An Acrostic by Alexander Douglas

An Acrostic Poem by Alexander Douglas

Written at Niagara Falls, Upper Canada, 29th June, 1839 

A  re not those Falls magnificent, divine ?
L  oud do they roar ; and, from this lot of mine,
E  xceeding beauteous is the view ; they roll,
‘X  citing wonder to the human soul ;
A  nd here, within this calm, this cool retreat,
N  ow each may have his fill, something to eat,
D  runk he may be, but that I don’t allow,
E  ‘en why ? ‘gainst drunkenness I’ve made a vow.
R  ight forward I will go, my place maintain ;
D  o not be frightened if my will is vain,
O  ! may my friends, both English and all those
U  nto our land who sometimes cause some woes,
G  ive God the praise, whilst yonder waters shine ;
L  ord, Thou mad’st these, thy handwork is divine.
A  nd many Canadians and our neighbours prove
S  uch friends, that all our acts be those of love.

Clifton Cottage, Niagara Falls

Source: Brock University. Ann Eliza Hepburne Rooth Fonds, 1837-1897  RG 505

From Brock University’s description of the scrapbook:

Ann Eliza Hepburne was born in Chippawa, Ontario in 1821 to William Hepburne and Susan Shannon. In 1842, she married William Anthony Rooth in St. James Cathedral in Toronto. They continued to live in different parts of the Niagara region including Drummondville, Welland and Port Colborne. William was the editor and proprietor of the Drummondville Reporter as well as an accountant and insurance agent, and later worked for the Customs Service in Port Colborne. He died in 1878, and Eliza in 1899. Both are buried in Drummond Hill Cemetery in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Alexander Douglas uses his own name as the base for this poem.

Acrostic by Anonymous

Barnett’s Table Rock House and Museum and the Prince of Wales Arch, 1860. Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

N  ature’s great masterpiece  ! how feeble man
I   n vain essays of thee and thine to tell —
A  ll wondrous as thou art — a mighty plan —
G  reat, glorious, grand and indescribable !
A  nd fain would measure thee with pigmy span !
“R efrain,” each object cries — “Lay down thy rod,
A  nd look thro’ Nature, up to Nature’s God.

August 18, 1834

Source: Dr. Thomas Rolph. A Brief Account, Together With Observations, Made During a Visit in the West Indies, and a Tour Through the United States of America, in Parts of the Years 1832-3; Together With a Statistical Account of Upper Canada. Dundas, U.C. : G. Heyworth Hackstaff, Printer, 1836.

Rolph mentions this acrostic poem was written in the Table Rock Album; it is not published in Thomas & Lathrop’s excerpts from the Table Rock Album. Rolph would have been looking at the original. See the Table of Contents of the Table Rock Albums