« PreviousContinue »
In the heave of the surge, than ever stole
From mortal ministrel's hand.
There's mighty music in the roar
Of the oaks on the mountain's side, When the whirlwind bursts on their foreheads hoar,
And the lightnings flash blue and wide.
There's mighty music in the swell
Of winter's midnight waveWhen all above is the thunder-peal,
And all below is the grave.
There's music in the mournful swing
Of the lonely village-bell;
Released by its solemn knell.
There's music in the forest stream,
As it plays through the deep ravine, Where never summer's breath or beam
Has pierced its woodland screen.
There's music in the thundering sweep
Of the mountain waterfall,
From the brow of its marble wall.
There's music in the dawning morn,
Ere the lark his pinion dries— 'Tis the rush of the breeze through the dewy corn,
Through the garden's perfumed dyes.
There's music in the twilight cloud,
As the clanging wild swans spring;
As homeward the screaming ravens crowd,
Like squadrons upon the wing.
There's music in the depth of night,
When the world is still and dim,
Like thrones of the Cherubim.
If ever you should come to Modena,
'Tis of a lady in her earliest youth,
when far away.
But then her faceSo lovely-yet so arch—so full of mirth, The overflowings of an innocent heart
It haunts me still, though many a year has filed,
Alone it hangs
you have heard the tale they told me there.
Just as she looks there in her bridal dress,
Great was the joy; but at the nuptial feast,
Weary of his life,
Full fifty years were past, and all forgotten,
There had she found a grave!
THE FALLS OF NIAGARA.
THE Table Rock, from which the falls of the Niagara may be contemplated in all their grandeur, lies on an exact level with the edge of the cataract on the Canada side, and indeed forms a part of the precipice over which the water gushes. To gain this position, it is necessary to descend a steep
bank, and to follow a path that winds among shrubbery and trees, which entirely conceal from the eye the scene that awaits him who traverses it. When near the termination of this road, a few steps carried me beyond all these obstructions, and 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 foamy 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.
At first the sky was obscured by clouds, but after a few minutes the sun burst forth, and the breeze subsiding at the same time, permitted the spray to ascend perpendicularly. A host of pyramidal clouds rose majestically, one after another from the abyss at the bottom of the Fall; and each, when it had ascended a little above the edge of the cataract, displayed a beautiful rainbow, which in a few moments was gradually transferred into the bosom of the cloud that immediately succeeded. The spray of the Great Fall had extended itself through a wide space directly over me, and, receiving the full influence of the sun, exhibited a luminous and magnificent rainbow, which continued to overarch and irradiate the spot on which I stood, while I enthusiastically contemplated the indescribable scene.
After leaving the Table Rock, the traveller must proceed down the river nearly half a mile, where he will come to a small chasm in the bank, in which there is a spiral staircase inclosed in a wooden building. By descending the stair, which is seventy or eighty feet perpendicular height, he