Of all the lunatic professions which are practised on this earth
Mathematics is the craziest, and has been from its birth.
Take a look at its practitioners, examine each in turn,
And watch them going further round the bend as more they learn:
The proud arithmetician, who can contemplate infinities
With crude familiarity, and not see what a sin it is,
(Infinities of such a size, he calls a set equal if
The greatest of their differences is small compared to aleph;)
The negligent dynamicist, Procrustes of equations,
Ignoring any higher power which foils his machinations;
If there is any man with more impiety than him, it
Is the unrepentant analyst, proceeding to the limit.
There is a young geometer, aged 23 mod 40;
His views on art are trivial, his views on life are naughty;
The only scheme of government this student can envisage is
To couple all constituents in independent syzygies.
Ye narrow minded bachelors, whose one joy is to figure!
Were you cut up and randomised, set down in utmost rigour,
Your singularities enclosed in everlasting cedar,
Who would lament your absence? ...
But I leave that to the reader.
Reproduced from Eureka 27 page 38.
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