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Toil on! toil on! ye ephemeral train,
Who build in the tossing and treacherous main,
Toil on,-for the wisdom of man ye mock,
With your sand-based structures and domes of rock;
Your columns the fathomless fountains lave,
And your arches spring up to the crested wave;
Ye ’re a puny race, thus boldly to rear
A fabric so vast in a realm so drear.

Ye bind the deep with your secret zone,
The ocean is seald, and the surge a stone;
Fresh wreaths from the coral pavement spring,
Like the terraced pride of Assyria's king;
The turf looks green where the breakers roll'd;
O’er the whirlpool ripens the rind of gold;
The sea snatch'd isle is the home of men,
And mountains exult where the wave hath been.



Unperishing Youth!
Thou leapest from forth
The cell of thy hidden nativity;
Never mortal saw
The cradle of the strong one:
Never mortal heard
The gathering of his voices;
The deep murmured charm of the son of the rock,
That is lisped evermore at his slumberless fountain.
There's a cloud at the portal, a spray woven veil
At the shrine of his ceaseless renewing;
It embosoms the roses of dawn,
It entangles the shafts of the noon,
And into the bed of its stillness
The moonshine sinks down as in slumber,
That the son of the rock, that the nursling of heaven,
May be born in a holy twilight!


* What a musical flow in these lines, yet without rhyme!


"Cloud-girdled thunder! embodied storm!

Whether enrobed in vapours dark and dun,
Or looms, magnificent, thy giant form

Through the prismatic broidery of the sun.
Wondrous alike! What floods have swept thy brow

Since the bold plunge of thy primeval wave!
From whose tremendous advent, until now,

Thou hast not paused nor failed. Yon boiling grave
Roars from its depths the song creation gave.”

Standing on the Table Rock, a magnificent amphitheatre of cataracts burst upon my view with appalling suddenness and majesty. However, in a moment the scene was concealed from my eyes by a dense cloud of spray, which involved me so completely that I did not dare to extricate myself. A mingled and thundering rushing filled my ears. I could see nothing except when the wind made a chasm in the spray, and then tremendous cataracts seemed to encompass me on every side; while below, a raging and foaming gulf of undiscoverable extent, lashed the rocks with its hissing waves; and swallowed, under a horrible obscurity, the smoking floods that were precipitated into its bosom.

Proceeding down the river nearly half a mile, I came to a chasm in which was a spiral staircase, about eighty feet in perpendicular height: at the bottom a narrow slippery path leads to the bottom of the Great Fall. The impending cliffs, hung with a profusion of trees and brushwood, over-arch this road, and seem to vibrate with the thunders of the cataract. In some places they rise abruptly to the height of one hundred feet, and display upon their surfaces fossil shells, and the organic remains of a former world; thus sublimely leading the mind to contemplate the convulsions which nature has undergone since the creation. As the traveller advances, he is frightfully stunned by the appalling noise, clouds of spray sometimes envelope him, and suddenly check his faltering steps ; rattlesnakes start from the cavities of the rocks, and the scream of eagles, soaring among the whirlwinds of eddying vapour which obscure the gulf of the cataract, at intervals announce that the raging waters have hurled some bewildered animal over the precipice.

A little way below the Great Fall, the river is, comparatively speaking, so tranquil, that a ferry-boat plies between the Canada and American shores, for the convenience of travellers. When I first crossed, the heaving flood tossed about the skiff with a violence that seemed very alarming; but as soon as we gained the middle of the river, my attention was altogether engaged by the surpassing grandeur of the scene before me. I was now within the area of a semi-circle of cataracts, more than three thousand feet in extent, and floated on the surface of a gulf, raging, fathomless, and interminable. Majestic cliffs, splendid rainbows, lofty trees, and columns of spray were the gorgeous decorations of this theatre of wonders; while a dazzling sun shed refulgent glories upon every part of the scene. Surrounded with clouds of vapour, and stunned into a state of confusion and terror by the hideous noise, I looked upwards to the height of one hundred and fifty feet, and saw vast Hoods, dense, awful, and stupendous, vehemently bursting over the precipice, and rolling down as if the windows of heaven were opened to pour another deluge upon the earth. Loud sounds, resembling discharges of artillery, or volcanic explosions, were now distinguishable amidst the watery tumult, and added terrors to the abyss from which they issued. The sun, looking majestically through the ascending spray, was encircled by a radiant halo; whilst fragments of rainbows floated on every side, and momentarily vanished, only to give place to a succession of others more brilliant. Looking backwards, I saw the Niagara river again become calm and tranquil, rolling magnificently between the towering cliffs that rose on each side, and receiving showers of orient dew-drops from the trees that gracefully overarched its transparent bosom. A gentle breeze ruffled the waters, and beautiful birds fluttered around, as if to welcome its egress from those clouds, thunders, and rainbows, which were the heralds of its precipitation into the abyss of the cataract.-Howison.

