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ing against hidden and projecting rocks. The descent of the rapids is probably not less than one hundred feet within the last mile, and the noise and confusion of the water are only surpassed by the fall itself.
8. While at a very great distance, a volume of clouds may be observed hovering over the falls. In a clear day they appear very high and white, while, on the contrary, in heavy, cloudy weather, they sink lower and acquire a smoky appearance. These clouds proceed from the vapours arising from the spray caused by the dashing of the waters.
9. As you proceed down the river on the American side, Goat Island, which divides the falls, is seen at no great distance on the left. The river between is full of rocks, and here and there you perceive considerable lodgments of drifted wood, apparently waiting for a rise of the river, in order to launch themselves over the falls.
10. You may approach equally as near the falling sheet on this as on the opposite side of the river, and by taking a proper station in the morning of a clear day,you will behold. beneath your feet a beautiiul & variegated rainbow,stretching from shore to shore, and perpetually rolling as if it intended to confound all its brilliant colours into one confused mass, while each still remains separate and distinct.
11. You may advance so near to the cataract on eitherside as to wash your hands in the falling water, but in a few minutes you will be wet to the skin. This is owing to the abundance of vapour which is continually falling, and this constant humidity has covered the rocks below the falls with a luxuriant growth of grass, sometimes of extraordinary length.
12. The river is about a mile wide at the falls. Goat Island, which divides the falls, contains about twenty acres of land, and is situated nearest the American side. A passage to this island was accidentally discovered severalyears ago, and many were sufficiently adventurous to visit it. Through the exertions of a distinguished individual who resides near the spot, the difficulties are now removed and a passage to the island or a descent to the bottom of the falls is easily performed.:
13. The falls are daily making inroads on this island as
well as on the banks and general foundation of the river. There is a tradition of another small island, near that just mentioned, and it is entitled to some credit, as eight or ten large rocks, lying very near the edge of the falls, are still perceptible, and are probably the last fragments of the little island alluded to.
14. From the greater body of water passing off on the Canada side, the rocks, or foundation of the falls, are subject to greater inroads an on the other part. It is even conjectured, from the appearance of the river below the falls that they were once several miles lower down, but as their situation has not materially altered since they were first discovered by Europeans, so great a change could not have taken place unless caused by some tremendous convulsion of nature.
15. The falls, when seen from Goat Island, have the appearance of an irregular horse-shoe, with one side of the curve longer than the other, the longest being on the Ameican side. Two miles below the falls is a very singular whirlpool, caused by an abrupt turn of the river, which, from the depression of its centre, has the appearance of water in a huge tunnel.
16. Trees of one hundred feet in length, with a greatpart of their branches, are here frequently seen spinning round, until by constant friction, or coming in contact with each other, they are at length broken to pieces. Sometimes they are drawn under and disappear a few minutes, and then show themselves again and resume their former circular motion; while at other times they disappear altogether.
17. It has been asserted by some writers that the force of the current caused the sheet to project so far beyond a perpendicular,that a man at the bottom might walk between the falling sheet and the rocks. But later travellers, after repeated experiments, assert that the compression of air between the water and the rocks is so great, that no living creature ever has or ever can pass betwixt them.
18. Immediately below the falls are several small eddies, where there is excellent fishing; but the difficulty of ascending and descending is too great to compensate an ordinary sportsman. Along the shore are found many curious pieces of timber deposited by the high water, as it
were for samples of the forms and varieties which are continually ground in the great water works of Niagara.
19. Various accounts have been given of the height of the great pitch, but the only instance of actual measurement which we have known, is recorded in a manuscript tour to the falls of Niagara in the year 1806. The author provided himself with a line, which was lowered from the edge of Table Rock, and held perpendicularly by a person below. The line, which, after all allowance for shrinking, measured 176 feet, has since been deposited in the collec tion of a literary institution.
MESSIAH, A SACRED ECLOGUE.
YE nymphs of Solyma! begin the song
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
2. Rapt into future times, the bard begun;
3. Ye heav'ns, from high the dewy nectar pour,
4. Swift fly the years, and rise th' expected morn; Oh spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born! See nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring, With all the incense of the breathing spring; See lofty Lebanon his head advance, See nodding forests on the mountains dance, 15*
See spicy clouds from lowly Sharon rise,
5. Hark, a glad voice the lonely desert cheers! Prepare the way! a God, a God appears! A God, a God! the vocal hills reply, 'The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity.
6. Lo! earth receives him from the bending skies!
7. He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
3. No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear,
9. As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
10. No more shall nation agamst nation rise,
11. Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son Shall finish what his short liv'd sire begun; Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield, And the same hand that sow'd shall reap the field. 12. The swain in barren deserts with surprise, See lillies spring, and sudden verdure rise.
And start, amidst the thirsty wilds, to hear
13. On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes,
14. The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead,
15. Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise!!
16. See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings,
17. No more the rising sun shall glid the morn,
18. The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,