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Math Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Nineteen Birds by Anonymous
  2. The Village Book-keeper by Mart Taylor
  3. A Mortifying Mistake by Anna Maria Pratt
  4. Numbers by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

  1. Nineteen Birds

    by Anonymous

    Nineteen birds and one bird more,
    Just make twenty, and that's a score.

    To the score then add but one;
    That will make just twenty-one.

    Now add two, and you will see
    You have made up twenty-three.

    If you like these clever tricks.
    Add three more-for twenty-six.

    Then three more, if you have time;
    Now you’ve got to twenty-nine.

    Twenty-nine now quickly take—
    Add one more and Thirty make.

  2. The Village Book-keeper

    by Mart Taylor

    Cubanus Root was reckoned skilled
    In mathematic lore;
    A high position, 2, he filled—
    Accountant in a store.
    His principal was pleased to see
    Progression in his clerk,
    And that he took, from principle,
    An interest in his work.

    Whene'er a dance or ball came off,
    Cube Root was always sought;
    But, liking not such foolish things,
    Cube set them down 4 n 0.
    Sometimes, from miscellaneous jobs,
    An evening to beguile,
    He'd call on Miss Cellana Snobs,
    And chat with her awhile.

    Her figure pleased him well, you see,
    For she was fortune 8
    In having many graces which
    He could not numerate;
    And in addition unto these,
    She had no small amount
    Of knowledge, which the book-keeper
    Took into the account.

    Content with Miss Cellana's love,
    Cube felt extremely blest,
    And oft alleged he didn't care
    A fraction for the rest.
    So to a Justice he applied,
    Who, when the job was done,
    Had figured out that two fond hearts
    Amounted but 2 1.

    Cube's old employer, growing rich,
    Through his book keeper's aid,
    Made a "division" in the stock,
    And set him up in trade,
    By wealth and love thus 40-fied,
    Ere long their sum of joy
    In life was fairly multiplied—
    They had a lovely boy.

    The rule that Cube had followed long,
    Adopted still the same—
    Never to make a figure wrong,
    The "rule of three" became.
    'Till now, this happy family
    Has wealth and high renown,
    And Cube, the clerk has lived to be
    The Squire Root of the town.

  3. A Mortifying Mistake

    by Anna Maria Pratt

    I studied my tables over and over, and backward and forward, too;
    But I couldn't remember six times nine, and I didn't know what to do,
    Till sister told me to play with my doll, and not to bother my head.
    "If you call her 'Fifty-four' for a while, you'll learn it by heart," she said.

    So I took my favorite, Mary Ann (though I thought 'twas a dreadful shame
    To give such a perfectly lovely child such a perfectly horrid name),
    And I called her my dear little "Fifty-four" a hundred times, till I knew
    The answer of six times nine as well as the answer of two times two.

    Next day Elizabeth Wigglesworth, who always acts so proud,
    Said, "Six times nine is fifty-two," and I nearly laughed aloud!
    But I wished I hadn't when teacher said, "Now, Dorothy, tell if you can."
    For I thought of my doll and—sakes alive!—I answered, "Mary Ann!"

  4. Numbers

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    When I can count the numbers far,
    And know all the figures that there are,

    Then I'll know everything, and I
    Can know about the ground and sky,

    And all the little bugs I see,
    And I'll count the leaves on the silver-leaf tree,
    And all the days that ever can be.

    I'll know all the cows and sheep that pass,
    And I'll know all the grass,

    And all the places far away,
    And I'll know everything some day.

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