Thou flowest on in quiet, till thy waves
Grow broken ’midst the rocks ; thy current, then,
Shoots onward, like the irresistible course
Of destiny. Ah! terribly they rage-
The hoarse and rapid whirlpools there! My brain
Grows wild, my senses wander as I gaze
Upon the hurrying waters, and my sight
Vainly would follow, as toward the verge
Sweeps the wide torrent: waves innumerable
Urge on, and overtake the waves before,
Then disappear in thunder and in foam.
They reach—they leap the barrier ! the abyss
Swallows, insatiable, the sinking waves.
A thousand rainbows arch them, and the woods
Are deafened with the roar. The violent shock
Shatters to vapour the descending sheets:
A cloudy whirlwind fills the gulf, and heaves
The mighty pyramid of circling mist
To heaven.
The Lord hath opened his omnipotent hand,
Covered thy face with clouds, and given his voice
To thy down-rushing waters'; he hath girt
Thy terrible forehead with his radiant bow.
I see thy never-resting waters run,
And I bethink me how the tide of time
Sweeps to eternity.

United States Review,


How does the water come down?

From its fountains

In the mountains,
Through moss and through brake,
It runs and it

For awhile, till it sleeps
In its own little lake.

And thence at departing,
Awakening and starting,
It runs through the reeds
And away it proceeds
Through meadow and glade,
In sun and in shade,
Till in the rapid race

On which it is bent,
It reaches the place

Of its deep descent.
The cataract strong
Then plunges along,
Striking and raging,

As if a war waging,
Its caverns and rocks among.

Rising and leaping,
Sinking and creeping,
Swelling and sweeping,
Showering and springing,
Flying and flinging,
Writhing and ringing,
Eddying and whisking,
Spouting and frisking,
Turning and twisting
Around and around,
With endless rebound;

Confounding, astounding,
Dizzing and deafening the ear with its sound.

Collecting, projecting,
Receding, and speeding;
And shocking and rocking,

* These wonderful lines strikingly display the great copiousness and expressiveness of our language.

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And darting and parting,
And threading and spreading,
And whizzing and hissing,
And dripping and skipping,
And hitting and splitting,
And shining and twining,
And rattling and battling,
And shaking and quaking,
And pouring and roaring,
And waving and raving,
Aud tossing and crossing,
And flowing and glowing,
And running and stunning,
And foaming and roaming,
And dinning and spinning,
And dropping and hopping,
And working and jerking,
And guggling and struggling,
And heaving and cleaving,
And moaning and groaning,
And glittering and frittering,
And gathering and feathering,
And whitening and brightening,
And quivering and shivering,
And hurrying and skurrying,

And thundering and floundering,
Dividing and gliding and sliding,
And falling and brawling and sprawling,
And driving and riving and striving,
And sprinkling and twinkling and wrinkling,
And sounding and bounding and rounding,
And bubbling and troubling and doubling,
And grumbling and rumbling and tumbling,

And clattering and battering and shattering,
Retreating and beating and meeting and sheeting,
Delaying and straying and playing and spraying,
Advancing and prancing and glancing and dancing,
Recoiling, turmoiling, and toiling and boiling,
And gleaming and streaming and steaming and beaming,
And rushing and flushing and brushing and gushing,
And flapping and rapping and clapping and slapping,
And curling and whirling and purling and twirling,
And thumping and plumping and bumping and jumping,
And dashing and flashing and splashing and clashing;
And so never ending, but always descending,
Sounds and motion for ever and ever are blending,
All at once and all o’er, with a mighty uproar,
And in this way the water comes down at Lodore.


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