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James Clerk Maxwell

Nathalocus

I.

Bleak was the pathway and barren the mountain,
As the traveller passed on his wearisome way,
Sealed by the frost was each murmuring fountain,
And the sun shone through mist with a blood-coloured ray.
But neither the road nor the danger together,
Could alter his purpose, nor yet the rough weather;
So on went the wayfarer through the thick heather,
Till he came to the cave where the dread witches stay.


II.

Hewn from the rock was that cavern so dreary,
And the entrance by bushes was hid from the sight,
But he found his way in, and with travelling weary,
With joy he beheld in the darkness a light.
And in a recess of that wonderful dwelling,
He heard the strange song of the witch wildly swelling,

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A Vision of a Wrangler, of a University, of Pedantry, and of Philosophy

Deep St. Mary's bell had sounded,
And the twelve notes gently rounded
Endless chimneys that surrounded
My abode in Trinity.
(Letter G, Old Court, South Attics),
I shut up my mathematics,
That confounded hydrostatics --
Sink it in the deepest sea!

In the grate the flickering embers
Served to show how dull November’s
Fogs had stamped my torpid members,
Like a plucked and skinny goose.
And as I prepared for bed, I
Asked myself with voice unsteady,
If of all the stuff I read, I
Ever made the slightest use.

Late to bed and early rising,
Ever luxury despising,

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