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Short poem

James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)

In Memory of Edward Wilson, Who Repented of what was in his Mind to Write after Section

Rigid Body (sings).

              1Gin a body meet a body
              2    Flyin’ through the air,
              3Gin a body hit a body,
              4    Will it fly? and where?
              5Ilka impact has its measure,
              6    Ne’er a ane hae I,
              7Yet a’ the lads they measure me,
              8    Or, at least, they try.

              9Gin a body meet a body
            10    Altogether free,
            11How they travel afterwards
            12    We do not always see.
            13Ilka problem has its method
            14    By analytics high;
            15For me, I ken na ane o’ them,
            16    But what the waur am I?


1] [Title]: section: perhaps Section A (Mathematics and Physics), meeting of the British Association.
Maxwell here modifies Robert Burns' poem, "Comin Thro' the Rye".

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Lewis Campbell, The Life of James Clerk Maxwell, with a selection from his correspondence and occasional writings and a sketch of his contributions to science. London: Macmillan, 1882. QC 16 M4C3 Gerstein Library
First publication date: 1882
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2001
Recent editing: 1:2002/10/5

Rhyme: ababcdcd

Other poems by James Clerk Maxwell