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James Clerk Maxwell

In Memory of Edward Wilson, Who Repented of What Was in His Mind to Write after Section

Rigid Body (sings).


Gin a body meet a body
Flyin’ through the air,
Gin a body hit a body,
Will it fly? and where?
Ilka impact has its measure,
Ne’er a ane hae I,
Yet a’ the lads they measure me,
Or, at least, they try.

Gin a body meet a body
Altogether free,
How they travel afterwards
We do not always see.
Ilka problem has its method
By analytics high;
For me, I ken na ane o’ them,
But what the waur am I?

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Valentine by a Telegraph Clerk

The tendrils of my soul are twined
With thine, though many a mile apart.
And thine in close coiled circuits wind
Around the needle of my heart.

Constant as Daniel, strong as Grove.
Ebullient throughout its depths like Smee,
My heart puts forth its tide of love,
And all its circuits close in thee.

O tell me, when along the line
From my full heart the message flows,
What currents are induced in thine?
One click from thee will end my woes.

Through many a volt the weber flew,
And clicked this answer back to me;
I am thy farad staunch and true,
Charged to a volt with love for thee.

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Cats Cradle Song, by a Babe in Knots

Peter the Repeater,
Platted round a platter
Slips of slivered paper,
Basting them with batter.

Flype ’em, slit ’em, twist ’em,
Lop-looped laps of paper;
Setting out the system
By the bones of Neper.

Clear your coil of kinkings
Into perfect plaiting,
Locking loops and linkings
Interpenetrating.

Why should a man benighted,
Beduped, befooled, besotted,
Call knotful knittings plighted,
Not knotty but beknotted?

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Professor Tait, Loquitur

Will mounted ebonite disk
On smooth unyielding bearing,,
When turned about with notion brisk
(Nor excitation sparing),
Affect the primitive repose,
Of + and — in a wire,
So that while either downward flows,
The other upwards shall aspire?
Describe the form and size of coil,
And other things that we may need,
Think not about increase of toil
Involved in work at double speed.
I can no more, my pen is bad,
It catches in the roughened page-—
But answer us and make us glad,
THOU ANTI-DISTANCE-ACTION SAGE!
Yet have I still a thousand things to say
But work of other kinds is pressing—
So your petitioner will ever pray
That your defence be triple messing.

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Horace, Seventh Epode

Whither, whither, reckless Romans,
Are you rushing, sword in hand?
Has not yet the blood of brothers,
Fully stained the sea and land?

Not that raging conflagration
Should o’er fallen Carthage play;
Not that the unconquered Briton
Should descend the sacred way.

"Rome," exclaims the joyful Parthian,
"Ruin for herself prepares;
Wolves with wolves are never savage,
Lion lion never tears."

Is this fury? is it madness?
Speedy answer I demand;
Foolish, blinded, guilty Romans,
Silent, stupefied you stand. [590]

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Why, When Our Sun Shines Clearest

Why, when our sun shines clearest,
Why, when our hopes seen nearest,
Why, when our life feels dearest,
Rises a secret pain—
Hope's perfect mirror broken—
Shadows of things unspoken-—
Why will not some sure token
Calm us to rest again?

Mixed with all earthly blessing
Lingers the fear distressing—
-Conscience within confessing
Nothing of ours is pure.
Still must such thoughts upbraid us,
Seeking our own to aid us;
God, not ourselves, hath made us;
Trusting in Him we’re sure.

Thus, from our sorrows gleaning
Thoughts of the world’s deep meaning,

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Song of the Edinburgh Academician

If ony here has got an ear,
He'd better tak’ a haud o’ me,
Or I'll begin, wi’ roarin’ din,
To cheer our old Academy.

Dear old Academy,
Queer old Academy,
A merry lot we were, I wot,
When at the old Academy.

There's some may think me crouse wi’ drink,
And some may think it mad o’ me,
But ither some will gladly come
And cheer our old Academy.

Some set their hopes on Kings and Popes,
But, o’ the sons of Adam, he
Was first, without the smallest doubt,
That built the first Academy.

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I've Heard the Rushing

I’ve heard the rushing of mountain torrents, gushing
Down through the rocks, in a cataract of spray,
Onward to the ocean;
Swift seemed their motion,
Till, lost in the desert, they dwindled away.

I’ve learnt the story of all human glory,
I’ve felt high resolves growing weaker every day,
Till cares, springing round me,
With creeping tendrils bound me,
And all I once hoped for was wearing fast away.

I’ve seen the river rolling on for ever,
Silent and strong, without tumult or display.
In the desert arid,
Its waters never tarried,
Till far out at sea we still found them on their way.

Now no more weary we faint in deserts dreary,
Toiling alone till the closing of the day;

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Song of the Cub

I know not what this may betoken,
That I feel so wondrous wise;
My dream of existence is broken
Since science has opened my eyes.
At the British Association
I heard the President’s speech,
And the methods and facts of creation
Seemed suddenly placed in my reach.

My life’s undivided devotion
To Science I solemnly vowed,
I’d dredge up the bed of the ocean,
I’d draw down the spark from the cloud.
To follow my thoughts as they go on,
Electrodes I’d place in my brain;
Nay, I'd swallow a live entozöon,
New feelings of life to obtain.

O where are those high feasts of Science?
O where are those words of the wise?

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Will You Come Along With Me?

I.

Will you come along with me,
In the fresh spring-tide,
My comforter to be
Through the world so wide?
Will you come and learn the ways
A student spends his days,
On the bonny, bonny braes
Of our ain burnside?


II.

For the lambs will soon be here,
In the fresh spring-tide;
As lambs come every year
On our ain burnside.
Poor things, they will not stay,
But we will keep the day

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