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النشر الإلكتروني


Up to the Table-Rock, where the great flood
Reveals its fullest glory. To the verge
Of its appalling battlement draw near,
And gaze below. Or if thy spirit fail,
Creep stealthily, and snatch a trembling glance
Into the dread abyss.

What there thou see'st
Shall dwell for ever in thy secret soul,
Finding no form of language.

The vexed deep, Which from the hour that Chaos heard the voice "Let there be light," hath known nor pause, nor rest, Communeth through its misty cloud with Him Who breaks it on the wheel of pitiless rock, Yet heals it every moment. Bending near, 'Mid all the terror, as an angel-friend, The rainbow walketh in its company

With perfect orb full-rounded. Dost thou cling
Thus to its breast, a Comforter, to give
Strength in its agony, thou radiant form,
Born of the trembling tear-drop, and the smile
Of sun, or glimmering moon?

Yet from a scene So awfully sublime, our senses shrink,

And fain would shield them at the solemn base
Of the tremendous precipice, and glean
Such hallowed thoughts as blossom in its shade.

This is thy building, Architect Divine!
Who heav'dst the pillars of the Universe.
Up, without noise, the mighty fabric rose,
And to the clamour of the unresting gulf
For ever smiting on its ear of rock
With an eternal question, answereth nought.
Man calls his vassals forth, with toil and pain;
Stone piled on stone, the pyramid ascends,
Yet ere it reach its apex-point, he dies,
Nor leaves a chiselled name upon his tomb.
The vast cathedral grows, with deep-groined arch,
And massy dome, slow reared, while race on race
Fall like the ivy sere, that climbs its walls,
The imperial palace towers, the triumph arch,
And the tall fane that tells a hero's praise
Uplift their crowns of fretwork haughtily.
But lo! the Goth doth waste them, and his herds
The Vandal pastures mid their fallen pride.
But thou, from age to age, unchanged hast stood,
Even like an altar to Jehovah's name,
Silent, and stedfast, and immutable.
Niagara and the storm-cloud!

To the peal Of their united thunder, rugged rocks Amazed reverberate, through depths profound Streams the red lightning, while the loftiest trees Bow, and are troubled. Shuddering earth doth hide In midnight's veil; and even the ethereal mind

Which hath the seed of immortality
Within itself,- -not undismayed, beholds
This fearful tumult of the elements.

Old Ocean meets the tempest and is wroth,
And in his wrath destroys. The wrecking ship,
The sea-boy stricken from the quaking mast,
The burning tear wrung from many a home,
To which the voyager returns no more,
Attest the fury of his vengeful mood.
But thou, Niagara, know'st no passion-gust;
Thy mighty bosom, from the sheeted rain,
Spreads not itself to sudden boastfulness,
Like the wild torrent in its shallow bed.
Thou art not angry, and thou changest not.
Man finds in thee no emblem of himself:
The cloud depresseth him, the adverse blast
Rouseth the billows of his discontent,
The wealth of summer-showers inflates his pride,
And with the simple faith and love of Him
Who made him from the dust, he mingleth much
Of his own vain device. Perchance, even here,
Neath all the sternness of thy strong rebuke,
Light fancies fill him, and he gathereth straws
Or plaiteth rushes, or illusive twines
Garlands of hope, more fragile still than they.

But in one awful voice, that ne'er has known Change or inflection since the morn of time, Thou utterest forth that One Eternal Name, Which he who graves not on his inmost soul Will find his proudest gatherings, as the dross That cannot profit.

Thou hast ne'er forgot

Thy lesson, or been weary, day or night,
Nor with its simple, elemental thought
Mixed aught of discord.

Teacher, sent from God,
We bow us to thy message, and are still.
Oh! full of glory, and of majesty,
With all thy terrible apparel on,
High-priest of Nature, who within the veil,
Mysterious, unapproachable dost dwell,
With smoke of incense ever streaming up,
And round thy breast, the folded bow of heaven,
Few are our words before thee.

For 'tis meet That even the mightiest of our race should stand Mute in thy presence, and with childlike awe, Disrobed of self, adore his God through thee.

"Deep calleth unto deep, at the noise of thy waterspouts." Most appositely did the poet Brainerd, in his beautiful apostrophe to Niagara, quote from the inspired Minstrel, "deep calleth unto deep." Simple and significant also was its Indian appellation, the "water-thunderer." To the wandering son of the


"Whose untutored mind

Saw God in clouds, or heard him in the wind,"

it forcibly suggested the image of that Great Spirit, who in darkness and storm sends forth from the skies a mighty voice.

The immense volume of water, which distinguishes Niagara from all other cataracts, is seldom fully realized by the casual visitant. Transfixed by his emotions,

he forgets that he sees the surplus waters of these vast inland seas, Superior, Huron, Michigan, and Erie, arrested in their rushing passage to the ocean by a fearful barrier of rock, 160 feet in height. He scarcely recollects that the tributaries to this river or strait cover a surface of 150,000 miles. Indeed how can he bow his mind to aught of arithmetical computation, when in the presence of this monarch of floods.

Niagara river flows from south to north, and is two miles in width when it issues from Lake Erie. It is majestic and beautiful in its aspect, and spreads out at Grand Island to a breadth of three miles, like a mirrored lake. At the Falls it is less than a mile broad, and after emerging from its terrible abyss flows on of a dark green or violet colour, until it reaches the whirlpool. There, compressed to between 500 and 600 feet, it rushes upon a bed of sharp rocks, boiling and breaking with great volocity and suction. After many curves, it regains its original course, and having cleared itself of every conflict and trouble, glides with a placid loveliness to the bosom of Ontario. Altogether it is a most noble river. Sprinkled with many islands, of a depth of 200 or 300 feet, and in some places unfathomable, it flows between banks sometimes 500 feet in height, having a descent of nearly 350 feet from its efflux at Erie, to its junction with Ontario. Not like those streams, which at some seasons run low in their channels, and at others swollen with a "little brief authority," inundate the surrounding country, it preserves the uniform characteristics of power and majesty.

The Rapids commence about three quarters of a mile above the Falls. The river, after passing Grand

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