James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

April 4

Peter Cooper

By Joaquin Miller (1841–1913)

  • An American inventor and philanthropist. He is chiefly remembered by his founding and endowment of Cooper Union, designed to benefit the working classes. He died on April 4, 1883.

  • GIVE honor and love for evermore

    To this great man gone to rest;

    Peace on the dim Plutonian shore,

    Rest in the land of the blest.

    I reckon him greater than any man

    That ever drew sword in war;

    I reckon him nobler than king or khan,

    Braver and better by far.

    And wisest he in this whole wide land

    Of hoarding till bent and gray;

    For all you can hold in your cold dead hand

    Is what you have given away.

    So whether to wander the stars or to rest

    Forever hushed and dumb,

    He gave with a zest and he gave his best—

    Give him the best to come.