Mathematics

Original Text: 
The Works of Arthur Clement Hilton (Of Marlborough & Cambridge) Author of "The Light Green" Together with his Life and Letters, ed. Robert P. Edgcumbe (Cambridge: Macmillan and Bowes, 1902): 134-36. PR 4790 H27A12 Robarts Library
1I've really done enough of sums,
2    I've done so very many,
3That now instead of doing sum
4    I'd rather not do any.
5I've toiled until my fingers are
6    With writing out of joint;
7And even now of Decimals
8    I cannot see the point.
9Subtraction to my weary mind
10    Brings nothing but distraction,
11And vulgar and improper I
12    Consider every fraction.
13"Practice makes perfect," so they say.
14    It may be true. The fact is
15That I unhappily am not
16    Yet perfect in my Practice.
17Discount is counted troublesome
19For cubic root I entertain
20    A strongly rooted hate.
21The heathen worship stocks and stones;
22    My pious soul it shocks
23To be instructed thus to take
24    An Interest in Stocks.
25Of Algebra I fear I have
26    A very vague impression;
27I study hard, but fail to make
29In Euclid too I always climb
32    Is anything but plane.
33"Apply yourself," my master said,
34    When I my woes confided,
35"And, when you multiply, bestow
36    Attention undivided."
37Oh, if one master tries so hard
38    Tyrannical to be,
39How out of all Proportion I

Notes

18] pate: head, skull. Back to Line
28] Harmonical Progression: a progression, the reciprocals of whose terms form an arithmetic progression, that is, a series of integers separated from one another by a constant. Back to Line
30] Asses' Bridge: the fifth proposition of the first book of Euclid's Elements. Back to Line
31] superficies: surface. Back to Line
40] Rule of Three: the so-called golden rule, a method of finding a fourth number from three known numbers, of which the first has the same proportion to the second as the third does to the fourth. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1869
Publication Notes: 
Cambridge
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: