William John Macquorn Rankine

(1820 - 1872 / Scotland)

The Mathematician in Love


I.

A mathematician fell madly in love
With a lady, young, handsome, and charming:
By angles and ratios harmonic he strove
Her curves and proportions all faultless to prove.
As he scrawled hieroglyphics alarming.


II.

He measured with care, from the ends of a base,
The arcs which her features subtended:
Then he framed transcendental equations, to trace
The flowing outlines of her figure and face,
And thought the result very splendid.


III.

He studied (since music has charms for the fair)
The theory of fiddles and whistles, --
Then composed, by acoustic equations, an air,
Which, when 'twas performed, made the lady's long hair
Stand on end, like a porcupine's bristles.


IV.

The lady loved dancing: -- he therefore applied,
To the polka and waltz, an equation;
But when to rotate on his axis he tried,
His centre of gravity swayed to one side,
And he fell, by the earth's gravitation.


V.

No doubts of the fate of his suit made him pause,
For he proved, to his own satisfaction,
That the fair one returned his affection; -- "because,
"As every one knows, by mechanical laws,
"Re-action is equal to action."


VI.

"Let x denote beauty, -- y, manners well-bred, --
"z, Fortune, -- (this last is essential), --
"Let L stand for love" -- our philosopher said, --
"Then L is a function of x, y, and z,
"Of the kind which is known as potential."


VII.

"Now integrate L with respect to d t,
"(t Standing for time and persuasion);
"Then, between proper limits, 'tis easy to see,
"The definite integral Marriage must be: --
"(A very concise demonstration)."


VIII.

Said he -- "If the wandering course of the moon
"By Algebra can be predicted,
"The female affections must yield to it soon" --
-- But the lady ran off with a dashing dragoon,
And left him amazed and afflicted.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?


William John Macquorn Rankine's Other Poems


Read poems about / on: marriage, respect, fate, music, hair, moon, beauty, dance, running

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Mathematician in Love by William John Macquorn Rankine )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. For you, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
  2. Fourth Of July, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  3. Nourished by melting ice, Mark Heathcote
  4. Matty Matter Man, Maor Lain
  5. Can't...Can't...Can't, Pranab K. Chakraborty
  6. Fiction And Storytelling, Dexsta Ray
  7. ! Infamous Disgrace (PH Advertising Comm.., Alice Vedral Rivera
  8. The Real Of Me!, Geetha Jayakumar
  9. Smudged Black Kohal, Nalini Jyotsana Chaturvedi
  10. The Journey #1, Heather Burns

Poem of the Day

poet Robert William Service

Just Home and Love! the words are small
Four little letters unto each;
And yet you will not find in all
The wide and gracious range of speech
Two more so tenderly complete:
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Paul Muldoon

 

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  3. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. Barbie Doll, Marge Piercy
  9. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]