Joseph Winlock

A poem by James Russell Lowell

DIED JUNE 11, 1875


Shy soul and stalwart, man of patient will
Through years one hair's-breadth on our Dark to gain,
Who, from the stars he studied not in vain,
Had learned their secret to be strong and still,
Careless of fames that earth's tin trumpets fill;
Born under Leo, broad of build and brain,
While others slept, he watched in that hushed fane
Of Science, only witness of his skill:
Sudden as falls a shooting-star he fell,
But inextinguishable his luminous trace
In mind and heart of all that knew him well.
Happy man's doom! To him the Fates were known
Of orbs dim hovering on the skirts of space,
Unprescient, through God's mercy, of his own!

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