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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 45

Nichol's Creek Waterfall

Nichol's Creek Waterfall

is a scene that should not escape the tourist's attention. It is distant about 4 miles from the City, and is reached by taking the tram to the Water of Leith in the first instance, and then by a pleasant walk round the Valley of the Leith. The scenery along this road is charming. The Leith stream babbles through the valley by your side, and rising above its banks are wood-mantled slopes, where ferns of every shape and size grow in rich luxuriance. Thanks to the Acclimatisation Society, the forest-lands here are now the retreat of thousands of English birds. The thrush, blackbird, finch and linnet can be heard warbling and twittering in unison with the tui, and the effect is very pleasing to the ear. When the turning point leading up to the Waterfall is reached, there are two paths open to the visitor by which he can reach the spot. One is a clear track along a bank above the creek, and the other is by page 30 exploring the creek itself. This hitter is by far the roughest approach, but it is certainly the one we should recommend the visitor to take. In summer weather there is no difficulty in finding your way up the creek without getting your feet wet, and though you will have to clamber over great rough boulders, and creep under brush and fern to reach your destination, the lovely views which you get on your short journey will more than compensate for the difficulties of the track. In order to assure the nervous reader that he may make the exploration without fear of bodily injury, we may state that our Dunedin ladies, numbers of whom visit the Waterfall in the summer season, invariably select the creek track, and return by the easy road to which we have made reference. The following lines suggested to the writer by a visit he paid there last summer, will perhaps serve to convey to the reader some idea of the delightful spot:—

Along the wooded glen to where the creek
Brings down the mountain's music to the plains,
I come to hear a sermon and a song
From Nature's tuneful throat, which ever tells
God's living truths to mortals who have ears
To drink the sacred sounds.

Above my head,
Umbrageous plants in wild luxuriance grow
On either side, and stretch across the gorge
To tie the hills in leafy knots of love;
Through foliage thick, of varied-tinted green,
Rich-feathered foresters, in wildest glee,
Chirp, trill, and twitter.

Ferns of every shade,
'Broider'd and scollop'd 'yond the power of ar,
In tens of thousands deck the rocky walls
That hold the mountains back against the sky,
And give the fluent stream an open course
To bring its sweetness to the lands below.
And now, with admiration, I behold
A shower of molten silver falling down
An em'rald moss-clad precipice of rock,
That stands a buttress to the central steep
Where range links range in strong volcanic chain,
Forged in the olden times; and as I gaze
Up through the argent spray-mist and the leaves,
My spirit listens to the cascade's song:

page 31

"Falling, falling,
Streaming, teeming.
I am the child of the sun and the snow:
Falling, falling,
Ocean is calling,
Rolling along to its bosom I go.

"A white virgin up on the hill-tops was dreaming,
A golden-hair'd king saw the couch where she lay;
Her heart melted soon when his bright eye was beaming,
She gave me to him, but I've wandered away.
Gliding, hiding,
Springing, singing,
I am the child of the sun and the snow;
Falling, falling,
Ocean is calling,
Rolling along to its bosom I go.

"I am the offspring of brightness and purity,
Of chastity cold, and of passionate love;
Whirling along to the depths of futurity,
And bearing God's messages down from above.
Glancing, dancing,
Sweeping, leaping,
I am the child of the sun and the snow;
Falling, falling,
Ocean is calling,
Rolling along to its bosom I go."

Before taking his departure from this city, the visitor should make it a point, to visit the Museum, where there is a capital collection of natural and scientific objects to be seen.