James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

A Man Of Many Parts


It was a man of many parts,
Who in his coffer mind
Had stored the Classics and the Arts
And Sciences combined;
The purest gems of poesy
Came flashing from his pen--
The wholesome truths of History
He gave his fellow men.

He knew the stars from 'Dog' to Mars;
And he could tell you, too,
Their distances--as though the cars
Had often checked him through--
And time 'twould take to reach the sun,
Or by the 'Milky Way,'
Drop in upon the moon, or run
The homeward trip, or stay.

With Logic at his fingers' ends,
Theology in mind,
He often entertained his friends
Until they died resigned;
And with inquiring mind intent
Upon Alchemic arts
A dynamite experiment--
. . . . . . .
A man of many parts!

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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