Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Rime ...Part VI

Part VI

FIRST VOICE

`But tell me, tell me! speak again,
Thy soft response renewing-
What makes this meeting move on so fast?
What is the committee doing?'

SECOND VOICE

`Still as an undergrad before her Prof,
The committee was all lost:
Their great bright eyes most silently
Up to the CiteClassic is cast-

If they may know which way to go ;
For it guides them smooth or grim.
See, sister, see! how graciously
they looketh down on it'.

The Researcher hath been cast into a trance; for the angelic power causeth the research to move faster than human life could endure.

FIRST VOICE

`But why drives on this project so fast,
Without or funding or people?'

SECOND VOICE

`The funding is cut away before,
And closes from behind.

Fly, sister, fly! more high, more high!
Or we shall be belated :
For slow and slow this project will go,
When the Researcher's trance is abated.'

The supernatural motion is retarded ; the Researcher awakes, and her penance begins anew.

I woke, and our project was moving on
As in a gentle weather:
'Twas night, calm night, the moon was high :
The graduated students stood together.

All stood together near the desk,
For a lab-door fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter.

The pang, the curse, with which they failed,
Had never passed away :
I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them up to pray.

The curse is finally expiated.

And now this spell was snapt: once more
I viewed the laboratory clean,
And looked far forth, yet little saw
Of what had else been seen-

Like one, that on a lonesome project
Doth work with fear and dread,
And having once finished the experiment
Moves on and turns no more his head ;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.

But soon there breathed an PDF offer on me,
Nor sound not motion made :
Its path was not upon the lab,
In letter-box or in shade.

It raised my spirit, it fanned my curiosity
Like a fragrance ridden breeze of spring-
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming.

Swiftly, swiftly flew the project,
Yet it moved softly too :
Sweetly, sweetly came the offers-
To me alone it came anew.

And the ancient Mariner beholdeth the end of her PhD

Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
The end of PhD I see?
Is this the synopsis? is this the defense?
Is this mine own thesis?

We drifted o'er the laboratory,
And I with sobs did pray-
O let me be awake, my Boss !
Or let me sleep away.

The laboratory was clear as glass,
So smoothly it was strewn !
And on the desk the moonlight lay,
And the shadow of the Moon.

The lab shone bright, the library no less,
That stands above the lab :
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady desk slab.

The angelic neighbours leave their labs

And the bay was white with silent light,
Till filling the same,
Fully many shapes, that shadows were,
In colourful dresses came.

And appear in their own bright coloured dresses and labcoats.

A little distance from the door
Those colourful dresses were :
I turned my eyes upon the desk-
Oh, Science! What saw I there!

Each coat lay flat, lifeless and flat,
And, by the lab door,
A smiling student, all grin,
On every coat they were.

This student-gang, each waved his hand:
It was a heavenly sight !
They stood as signals to my PhD's end,
Each one a lovely sight;

This student-gang, each waved her hand,
No voice did they impart--
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.

But soon I heard the clash of cups,
I heard my Prof's cheer;
My head was turned perforce away
And I saw a convocation appear.

The Prof and the Chairman,
I heard them coming fast :
Dear Lord in Heaven ! it was a joy
The graduated students could not blast.

I saw a third--I heard her voice ;
It is the Dean good !
She singeth loudly her scientific limericks
That she makes in her homestead.
She'll hear my story, she'll mend the
CiteClassic disaster as it stood.

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