The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 45
The Bowen Falls
The Bowen Falls
are a grand spectacle, and could they be removed from among the surrounding mountains, they would be still more impressive. Even when one remembers that Niagara is famous for its gigantic volume of water rather than its height, it is difficult page 56 to realise that the Bowen Falls are quite 60 feet more than three times the height of Niagara. Of course, as regards volume, the likening of the two falls is a comparing of great things with small, for the water which leaps into Milford Sound is hardly deserving of the name of river, but merely forms a good sized stream. Yet the fall has strange and peculiar beauties of its own, for as it shoots over the edge of the cliff it is confined in a rocky channel for perhaps a sixth of its height, when it falls into a hollow in the rock, whence the water, as if indignant at being thus unceremoniously hurled down the crag, springs upwards and outwards with a strong rebound to be again precipitated in a broad white cascade, composed of ever-changing jets of whiteness shooting downwards like rocket stars till it again meets the rock about half-way, whence it is precipitated in one over large and several small white streams into the chaldron below. From this and from the fall itself there arose a cloud of spray, which, borne on the current of air created by the rushing water, fell in a drenching shower around. From the foot of the fall the stream ran across the delta, which was covered with birch trees, to the waters of the Sound."
"The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion, the tall rock,
The mountain and the deep, gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms were then to me
An appetite, a feeling, and a love;
They had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied."