchless glory of a God.

….If in this nether world our Father speaks 
Terrible and sublime, how do the stars 
Above, floating the heavens like islands of 
Fire, proclaim his greatness ? How tells the vast 
Blazonry of the great Original,
Which adorns the supernal fields of space
With beauty, far surpassing the diamond 
Points of the mosaic texture ? If when
We look upon this Cataract, we are 
Called to admiration, how much more, when 
We gaze on the blue arch of heaven’s 
Magnificence, besieged by God’s flaming 
Seraphim, who keep their watch eternal.

….Ye sons of nature’s God, I pray draw near ; 
Behold the wonders of this direful scene ! 
Hark ! the earth trembles ! the thunder tones of 
This Chasm are heard afar ! showing to us 
That nature proves a God. Still, we have more 
Light ! it rises from the Gospel truth ; and 
Reveals our endless weal or woe. Then, let 
Adam’s fallen race from slumber rise !—make
Sure the living boon ! so when the works of 
Time shall die, God’s holy Son will bear them 
To his throne ! where they shall chant redeeming 
Love, and share ambrosial strains of Heaven. 
There scourging woes shall ever pass away ! 
And praise eternal shall to God be given. 
These scenes of time should warn us of that hour, 
When rocks shall rend, and oceans be no more.

….Ye bloodbought and Hellbound Infidels ! by
This Cataract God is speaking to you. 
These thunder tones, and all the sad dirges
Of nature, call for your belief in God !
But something more warns your souls to action !
It is the stable  the manger, and the
Crucifixion !    More, it is the Son of
God in Joseph’s tomb ! his ascension to 
Heaven, after giving up the Ghost on 
The cross, and his cries for your Salvation 
At the right hand of God. Why then reject 
The Savior, and make sure the wails of the 
Lost ? where no mercy shall ever greet the 
Ear ! and no Jesus set free the pris’ner. 
Awake from your slumber ! run for life ! and 
The bonus of the Crucifixion share.

Source: Roswell Rice. Rice’s Orations and Poems: Containing Orations of Temperance, War, Christ’s Second Advent, etc.; Descant on Time and Immortality, Time’s Destroying Flight, etc., in Blank Verse; Many Lyrics and Acrostics; and numberous Poetic Gems. Springfield, Mass: Press of Springfield Printing Company, 1883

The Falls of Niagara by Roswell Rice

Roswell Rice
from the frontispiece of his book Orations and Poetry

 I behold Lake Erie’s waters, 
….While passing down Niagara’s stream, 
I tremble at her awful thunders,
….Like waking from some nightly dream. 

Here nature’s God speaks to the stranger, 
….And terrifies his soul with fear ; 
And shows to him his awful danger, 
….If o’er this chasm he should steer.

His mortal barque would dash in sunder, 
….And break amid the raging stream ; 
The rocks and billows without number, 
….Would soon destroy hope’s faintest gleam.

The Indian warrior down was driven,
….Was threaten’d with the waves of death ; 
He o’er the cataract was riven,
….And to his fate resigned his breath.

Before he plunged the raging waters, 
….Which did his boon of life destroy, 
He to the Spirit prayed for quarters, 
….In the eternal world of joy.

He took his martial bow and armor, 
….And laid them gently by his side ; 
And heard the dismal waters murmur, 
….As he sailed on the rapid tide.

In steady gaze was fast descending,
….To plunge his deep and dreary grave ; 
At length he o’er the verge was bending, 
….And sunk beneath the foaming wave. 

Such is the emblem of the sinner, 
….Whose danger God has long foretold ; 
Yet he will spurn his only Savior, 
….And sell his life for love of gold.

Source: Roswell Rice. Orations and Poetry, On Moral and Religious Subjects.  Albany: C. Van Bentruysen, 1849

Also published in his Rice’s Orations and Poems, Springfield, Mass., Springfield Printing Co., 1883

Niagara by Ira Damon Van Duzee

American Falls From Foot of Incline, 1898
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

I STOOD on the hanging cliff, and saw
The river bend and fall
With the ocean’s deep and hollow roar,
With a constant thunder call.

The polished emerald arch broke out
In fleece as white as snow,
That flashed a moment in the sun,
Then sank in chaos below.

I listened to Niagara’s voice,
And heard the central fire,
Poised on earth’s axle, loose its chains
And war its fierce desire.

The pewit’s plaintive silver note,
The cricket’s autumn crone,
The whispering wind, and talking leaves,
Were hushed in the master tone.

Within that horrible chasm, wide
The caldron boiled in white
Confusion, chaos of seething foam,
Obscure as blackest night.

Out of this gulf the river ran,
So narrow still and deep,
My fancy saw it as a great
Green serpent, slowly creep.

My frightened vision shrank from it,
My feet turned back to fix
Themselves upon the solid earth,
And fly this creeping Styx.

“Niagara, Niagara !
The hand of God,” I cried,
“Alone could break thy stream in foam,
And hurl thy rushing tide.

“His hand alone could bend thy peace
Above, to headlong zest
Against the rocks, and down the gulf,
To find below thy rest.”

“His hand alone could rend the rocks,
And guide thy course to wide
Ontario, thence to the gray
Old ocean’s boundless tide.”

“Earth’s mountains have their mystery,
The seas their dreary waste
Of waters, sad as Sahara’s sands ;
The clouds their stormy haste ;—”

“Among the mountains man exults,
He fearless ploughs the waves,
Stamps on the sands, laughs at the winds
From out his castle caves;—”

“But on thy banks he feels his pride
And power are but a straw,
Before thy awful majesty,
And thy resistless law.”

” Let Danube boast her ancient name,
The Rhine her castle walls,
The Seine and Thames their cities’ pride—
But on thy forehead falls”

“A crown of beauty and of power
Above them all; before
Thy awful face the man is blind,
And dumb amid thy roar.”

I wooed the green still earth again,
There saw one wild rose spread
Its crimson in the morning air,
Its perfume faintly shed ;—

Then reverently I plucked the rose,
And from the sloping bank
I dropped the red leaves in white foam,
And down the abyss they sank.

The Father of Floods, my peace offering
Gave back to me again,
In bending his rainbow over the abyss,
And in his snowy train.

Now evermore, as the years go by,
Niagara’s flood and roar,
Will come to me with the tender grace
Of summer seas on the shore.

Source: I.D. Van Duzee. By the Atlantic: Later Poems. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1892, p. 247-250.

Read about Ira Damon Van Duzee

Battle of Queenston Heights, October 13, 1812 by Crowquill

Brock’s Monument from the entrance to the Landscape Of Nations: Six Nations and Native Allies Commemorative Memorial.
Statues of Native Leaders John Norton (Teyoninhokarawen) and John Brant (Dekarihokenh)
Photo by Andrew Porteus, 2019

Now listen U. E. Loyalists
….The high immortal praise
Won here upon this sacred Mount
….In old paternal days.

For native land our fathers bled ;
….For right and glory’s crown ;
And double vengeance winged their swords
….For wrongs their blood had known.

Fierce Mars came on at first with foes ;
….And gave our Chief to death ;
Then changing sides their ranks he smote,
….And stamped his feet beneath.

’The first year’s war had passed far on :
….Success our arms sustained :
Our leader, during summer months,
….Applause from all had gained.

With skill intuitive he formed
….A various force and good,
Of soldiers trained, militia new,
….And children of the wood.

With these he pressed his rapid way
….To far Detroit’s stronghold ;
And snatched it from our neighbour’s grasp
….With knightly hand and bold.

But now Americans are strong
….On broad Lake Erie’s wave ;
They hope to wrest the honours back ;
….And more than credit save.

The storm-cloud gathers day by day
….Along our river’s course :
It threatens soon to burst in rage
….And test our manhood’s force.

