Lines written after listening to a talk on the constitution of the atom broadcast by a visiting scientist.
Exulting in life's tussle, I deem myself a man, A thing of brain and muscle Built on a noble plan. To vivify and warm me Blood courses thro' each vein; My senses all inform me —- Via aforesaid brain —- That I am something real, A thing to see and touch: That was an old ideal I cherished much. But scientists who dote on —- In quite a learned way —- The neutron and proton Have something else to say. These two, they tell us (Drat 'em!) With electrons on the side, All constitute the atom (This fact is verified). And atoms make all matter Of every shape and kind, Which does not seem to flatter Poor humankind. And why? I'll tell you briefly: I, you and Mr. Smith, Are built of matter chiefly, And matter's but a myth. Atoms unite, or scatter. But, scientists insist. Matter per se, as matter Simply does not exist. We're nothing: only movement, Brain, muscle, bone, and thews. I deem it small improvement on earlier views. And, if we were bombarded With electrons at high speed (Personally regarded This is; most sad indeed) We could be changed to settle -— Transmuted in a tick Into, maybe, a metal, A gas, or half a brick. Myself, I'd rather rue it, For I am loth to go; But I'd dearly love to do it To some I know. Yet, is there consolation: Tho' we, as we, be gone. Despite all alteration The protons carry on. And now, as I conceive it. Eternity is here, Tho' you may not believe it, Man cannot disappear. His substance they may squander, But he shall never die. Where'er these protons wander There, too, am I. But when I venture farther I'm stumped; I own it, flat. These scientists are rather Inclined to be like that. Now cosmic rays, they've stated — (Why can't they let things be?) — Come in, and all's related To Relativity! .... Yet when my atoms float on To join some cosmic storm, May not one tiny proton Preserve my norm?
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2010|