« ÎnapoiContinuă »
hour of toil that ever made these good and great men weary. A wanderer from the most distant and barbarous nation on earth cannot come here without finding the graves of his benefactors. Those who love science and truth, and long for the day when perfect freedom of thought and action shall be the common heritage of man, will feel grateful, as they stand under these arches, for all the struggles, and all the trials to enlighten and emancipate the world, which the great who here rest from their labors have so nobly endured.
And, above all, the scholar, who has passed his best years in study, will here find the graves of his teach
He has long worshiped their genius; he has gathered inspiration and truth from their writings; they have made his solitary hours, which to other men are a dreary waste, like the magical gardens of Armida, “whose enchantments arose amid solitude, and whose solitude was every
those enchantments." The scholar may wish to shed his tears alone, but he cannot stand by the graves of his masters in Westminster Abbey without weeping: they are tears of love and gratitude.
Old structure! Round thy solid form
And centuries roll'd their tide;
The grave of human pride.
Erect, immovable, sublime,
On the bold Saxon's sight;
“The royal anchorite.”
Mysterious form, thy old gray wall
And felt the mighty beat
It scatter'd at thy feet.
'Tis vanished ! “like a morning cloud”— The throne, the king, the shouting crowd,
And here I stand alone;
A low, perpetual moan,
As generations vast
That covers all the past.
Two stern and haughty foes :
Is hush'd in long repose.
THE FALLS OF NIAGARA.
APPROACHING the falls from Buffalo on the Canadian shore, the first indication of our proximity to them was a hoarse rumbling, which was scarcely audible at the distance of four or five miles, but which opened on the ear, as we advanced, with increasing roar, until, at the distance of two miles, it became loud as the voice of many waters.
A column of mist in the mean time ascending, as smoke from a pit, marked more definitely than sound could do, the exact position of this scene of wonders. The sublime arising from obscurity, was now experienced in all its power; it did not appear what we should see, but imagination seized the moment to elevate and fill the mind with expectation and majestic dread.
Within a mile of the falls the river rolls smoothly along in rapid silence, as if unconscious of its approaching destiny, till at once, across its entire channel, it falls the apparent distance of ten or twelve feet, when instantly its waters are thrown into consternation and foam, and they boil, and whirl, and run in every direction, as if filled with instinctive dread. At this place the shores recede, and allow the terrified waters to spread out in shallows over an extent twice as broad as the natural channel of the river.
A portion of the waters, as if hoping to escape, rushes between the American shore and the island, (whose brow forms a part of the continued cliff, which
on either side constitutes the falls,) and too late to retreat, discovering the mistake, hurries down the precipice, and is dashed on the rocks below. This is the highest part of the fall, and the most nearly approaching to the beautiful; the waters being shallow, and the sheet entirely white below.
Another large sheet of contiguous waters on the other side of the island, undecoyed by appearances, and apparently desperate by an infallible premonition, attempts no evasion, but, with tumult and roar, rushes on, and thunders down the precipice which stretches about half across to the Canadian shore.
The rest and largest portion of the river, as if terrified at the fate of its kindred waters, retires a little ; but scarcely is the movement made, before the deep declivities of the river's bed summon the dispersion of waters into one deep, dark flood, which rolls its majestic tide upon the destruction below.
The shallow waters which as yet have escaped, cling terrified to the Canadian shore, reconnoitering every nook and corner, in quest of some way to escape; but their search is fruitless, and they come round at length reluctantly, and are dashed down upon the death they had so long struggled to escape.
It is at the junction of these two sides of the cataract, nearly in the form of two sides of a triangle, rounded at the point, that the most powerful sheet of water falls. The depth of the water in the channel above, and as it bends over the precipice, cannot, from the nature of the case, be ascertained; I should judge from the appearance, that it might be from fifteen to
The color of the part of the stream above the fall is black. As it bends over the cliff and descends, at the intersection of the two sides, and for several rods on either hand, it becomes a deep and beautiful green, which continues till the column is lost in the cloud of mist that ascends before it.
With respect to the impression made by the first view of the falls, it may be observed that whoever approaches them anticipating amazement at the descent of the waters from a giddy height, will be disappointed. It is the multiiude of the waters, and their power, as they roll, and foam, and thunder, which arrests the step, suspends the breath, dilates the eye, lifts the hand, and fills the soul with wonder.
It seems to be the good pleasure of God, that men shall learn his omnipotence by evidence addressed to the senses as well as to the understanding, and that there shall be on earth continual illustrations of his mighty power. Of creation we are ascertained by faith, not by sight; the heavenly bodies, though vast, are distant, and roll silently in their courses. But the earth by its quakings, the volcano by its fires, the ocean by its mountain waves, and the floods of Niagara by their matchless power and ceaseless thunderings, proclaim to the eye, and to the ear, and to the heart, the omnipotence of God.
From their far distant sources and multitudinous dispersions, He called them into the capacious reservoirs of the north, and bid them hasten their accumulating tide to this scene of wonders; and for ages the obedient waters have rolled and thundered his praise. It is, as has been stated, where the two lines of the