Now bright October paints the woods
….With flame of leafy dyes ;
But Autumn gales have not as yet
….Assailed the resting skies.

Late peach and apple fruits still cling
….Among the foliage sere─
They help to show the country’s worth ;
….And make its homes more dear.

Deciduous woods on Queenston’s crest
….Show now their colours bright ;
While cedar clumps adorn the slope,
….Half-grown and fair to sight.

The juniper and cedar join
….In dense and sombre mass
To shade the vast and swirling stream
….Which here sweeps through the pass.

The river here, its strangling way,
….Through cloven mountains takes ;
Nor can, at once, its step restrain,
….When new its bonds its breaks.

A dread will come to inland youth
….When first he sees that tide,
As there it rolls in volume huge,
….Rock-gored on either side.

Alarming too mount up those crags
….Precipitous, and high :
They too have fear-inspiring look
….For young home-loving eye.

Along the mountain’s steepy base
….The Queenston Hamlet sleeps :
And pleasant homes, though not of wealth,
….Its narrow limit keeps.

And westward spreads a fair rich land ;
….A land by bright suns blessed :
This land from no weak-handed men
….The foe come here to wrest.

October now its Thirteenth day
….Brings in with challenge high :
The foe by night have crossed our lines :
….Our men must fight or fly.

With dawn of light the cannon’s voice
….Calls forth to combat stern :
The blood of all runs fast and high
….And fiercest passions burn.

Excitement boils through both the Hosts :
….No soul has calm or rest :
Not all who see the rising Sun
….Will see him in the west.

Sir Isaac startles in his sleep
….Within Fort George’s walls :
He guesses what has now transpired ;
….That gravest peril calls.

His aids and he to saddle spring :
….Tow’rd Queenston spur their way :
Their rapid steeds will reach the hill,
….—Ere yet ’tis fully day.

But first before he leaves the Fort
….Brief charge─as suited need─
He gives to eager waiting men,
….To follow on with speed.

Two Companies of Forty-First
….With fiery haste fall in :
Militia too and Indian force
….Their equal march begin,

Americans have crossed the stream
….In strong well-armed array :
They now are on the mountain top ;
….And but await the day.

Our two gun battery on the bank
….Poured down its iron hail
When morning showed still coming foes :
….E’en then with some avail.

It struck mid-stream some labouring boats
….Low-pressed, with soldiers full ;
And plunged their men to bubbling deaths
….In deeps unfathomable.

The fight began upon the mount
….While shadowy night prevailed :
Americans with five-fold force
….Our battery there assailed.

Two Companies of Forty-Ninth,
….With help which near they found,
Militia men and Indian scouts,
….Awhile had kept their ground.

But step by step, by numbers forced
….They had their guns to yield :
Yet battling fierce and struggling hard
….They slowly left the field.

They now are pressed quite down the slope :
….In flight all hope is placed :
That moment Brock and staff come up
….In swift and breathless haste.

Straight up the rapid steep they turn ;
….Nor stop─though most fall dead :
They think not now of dear sweet life
….When by loved General led.

They almost gain disputed line ;
….Ten paces still they want ;
But, ah !  those hoped-for paces ten
….The fates will never grant !

Our mighty Chief here ends his course,─
….He falls !  Stand back !  Give light !
He breathes !  What word was that ?  He’s dead !
….Gone forth to death’s dark night.

That spirit brave, that brightest soul,
….That lived for soldier’s fame ;
That had on distant Europe’s fields
….Won earth-pervading name,

Now reaches here its last sea verge ;
….Its record now is done ;
That masterful and restless soul
….Its fated course has run.

His comrades bear him down the hill
….With under-clasping arms :
And deeply tender anguished love
….Each hero’s great soul warms.

Now while he thus is borne away
….Macdonald steps to front ;
Nor cares he now to live or die,
….As is a brave friend’s wont.

