Vachel Lindsay


  Within the town of Buffalo
  Are prosy men with leaden eyes.
  Like ants they worry to and fro,
  (Important men, in Buffalo.)
  But only twenty miles away
  A deathless glory is at play:
  Niagara, Niagara.

  The women buy their lace and cry:--
  "O such a delicate design,"
  And over ostrich feathers sigh,
  By counters there, in Buffalo.
  The children haunt the trinket shops,
  They buy false-faces, bells, and tops,
  Forgetting great Niagara.

  Within the town of Buffalo
  Are stores with garnets, sapphires, pearls,
  Rubies, emeralds aglow,--
  Opal chains in Buffalo,
  Cherished symbols of success.
  They value not your rainbow dress:--
  Niagara, Niagara.

  The shaggy meaning of her name
  This Buffalo, this recreant town,
  Sharps and lawyers prune and tame:
  Few pioneers in Buffalo;
  Except young lovers flushed and fleet
  And winds hallooing down the street:
  "Niagara, Niagara."

  The journalists are sick of ink:
  Boy prodigals are lost in wine,
  By night where white and red lights blink,
  The eyes of Death, in Buffalo.
  And only twenty miles away
  Are starlit rocks and healing spray:--
  Niagara, Niagara.

  Above the town a tiny bird,
  A shining speck at sleepy dawn,
  Forgets the ant-hill so absurd,
  This self-important Buffalo.
  Descending twenty miles away
  He bathes his wings at break of day--
  Niagara, Niagara.


       What marching men of Buffalo
       Flood the streets in rash crusade?
       Fools-to-free-the-world, they go,
       Primeval hearts from Buffalo.
       Red cataracts of France today
       Awake, three thousand miles away
       An echo of Niagara,
       The cataract Niagara.

Niagara Falls is a famous waterfall on the Niagara River. The falls lie on the border between Ontario Province, Canada and New York State, USA. Niagara is a very popular tourist destination, for honeymooners and couples on short breaks.

The town of Buffalo, a few miles along the Niagara River, is now generally regarded as being considerably less of a glamorous attraction than the Falls.