MATHEMATICS - Robert Herrick Poems


Poems » robert herrick » mathematics


I've really done enough of sums,
    I've done so very many,
That now instead of doing sum
    I'd rather not do any.

I've toiled until my fingers are
    With writing out of joint;
And even now of Decimals
    I cannot see the point.

Subtraction to my weary mind
    Brings nothing but distraction,
And vulgar and improper I
    Consider every fraction.

"Practice makes perfect," so they say.
    It may be true. The fact is
That I unhappily am not
    Yet perfect in my Practice.

Discount is counted troublesome
    By my unlearned pate;
For cubic root I entertain
    A strongly rooted hate.

The heathen worship stocks and stones;
    My pious soul it shocks
To be instructed thus to take
    An Interest in Stocks.

Of Algebra I fear I have
    A very vague impression;
I study hard, but fail to make
    Harmonical Progression.

In Euclid too I always climb
    The Asses' Bridge with pain;
A superficies to me
    Is anything but plane.

"Apply yourself," my master said,
    When I my woes confided,
"And, when you multiply, bestow
    Attention undivided."

Oh, if one master tries so hard
    Tyrannical to be,
How out of all Proportion I
    Should find a Rule of Three.