Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Falls By Any Other Name

"Niagara" by Mary Ann Spooner

Oh I scene of wondrous beauty! Let my soul
Pour its deep tribute unto thee, my God.
Here, at Earth's noble altar, here, where swells
With ceaseless voice that shakes the solid earth,
Though mountain piled thy high transcending praise;
Yea, waves an incense hallowed pure and bright,
As wakes an image of most holy things.
Oh! let the spirit of the glorious scene
Imbue my soul and lift it unto thee!
Here, the deep record of the earth-swept flood,
And thy almighty Power are yet preserved;
And here, long treasured from the eye of faith,
Nature unveils the beauty of our earth.
As from her deep Baptism soft, once more,
Amid rejoicing waves she chastened rose,
The radiant signet, on her happy brow,
Token of peace, of hope, of tender love!
And what a majesty surrounds this scene
That pictures forth the attributes of God!
Yea, shrinks the spirit at the awful view!
The mighty Power that formed, and can destroy;
The spirits Purity, that upward springs;
The vast Eternity we cannot grasp;
And Mercy's coronal that crowns the whole!
On, on, as these delightful waves, may I
My destined course through rapid time pursue,
And yield my spirit at the certain verge,
As prompt, as pure, as spring these parted waves;
My Savior's glories imaged as it rise,
As on this soaring wreath, light's living hues!

I found out about Mary Ann Spooner, a poet and convert to Catholicism, in a blog post by Pat McNamara. She wrote the above poem at the Falls on August 4, 1829. Did you know Niagara Falls are actually three different falls? There is the American Falls on the left, the Bridal Falls in the middle, and the Canadian/ Horseshoe Falls on the right. The word "Niagara" is derived from the Iroquois Indian word "Onguiaahra," which means "the strait." Also, the first person to go over the Falls in a barrel and survive was a 63 year old female schoolteacher!

Here's my family at the Falls a few years ago:

Most of us, before the boat ride started
Looking at the Falls
My sister and brother at the wettest point
Happy Thursday!

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