In Memoriam. - Denison Olmsted, Ll.D.,

A poem by Lydia Howard Sigourney

Professor of Astronomy in Yale College, Conn., died at New Haven, May, 1859.


Spring pour'd fresh beauty o'er the cultured grounds,
And woke to joyance every leaf and flower,
Where erst the Man of Science lov'd to find
Refreshment from his toils.

'Twas sweet to see
How Nature met him there, and took away
All weariness of knowledge. Yet he held
Higher communion than with fragrant shrub,
Or taper tree, that o'er the forest tower'd.
His talk was with the stars, as one by one,
Night, in her queenly regency, put forth
Their sprinkled gold upon her sable robe.
He knew their places, and pronounc'd their names,
And by their heavenly conversation sought
Acquaintance with their Maker.
Sang they not
Unto his uncloth'd spirit, as it pass'd
From sphere to sphere, above their highest ranks,
With its attendant angel?
We are dark.
We ask, and yet no answer.
But we trace
In clearest lines the shining course he took
Among life's duties, for so many years,
And hear those parting words, that "all is peace!"[1]
The harvest-song of true philosophy.

His epitaph is that which cannot yield
A mouldering motto to the tooth of time.
--Man works in marble, and it mocks his trust,
But the immortal mind doth ever keep
The earnest impress of the moulding hand,
And bear it onward to a race unborn.
--That is his monument.

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