Emily Helena Crummer Lodge by Anonymous

Emily Helena Crummer Lodge, 1828-1864.
Image courtesy of Michelle Ann Kratts

Her grave with spreading briar is grown,
And most the name o’er wends,
Upon the shattered fallen stone,
That tells of home and friends;

Are British hearts, so hard and cold,
And dead to Love’s bequest,
That Valor’s child forgotten sleeps,
In Stangers’ Rest?

O roll, Niagara’s mighty wave,
Sing to her in her dreams,
With tears of spray bedew her grave,
And sunlight flood with beams,

O birds at morn sing sweetly there,
Beside your happy rest,
And stars of night look kindly down,
In Strangers’ Rest.

Source:  Kratts, Michelle Ann. The Missed: Tales of Spirit & Tragic End at Niagara Falls.  2013.  Originally published in the Niagara Falls Gazette, August 1891.

The inscription states that Lodge “died many years ago at the Cataract House” hotel. Records indicate that she died in October 1864. For information about Lodge see chapter 2 of the Death Sketches section of The Missed by Michelle Ann Kratts

Lodge is buried in the Strangers’ Rest (also known as Travelers’ Rest) section of the Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls, NY. See the grave record of Emily Helena Crummer Lodge

Fairview Cemetery by Shie Sirianni

Fairview Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Image courtesy of the City of Niagara Falls

I walk alone, eyes downcast
seeking paths of fallen leaves,
to disguise the sound
of breaking armour.
Cemeteries in the fall
are good places for disguise.
I can lie there,
surrounded by stone confessors,
and speak aloud
all that is in me.
Joy, sorrow,
goodness and sin.
There is no forgiveness,
or absolution offered.

They are not my pardoners.

They are just marks left for others,
who perhaps, like me,
spent troubled times there,
before making it their home.

Source:  Shie Sirianni published this poem in Captured Essence: Niagara Poetry Anthology, vol. 11St. Catharines: Canadian Authors Association, Niagara Branch, 1995

With thanks to Arden Phair who pointed out this poem by Shie Sirianni to the Niagara Falls Poetry Project curator.

Rest! by William H. C. Hosmer

Cemetery at Fort Niagara, in the midst of a gravestone cleaning project. Image courtesy of New York State Parks

A  few rods from the barrier-gate of Fort Niagara was the burying-ground. It was filled with memorials
of the mutability and brevity of human life, and over the portals of entrance was painted, in large and emphatic characters, the word ‘Rest’ — Judge De Veaux.

Earth, upon her ample face,
Boasts no sweeter burial-place
Than a small enclosure green,
Near an ancient fortress seen ;
Mossy head-stones here and there
Names of fallen warriors bear,
But no eulogistic phrase,
Cut on rock, that meets the gaze,
Can our reverence command,
Like that brief inscription grand,
On the portal arch impressed —

River wide, and mighty lake
For the dead an anthem wake,
And with old, forgotten graves
Well comports the wash of waves,
Motto of the hallowed ground
Murmuring with solemn sound ;
Birds that by like spirits pass,
Winds that murmur in the grass,
Seem repeating evermore
That one word the gateway o’er,
Word that haunts a troubled breast—

Pilgrim, for a moment wait
Near the narrow entrance gate,
And one word peruse — no more —
Boldly traced the portals o’er ;
Mortal heart was never stirred
By a more emphatic word ;
One with deeper meaning fraught,
Or the power to quicken thought ;
Sermon, hymn, and funeral lay,
Eloquence the soul to sway,
In four letters are compressed —

Source:  Hosmer, William H.C.  The Poetical Works of William H.C. Hosmer. New York: Redfield, 1854

See casual references to Niagara in other poems by Hosmer

Read about William Howe Cuyler Hosmer

Old Fort Niagara website

Lines Written in Drummond Hill Cemetery by Ada Elizabeth Fuller

(The site of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane in 1814)

Gravestone of Robert Randall, Drummond Hill Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Gravestone of Robert Randall, Drummond Hill Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ontario. Photo courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

The brooding voice of spring is in the air,
The mighty winds are hushed, are very still;
Within a burial ground I wind my way 
A sunny place upon a sunny hill.

I fain would read a legend here and there,
But Time has passed with his erasing hand;
And, on the battered stones that head these graves,
The half-intelligible letters stand.

The peace of God, which no man understands,
Beams kindly down upon the greening sod,
And, underneath, where sacred ashes lie
Of those whove gone before to meet their God.

Full many an unknown spirit lies at peace
With heart against the earths warm heart close-pressed:
Their dust, as ashes of the rose that lie,
Its perfume gone, fallen to earths soft breast.

The summer sky is kind to all alike,
And over all the skies are fair and clear;
And, in the solemn stillness of this hour,
It seems as if I were intruding here.

But no resentment these poor ashes feel,
For God has called their souls from here below;
And in this hour He speaks to my lone soul —
He seems to call and I could wish twere so.

But God has measured out my length of days,
And His sweet will is all in all to me.
O Father, guide my thoughts, my life, my soul,
To thy great glory, till Thou callest me!

Source: Kevin McCabe, ed. The Poetry of Old Niagara. St. Catharines, Ont. : Blarney Stone Books, 1999.

Originally published: Ada Elizabeth Fuller. Sunshine and Shadow. Niagara Falls, 1919.

Click to see more poems about the Battle of Lundy’s Lane and other Poems of the War of 1812 in Niagara