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THE following attempt to illustrate one of Nature's greatest wonders, and justly the pride of our land, is here laid before you. Its composition, during a season of partial relaxation from the fatiguing duties of a profession, than which none other is more toilsome, was to the author a source of elevated pleasure and mental benefit. Without claiming to have answered in full the demand long made for a Poem of more than ordinary length, truly American in its character, he presents this effort with the humble desire that it may fill that void, at least in a limited degree. Although it should not accomplish the design for which it is offered, it may perhaps incite some more gifted and adventurous spirit to essay the task with better success. This Poem had never been published but for the encouragements of those in whose favorable judgment, expressed without the bias of personal friendship, confidence has been reposed, as being that of men already eminent in the walks of literature. Much has been written hitherto upon Niagara in fugitive verse, but no attempt like this has been made, to present its united wonders as the theme of a single poem. It
seems a bold adventure, and one too hazardous, because of the greatness of the subject, and the obscurity of the bard; but his countrymen are called upon to judge of it with impartiality, and pronounce its life or its death. The author would not shrink from criticism, but rather invites and is ready to submit to, not that which is venom-fanged' and harsh, but just, manly, truthful, and generous. His object has been not so much to describe at length the scenery of Niagara, in order to excite emotions in the reader similar to those of the beholder, for this would be a vain endeavor, as to give a transcript of what passes through the mind of one who is supposed to witness so grand an achievement of Nature. The difficulty with those who visit this wondrous Cataract, is to give utterance to those feelings and thoughts that crowd within, and often, because thus pent up, produce what may be termed the pain of delight. If a responsive affection and kindred sympathy can be evoked towards him, from those in whose hearts, by this production, he would cherish blest sentiments and emotions, that now linger there, or perhaps have ceased to echo, nay, that never before have had a place within, it is all the meed he asks. That the God of Nature and of Heaven may cause this work to honor His name, and that the reader may turn from its perusal with a heart more full of love to Him, to Nature, and to Humanity, is the hope of
MOUNT MORRIS, N. Y.
Introductory apostrophe themes proposed.
Apostrophe to the Fall as a vast
form of life. The presence-chamber of God. The streams their lament-its uselessness. The Torrent like Time. A mourner over men and nations. The Indian-his chase-his death-song-his fall. Apostrophe to the Cataract as a Destroyer-an Historian-a warning Prophet-an oracle of Truth -a Chronicler undying—a tireless Laborer-and unswayed by man. The islandsrefuge-spots-so are some hearts. Winter-the Fall ice-imprisoned. Spring-with a song of Liberty. Apostrophe to Niagara River-passage down its banks. The Cliffs -Death of Hungerford. The Cave of the Winds. The Pinnacle-Rock. The Whirlpool. Apostrophe to the Fall respecting its origin and early life. The Fall's Invocation to the Creative Spirit for the Seasons. Evening and Night. The Hermit of the Fall-his birth-place and character-his strain-his melancholy and aspirations -his strife, disappointment, doom, fearful deed, remorse, and death. The Fall a witness of Redemption. Sunrise-typical of Genius. Hymn of Praise. Noon. The Flood's Invocation. Poet. Musician. The Table-Rock. Beneath the Sheet. The Cataract's hymn to the Creator. Proof of Deity. The Doom of Time, with the Flood's death-dirge and fall. The Farewell to the Cataract.