Selections from the American poets
William Cullen Bryant

THE FALL OF NIAGARA.

Labitur et labetur.
THE thoughts are strange that crowd into my brain
While I look upward to thee. It would seem
As if God pour'd thee from his "hollow hand,"
And hung his bow upon thine awful front;
And spoke in that loud voice, which seem'd 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.
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Deep calleth unto deep. And what are we,
That hear the question of that voice sublime?
Oh! 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 drown'd a world, and heap'd the waters far
Above its loftiest mountains? a light wave
That breaks, and whispers of its Maker's might.