Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a tough and torturous equation of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my office door
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my office door –
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each failed derivation lay crumpled up upon the floor.
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my office door –
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my office door; –
This it is, and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my office door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you” – here I opened wide the door; –
Textbooks there, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before
“Surely,” said I, “that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore –
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore”
A pencil there, and nothing more.

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Math Dude of the slide rule days of yore
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, walked inside my office door –
Sat aside a bust of Leibniz just inside my office door –
Sat and stared, and nothing more.

Then this Mathly Dude beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the slide rule that he bore,
“Though thy head be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven
My file I must be savin’ whilst thou standst there at my door
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Newtonian shore!”
Quoth the Math Dude, “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly Dude to hear discourse so plainly,
Though his answer little meaning, little relevancy bore
To the integrals I was working, and I did not give in to shirking
I kept working, kept on working, with that Dude at my office door
How could I keep working with that Dude at my office door,
Saying things like, “Nevermore”?

But the Math Dude, sitting lonely near the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour
Nothing further did he utter – nor his slide rule did he flutter
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Pythagoras has shown before –
To add the squares of the sides of a shape that has three sides, and not four…”
To which the Dude said, “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Sprung from some unsolved equation on a previous occasion
Preventing any great elation while his thoughts one burden bore –
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore”
Quoth the Math Dude, “Nevermore.”

But the Math Dude still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of Dude and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous Dude of yore –
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous Dude of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

I did some Judicious Guessing, but no integral expressing
To the Dude whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosoms core;
This and more I sat deriving, with my attention span reviving
What with calculus conniving that the Math Dude gloated o’er,
I sat there, still deriving, with the Math Dude gloating o’er,
Saying, “’Tis arithmetic, and nothing more.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if beast or devil! –
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted –
On this home by horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore –
– “’Tis arithmetic, and nothing more.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, beast or fiend!” I shrieked upstarting –
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Newtonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
My sick equations stay unbroken! – Get ye now out through my door!
Take thy slide rule from out my heart, and take thy form out through my door!”
– “’Tis arithmetic, and nothing more.”

And the Math Dude, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
Aside the bust of Leibniz just inside my office door;
And all my grand equations o’er which he has occasion
To gloat over with elation from his place inside my door
I must listen to him stating from his place inside my door:
– “’Tis arithmetic, and nothing more.”

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