But he too falls in briefest space :
….The force again recedes.
Macdonald falls as fell his chief :
….He too for glory bleeds.

Now men from old Fort George are come
….And Sheaffe is in command ;
But he will not renew the fight
….Till better mode is planned.

Now silence reigns o’er all the scene ;
….Save that, at intervals,
The Indian’s deadly rifle crack,
….Tells where the invader falls.

Our foes had won the upper guns,
….As has before been shown,
And so the battery on the bank
….Was by their shot o’erthrown.

The battery thus upon the bank
….In silence now is lost :
Its silence tells how much we miss
….Our well-placed mountain post.

One gun away at Froman’s Point
….Still sweeps the channelled stream ;
Nor stops till victory crowns our arms,
….’Neath day’s far westering beam.

This single gun seemed ruling Fate :
….The stream could not be crossed :
The foe could not his succours bring ;
….Nor fly when fight was lost.

Good Sheaffe now leaves the northern slope,
….His other course has planned ;
The assault must be on level plain,
….Or e’en from higher land.

The mount still higher climbs to south
….With smooth and easy grade
Above the ground by foes possessed :
….The fight must there be made.

And with this view he leads his force
….Some miles away to west ;
And thus by easy secret paths,
….Ascends the mountain’s crest

While this proceeds till past mid-day
….The foe are kept in fear ;
Young Brant and fifty Mohawk braves
….Infest the thickets near.

And once this clan of fiercest souls
….Burst forth from green-wood nigh
Upon the foe’s unsheltered lines,
….With wild Plutonian cry.

With frightful yells and arms upraised
….They startling fear produced :
Their hatchets cleaved a score of skulls :
….A score of hearts they sluiced.

Now, Winfield Scott, use well thy nerve ;
….This is no sportive task ;
If thou, thyself, shalt see the night,
….’Tis much of Fates to ask.

And well thou prov’st thy val’rous soul ;
….Thy lines stand firm and fixed ;
Which but for thee and words of thine
….Had with red earth been mixed.

But soon the cloud of Indian braves,
….The wood absorbs again ;
Yet ever more that vengeful force
….Hangs round the wooded plain.

And other help these good friends give,
….They keep the highway clear,
And word is so to Chippewa sent
….—Of battle waging here.

The mid-day hour is now long past ;
….Converging troops are met─
Calm Sheaffe is on the table land
….At place himself had set.

From far Fort George he has his men ;
….Of Forty-Ninth those few,
Who first had made that struggle fierce
….To do what none could do.

From Chippewa now a regular force
….Pour in with soldiers’ zeal
And dauntless good militia troops,
….Whose hearts these hard fates feel.

Brant’s band had been all day at hand ;
….A subtle deadly foe :
And Norton now brings other bands
….In paints of gaudy show.

Now Sheaffe his various force arrayed ;
….First Red Coats take their place :
It mikes the blood run fire to see
….Their gallant martial grace.

These troops have fought o’er half the world :
….No men more proud than they ;
They march with readiest step to death,
….As if to scenic play.

Next Loyalists take place abreast,
….Inornate is their host ;
No handsome uniform they wear ;
….Nor measured step they boast.

Yet they will travel step for step
….All ground the veterans gain ;
And arms of theirs in that red fight
….Will take e’en redder stain.

They would not live as coward knaves
….On soil which once was theirs ;
But while they live their hands shall do
….What freest freeman dares.

They come from scattered dear loved homes
….To take this soldier’s post ;
And each one here his life devotes,
….Nor thinks too much the cost.

And feathered Indians come long side ;
….A semi-savage clan,
They come to vindicate their claim
….To common fame of man.

Their soul is filled with grateful sense,
….For words kind Brock had said
And they will now avenge his shade,
….Or they lie stark and dead.

Chiefs Brant and Norton lead their tribes
….High clamouring for their prey :
And scarce the chiefs have rule enough
….Their forward course to stay.

