The Astronomer's Drinking Song

rom the old Mathematical Society of London,

rom the old Mathematical Society of London,
rom the old Mathematical Society of London,
rom the old Mathematical Society of London,

"Whoe'er would search the starry sky,
Its secrets to divine, sir,
Should take his glass -- I mean, should try
A glass or two of wine, sir!
True virtue lies in golden mean,
And man must wet his clay, sir;
Join these two maxims, and 'tis seen
He should drink his bottle a day, sir!

"Old Archimedes, reverend sage!
By trump of fame renowned, sir!
Deep problems solved in every page,
And the sphere's curved surface found, sir;
Himself he would have far outshone,
And borne a wider sway, sir,
Had he our modern secret known,
And drank a bottle a day, sir!

"When Ptolemy, now long ago,
Believed the earth stood still, sir,
He never would have blundered so,
Had he but drank his fill, sir,
He'd then have felt it circulate,
And would have learnt to say, sir,
The true way to investigate
Is to drink your bottle a day, sir!

"Copernicus, that learned Wright,
The glory of his nation,
With draughts of wine refreshed his sight,
And saw the earth's rotation;
Each planet then its orb described,
The moon got under way, sir;
These truths from nature he imbibed
For he drank his bottle a day, sir!

"The noble Tycho placed the stars,
Each in its due location;
He lost his nose by spite of Mars,
But that was no prevention:
Had he but lost his mouth, I grant
He would have felt dismay, sir,
Bless you! he knew what he should want
To drink his bottle a day, sir!

"Cold water makes no lucky hits;
On mysteries that heard reun:
Small drink let Kepleer time his wits
On the regular polyhedrons:
He took to wine, and it changed the chime,
His genius swept away, sir,
Through area varying as the time
At the rate of a bottle a day, sir!

"Poor Galileo, forced to rat
Before the Inquisition,
E pur si muove was the pat
He gave them in addition:
He meant, whate'er you think you prove,
The earth must go its way, sirs;
Spite of your teeth I'll make it move,
For I'll drink my bottle a day, sir!

"Grate Newton, who was never beat
Whatever fools may think, sir;
Though sometimes he forgot to eat'
He never forgot to drink, sir:
Descartes took nought but lemonade,
To conquer him was play, sir;
The first advance that Newton make
Was to drink his bottle a day, Sir!

"D'Alembert, Euler, and Clairaut,
Though they increased our store, sir,
Much further had been seen to go
Had they tippled a little more, sir!
Lagrange gets mellow with Laplace,
And both are wont to say, sir,
The philosophe who's not an ass
Will drink his bottle a day, sir!

"Astronomers! What can avail
Those who calumniate us;
Experiment can never fail
With such an apparatus:
Let him who'd have his merits known
Remember what I say, sir!
Fair science shines on him alone
Who drinks his bottle a day, sir!

"How light we reck of those who mock
By this we'll make to appear, sir,
We'll dine by the sidereal clock
For one more bottle a year, sir:
But choose which pendulum you will,
You'll never make your way, sir,
Unless you drink -- and drink your fill, --
At least a bottle a day, sir!"