Drinking Song

Once on a time when thought began

Lived Thales: he

Was said to see

Vast truths that mortals seldom can;

It seems without

A moment's doubt

That everything was made for man.

Chorus

Fill full your cups: feel no distress

That thoughts so great should now be less!

Earth mid the sky stood firm and flat,

He held, till came

A sage by name

Copernicus, and righted that.

We trod, he told,

A globe that rolled

Around a sun it warmed it at.

Chorus

Fill full your cups: feel no distress;

'Tis only one great thought the less!

But still we held, as Time flew by

And wit increased,

Ours was, at least,

The only world whose rank was high:

Till rumours flew

From folk who knew

Of globes galore about the sky.

Chorus

Fill full your cups: feel no distress;

'Tis only one great thought the less!

And that this earth, our one estate,

Was no prime ball,

The best of all,

But common, mean; indeed, tenth-rate:

And men, so proud,

A feeble crowd,

Unworthy any special fate.

Chorus

Fill full your cups: feel no distress;

'Tis only one great thought the less!

Then rose one Hume, who could not see,

If earth were such,

Required were much

To prove no miracles could be:

" Better believe

The eyes deceive

Than that God's clockwork jolts," said he.

Chorus

Fill full your cups: feel no distress;

'Tis only one great thought the less!

Next this strange message Darwin brings,

(Though saying his say

In a quiet way);

We all are one with creeping things;

And apes and men

Blood-brethren,

And likewise reptile forms with stings.

Chorus

Fill full your cups: feel no distress;

'Tis only one great thought the less!

And when this philosoph had done

Came Doctor Cheyne:

Speaking plain he

Proved no virgin bore a son.

" Such tale, indeed,

Helps not our creed,"

He said. " A tale long known to none."

Chorus

Fill full your cups: feel no distress;

'Tis only one great thought the less!

And now comes Einstein with a notion —

Not yet quite clear

To many here —

That's there's no time, no space, no motion,

Nor rathe nor late,

Nor square nor straight,

But just a sort of bending-ocean.

Chorus

Fill full your cups: feel no distress;

'Tis only one great thought the less!

So here we are, in piteous case:

Like butterflies

Of many dyes

Upon an Alpine glacier's face:

To fly and cower

In some warm bower

Our chief concern in such a place.

Chorus

Fill full your cups: feel no distress

At all our great thoughts shrinking less:

We'll do a good deed nevertheless!

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