The final deadly strife begins,─
….Two field guns’ horses fly
Forth on the plain at fullest speed
….The ranks of foes to try.

Their shot makes dangerous strain at least ;
….But Scott steps forth once more,
And waves his hat upon his sword─
….His words his troops restore.

For loud he calls with chieftain’s voice,
….Reminds of country’s fame ;
That here they must by life or death,
….Sustain her splendid name.

The orders now pass on our lines ;
….“ Avenge the General slain ;
Three British cheers ; one musket round ;
….The rest the steel must gain.”

And thrice rang out the wild hurra,─
….Mens’ roar in fighting mood ;
It rolled for miles far o’er the land :
….The cry of blood for blood.

Next flashed a blaze from all our front─
….Then onward moves the mass ;
They step to time with sounding tread,─
….Earth trembles as they pass.

The Red Coats gay with levelled steel
….Move on with martial pace ;
And stern militia, nerved as high,
….Their equal ground do trace.

The Indian braves need not the spur,
….But come with whoop and yell ;
That they have not brave grateful hearts
….No tongue of truth shall tell.

Scott’s men cannot this onset meet─
….They come not here for right ;
They break, re-form, and break again :
….Then rush in headlong flight.

And fierce and furious was that charge─
….A tempest’s thundrous rain ;
It rolled the foe like stubble weak
….Along the darkling plain.

Nor stopped it in its angry sweep
….Till all the hill was crossed ;
And it had pushed o’er eastern rocks
….The panic stricken host.

At river side where woods are thick
….A thousand men now hide ;
One half of these had made good fight,─
….The rest no fight had tried.

And but for Sheaffe’s humanity,
….Which prompt our Indians checked,
A three-fold bloody tragedy
….The invading force had wrecked.

Nine hundred men lay down their arms─
….’Twere vain so placed to fight ;
And grieved and sad they bend to Fate,
….Subdued by Fortune’s blight.

Twelve hundred men on either side
….Upon this field had stood ;
And foes had fallen full three to one,
….Nor yet their stand made good.

Our land is free─has proved its power,─
….It holds its rightful own ;
Our starting point this battle is :
….We here have manhood shown.

Brave, noble Sheaffe, bright crown is thine :
….Thy valorous sage delay
Brought victory back to grace our Flag
….When lost had seemed the day.

And name of Brock shall never die
….While Queenston looks afar ;
’Twill be in all the onward times
….Our upward guiding star.

Fate gave him two and forty years
….To gain the fame be loved ;
And ever in that briefer space
….As demigod he moved.

His fall refined each manly soul
….Of all his mixed command ;
And still he lives in patriot hearts,
….The genius of our land.

In dying he his Flag bore on─
….Straight on, where glory bade ;
It faltered not while in his hands,
….Nor on it fell a shade.

The Spartan King came not from out
….The famous fatal straits ;
But Greeks from him learned how to die :
….What fame on heroes waits.

Achilles died in prime of youth,
….The chief of Homer’s song ;
He rather would for glory die.
….Than unknown life prolong.

Descendants of the Refugees !
….Think how this field was red !
Think how our fathers fighting hard
….Found here a gory bed !

If ye shall basely yield your claim
….To your great heritage,
How vile and weak will be the name
….Ye leave to future age !

The patriot spirits in their graves
….Who died for country’s cause
Would scorn a kindred with such souls,
….Who know not glory’s laws.

Remember U. E. Loyalists
….The glory of this hill !
How raged your fathers ’gainst the foe !
….How stern their patriot will !


Ottawa.                       Crowquill.

Source: The Dominion Illustrated Magazine, vol. IV, No. 89, March 15, 1890

Crowquill is a pseudonym used by poet Rev. Archibald Lampman, Senior, (1822-1897) father of renowned poet Archibald Lampman [Junior]. Lampman senior was an Anglican Minister and a son of United Empire Loyalists who moved from New Jersey after the American Revolution

Many thanks to Arden Phair for bringing this poem to my attention.