The Falls Of The Chaudië"re, Ottawa Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


I have laid my cheek to Nature's placed my puny hand in hersA
Felt a kindred spirit warming all the life blood of my faceB
Moved amid the very foremost of her truest worshippersA
Studying each curve of beauty marking every minute graceB
Loved not less the mountain cedar than the flowers at its feetC
Looking skyward from the valley open lipped as if in prayerD
Felt a pleasure in the brooklet singing of its wild retreatC
But I knelt before the splendour of the thunderous Chaudi reE
All my manhood waked within me every nerve had tenfold forceF
And my soul stood up rejoicing looking on with cheerful eyesG
Watching the resistless waters speeding on their downward courseF
Titan strength and queenly beauty diademed with rainbow dyesG
Eye and ear with spirit quickened mingled with the lovely strifeH
Saw the living Genius shrined within her sanctuary fairD
Heard her voice of sweetness singing peered into her hidden lifeH
And discerned the tuneful secret of the jubilant Chaudi reE
Within my pearl roofed shellI
Whose floor is woven with the iris brightJ
Genius and Queen of the Chaudi re I dwellI
As in a world of immaterial lightJ
My throne an ancient rockK
Marked by the foot of ages long departedL
My joy the cataract's stupendous shockK
Whose roll is music to the grateful heartedL
I've seen the eras glideM
With muffled tread to their eternal dreamsN
While I have lived in vale and mountain sideM
With leaping torrents and sweet purling streamsN
The Red Man's active lifeH
His love pride passions courage and great deedsO
His perfect freedom and his thirst for strifeH
His swift revenge at which the memory bleedsO
The sanguinary yearsP
When sullen Terror like a raging FateQ
Swept down the stately tribes like slaughtered deersP
And war and hatred joined to decimateQ
The remnants of the raceP
And spread decay through centuries of painR
No more I mark their sure avenging paceP
And forests wave where war whoops shook the plainR
Their deeds I envied notS
The royal tyrant on his purple throneT
I in secluded grove or shady grotS
Had purer joys than he had ever knownT
God made the ancient hillsP
The valleys and the solemn wildernessesP
The merry hearted and melodious rillsP
And strung with diamond dews the pine trees' tressesP
But man's hand built the palaceP
And he that reigns therein is simply manU
Man turns God's gifts to poison in the chaliceP
That brimmed with nectar in the primal planU
Here I abide aloneT
The wild Chaudi re's eternal jubileeV
Has such sweet divination in its toneT
And utters nature's truest prophecyV
In thunderings of zealW
I've seen the Atheist in terror startS
Awed to contrition by the strong appealW
That waked conviction in his doubting heartS
'Teachers speak throughout all natureX
From the womb of Silence bornY
Heed ye not their words O ScofferX
Flinging back thy scorn with scornY
To the desert spring that leapethZ
Pulsing from the parched sodS
Points the famished trav'ler sayingA2
'Brothers here indeed is God '-
From the patriarchal fountainsP
Sending forth their tribes of rillsP
From the cedar shadowed lakeletsP
In the hearts of distant hillsP
Whispers softer than the moonbeamsP
Wisdom's gentle heart have awedS
Till its lips approved the cadenceP
'Surely here indeed is God '-
Lo o'er all the Torrent ProphetS
An inspired DemosthenesP
To the Doubter's soul appealingA2
Louder than the preacher seasP
Dreamer wouldst have nature spurn theeZ
For a dumb insensate clodS
Dare to doubt and these shall teach theeZ
Of a truth there lives a God '-
By day and night for hoursP
I watch the cataract's impulsive leapB2
Refreshed and gladdened by the cheering showersP
Wrung from the passion of the seething deepB2
Pleased when the buried wavesP
Emerge again like incorporeal hostsP
Rising white sheeted from their gloomy gravesP
As if the depths had yielded up their ghostsP
And when the midnight stormC2
Enfolds the welkin in its robe of cloudsP
Through the dim vapours of the cauldron swarmC2
The sheeted spectres in their whitest shroudsP
By the lightning's flash betrayedS
These gather from the insubstantial vapourX
The lunar rainbows which by them are madeS
Woven with moonbeams by some starry taperX
To decorate the hallsP
Of my fair palace whence I'm pained to seeZ
Thy human brethren watch the waterfallsP
Not with such rev'rence as I've found in theeZ
Too many with an eyeD2
To speculation and the worldling's dreamsP
Others who seek from nature no replyD2
Nor read the oral language of the streamsP
But of the few who lovedS
The beautiful with grateful heart and soulE2
Who looked on nature fondly and were movedS
By one sweet glance as by the mighty wholeE2
Of these the thoughtful fewF2
Thou wert the first to seek the inner templeG2
And stand before the Priestess Thou wert trueF2
To nature and thyself Be thy exampleG2
The harbinger of timesP
When the Chaudi re's imposing majestyZ
Will awe the spirits of the heartless mimesP
To worship God in truth with nature's constancyP
Still I heard the mellow sweetness of her voice at intervalsP
Mingling with the fall of waters rising with the snowy sprayX
Ringing through the sportive current like the joy of waterfallsP
Sending up their hearty vespers at the calmy close of dayX
Loath to leave the scene of beauty lover like I stayed and stayedS
Folding to my eager bosom memories beyond compareX
Deeper stronger more enduring than my dreams of wood and gladeS
Were the eloquent appeals of the magnificent Chaudi reX
E'en the solid bridge is trembling whence I look my last farewellI
Dizzy with the roar and trampling of the mighty herd of wavesP
Speeding past the rocky Island steadfast as a sentinelG2
Towards the loveliest bay that ever mirrored the Algonquin BravesP
Soul of Beauty Genius Spirit Priestess of the lovely strifeH
In my heart thy words are shrined as in a sanctuary fairX
Echoes of thy voice of sweetness rousing all my better lifeH
Ever haunt my wildest visions of the jubilant Chaudi reX

Charles Sangster


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