The Lion and the Unicorn, Léon Rosenfeld

The Lion and the Unicorn

Were fighting for the crown

Of Nature’s secrets, leading down

To matter’s innermost recesses,

The depth of which they searched in vain.

The Unicorn with hanging mane

Peered down the bottomless abysses,

The Lion with his mighty paw

In vain did scratch his lofty brow.

For, like a meadow dug by moles,

The universe seemed full of holes:

Every electron in its course

Bored such a hole through space,

And so did each proton, of course;

But, oh what a disgrace,

Each infant meson newly born

Of the same mischief was suspected,

And this was still more unexpected.

“Let’s try our hand, quoth Unicorn,

At those holes we know best;

And later on cope with the rest.”

The Lion, sunk in deep concern,

Received the hint with scorn:

“Nature's great lesson we must learn”,

He said unto the Unicorn;

“Half-hearted work Dame Nature shuns:

Whatever holes she has to fill,

She’ll fill them all at once.”

This speech was but of little use:

The Unicorn he sat quite still

And did not change his views.

So on they fight for Nature's crown

A fight that brings them wide renown,

And praise of ages yet unborn

To Lion and to Unicorn.