POOR PERCY P, THE PURE MATHEMATICIAN

Percy P was a mathematician

whose "pureness" was never denied.

But he found one day, to his sorrow,

that his theorems had been applied!

He had used all the standard precautions;

his papers were pointedly dry;

But his own esoteric notation

had been solved by a physicist spy!

The colloquium buzzed with the gossip;

he could offer no valid excuse.

Percy P was a traitor of traitors,

for his work was of *PRACTICAL USE!*

Nobody dared to defend him.

Could it be that he'd plead the crime

That his work was just then needed

to effect quantisation of time?

Ignored when he joined conversations;

one would think that he poisoned the air.

And he felt on his way to the office -

a new man might be in his chair.

A committee was in operation,

working twenty four hours a day,

Deleting his name from the journals,

and throwing his reprints away.

He knew where his future was leading,

no sense in prolonging the pain;

He left with a handful of papers,

and never was heard from again.

So take heed all you mathematicians

who pretend your endeavour is pure;

Though your luck may hold for a decade,

in the end you can never be sure.