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Waterfall Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Waterfall by Hannah Flagg Gould
  2. Niagra by Adelaide Crapsey
  3. The Fall of Niagra by John Brainard
  4. Niagra by John B. Tabb
  5. Niagra by Edith Franklin Wyatt
  6. The Waterfall by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
  7. The Cataract of Lodore by Robert Southey

  1. The Waterfall

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Ye mighty waters, that have joined your forces,
    Roaring and dashing with this awful sound,
    Here are ye mingled; but the distant sources
    Whence ye have issued, where shall they be found?

    Who may retrace the ways that ye have taken,
    Ye streams and drops? who separate you all,
    And find the many places ye've forsaken,
    To come and rush together down the fall?

    Through thousand, thousand paths have ye been roaming,
    In earth and air, who now each other urge
    To the last point! and then, so madly foaming,
    Leap down at once, from this stupendous verge.

    Some in the lowering cloud a while were centred,
    That in the stream beheld its sable face,
    And melted into tears, that falling entered
    With sister waters on the sudden race.

    Others, to light that beamed upon the fountain,
    Have from the vitals of the rock been freed,
    In silver threads, that, shining down the mountain,
    Twined off among the verdure of the mead.

    And many a flower that bowed beside the river,
    In opening beauty, ere the dew was dried,
    Shook by the breeze, has been an early giver
    Of her pure offering to the rolling tide.

    Thus from the veins, through earth's dark bosom pouring,
    Many have flowed in tributary streams;
    Some, in the bow that bent, the sun adoring,
    Have shone in colors borrowed from his beams.

    But He, who holds the ocean in the hollow
    Of his strong hand, can separate you all!
    His searching eye the secret way will follow,
    Of every drop that hurries to the fall!

    We are like you, in mighty torrents mingled,
    And speeding downward to one common home,
    Yet there's an eye that every drop hath singled,
    And marked the winding ways through which we come.

    Those who have here adored the Sun of heaven,
    And shown the world their brightness drawn from him,
    Again before him, though their hues be seven,
    Shall blend their beauty, never to grow dim.

    We bless the promise, as we thus are tending
    Down to the tomb, that gives us hope to rise,
    Before the Power to whom we now are bending,
    To stand his bow of glory in the skies!

  2. Niagra

    by Adelaide Crapsey

    Seen on a Night in November

    How frail
    Above the bulk
    Of crashing water hangs,
    Autumnal, evanescent, wan,
    The moon.

  3. The Fall of Niagra

    by John Brainard

    "Labitur et labetur."

    The thoughts are strange that crowd into my brain,
    While I look upward to thee. It would seem
    As if GOD poured thee from his "hollow hand,"
    And hung his bow upon thine awful front;
    And spoke in that loud voice, which seemed to him
    Who dwelt in Patmos for his Saviour's sake,
    "The sound of many waters"; and had bade
    Thy flood to chronicle the ages back,
    And notch His cent'ries in the eternal rocks.

    Deep calleth unto deep. And what are we,
    That hear the question of that voice sublime?
    O! what are all the notes that ever rung
    From war's vain trumpet, by thy thundering side!
    Yea, what is all the riot man can make
    In his short life, to thy unceasing roar!
    And yet, bold babbler, what art thou to HIM,
    Who drowned a world, and heaped the waters far
    Above its loftiest mountains? — a light wave,
    That breaks, and whispers of its Maker's might.

  4. Niagra

    by John B. Tabb

    Where echo ne'er hath found
    A footing on the steep,
    Descends, without a sound,
    The cataract of sleep.

    Like swallows in the spray,
    When evening is near,
    The thronging thoughts of day
    About the brink appear;

    Till greets a heaven below
    A sister heaven above,
    Alike with stars aglow
    Of unextinguished love.

  5. Niagara

    by Edith Franklin Wyatt

    Cool the crystal mist is falling where my song is calling, calling
    Over highland, over lowland, fog-blown bluff, and bouldered shore:
    Proud my snow-rapt currents leaping from Superior's green keeping,
    Down from Michigan's gray sweeping toward the Rapids' eddied floor.

    Rain, hail, dew, and storm cloud swing me; from the heights the hollows wring me;
    Filtered clay and field silt bring me silent through the dark-breathed loam,
    Down the thousand-terraced highlands till the sky-land lake beds wing me—
    Flying down and down in beauty through the chasm's flocking foam.

    Down from Huron, down from Erie, though the wild duck's wing grow weary,
    Tribe and nation part and vanish like the spindrift haze of morn,
    Fresh my full-fold song is falling and my voice is calling, calling
    Down from far-poured lake and highland as I sang when I was born.

    South, North, East, and West untiring speak my brother seas in splendor,
    Tell their dominant desiring, claimant over coast and main.
    Mine the chairing of a woman's chord immortal, of surrender—
    Of the splendor of desiring, deep to give and give again.

    Chord of star-fused loam and silver-surgent lake cloud's generation,
    Here I sing the earth's still dreaming down my green-poured currents' length,
    Voice of river-rocking valleys, rich heart plains, and heights' creation,
    Clear-veiled chord that locked in you your mother's life, your father's strength.

    Cool the fog-flocked mists are swinging. Soar, my dream; and silver winging,
    Call my air-hung music ringing, toward the crystal-buoyed morn—
    Full-fold music from the highlands, where my splendor's voice is singing.
    Fresh from flooded shores and sky lands as I sang when I was born.

  6. The Waterfall

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    I went to see a waterfall
    When days were dull of song.
    And to its jubilant wild voice
    I listened deep and long.

    I thought that it would loose my dreams,
    But, ah, it could not free
    My bound heart, for it sang so loud
    It drowned the song in me.

  7. The Cataract of Lodore

    by Robert Southey

    "How does the water
    Come down at Lodore?"
    My little boy asked me
    Thus, once on a time;
    And moreover he tasked me
    To tell him in rhyme.
    Anon, at the word,
    There first came one daughter,
    And then came another,
    To second and third
    The request of their brother,
    And to hear how the water
    Comes down at Lodore,
    With its rush and its roar,
    As many a time
    They had seen it before.
    So I told them in rhyme,
    For of rhymes I had store;
    And 'twas in my vocation
    For their recreation
    That so I should sing;
    Because I was Laureate
    To them and the King.

    From its sources which well
    In the tarn on the fell;
    From its fountains
    In the mountains,
    Its rills and its gills;
    Through moss and through brake,
    It runs and it creeps
    For a while, 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,
    And through the wood-shelter,
    Among crags in its flurry,
    Here it comes sparkling,
    And there it lies darkling;
    Now smoking and frothing
    Its tumult and wrath in,
    Till, in this rapid race
    On which it is bent,
    It reaches the place
    Of its steep 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:
    Smiting and fighting,
    A sight to delight in;
    Confounding, astounding,
    Dizzying and deafening the ear with its sound.

    Collecting, projecting,
    Receding and speeding,
    And shocking and rocking,
    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,
    And tossing and crossing,
    And flowing and going,
    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 motions for ever and ever are blending
    All at once and all o'er, with a mighty uproar,—
    And this way the water comes down at Lodore.

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