Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Americas: Vol. XXX. 1876–79.

British America: St. Lawrence (Cadaraqui), the River


By Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

(From To the Lady Charlotte R—wd—n)

I DREAMED not then that, ere the rolling year

Had filled its circle, I should wander here

In musing awe; should tread this wondrous world,

See all its store of inland waters hurled

In one vast volume down Niagara’s steep,

Or calm behold them, in transparent sleep,

Where the blue hills of old Toronto shed

Their evening shadows o’er Ontario’s bed;

Should trace the grand Cadaraqui, and glide

Down the white rapids of his lordly tide

Through massy woods, mid islets flowering fair,

And blooming glades, where the first sinful pair

For consolation might have weeping trod,

When banished from the garden of their God.

O Lady! these are miracles, which man,

Caged in the bounds of Europe’s pygmy span,

Can scarcely dream of,—which his eye must see

To know how wonderful this world can be!

But lo! the last tints of the west decline,

And night falls dewy o’er these banks of pine.

Among the reeds, in which our idle boat

Is rocked to rest, the wind’s complaining note

Dies like a half-breathed whispering of flutes;

Along the wave the gleaming porpoise shoots,

And I can trace him, like a watery star,

Down the steep current, till he fades afar

Amid the foaming breakers’ silvery light,

Where yon rough rapids sparkle through the night.