An Evening at the Royal Society

The wisest men were gathered to discuss

The latest things in science and the like

And after supper stood the King to speak

He asked them if perhaps they could assist

With what had lately left him quite perplexed

“Why is it” asked King Charles of those wise heads

“That if two buckets balance on a scales

The water level being the same in each

And then to one are added two live bream

The pail in which they swim does not incline?”

This puzzled and intrigued the men of science

And so in turn they each did speculate

With explanations complex and abstruse

Each one yet more ingenious than the last

But none being such as to impress the King

Until at last one there said “Majesty,

You surely make a jest at our expense!

For how can a mere question be a lie?

And yet your question lies for it’s not so:

The bucket tips, the water overflows!”

Upon the King’s grave face a smile appeared

And slowly broadened till he laughed aloud

Saying “Odds fish, brother, you are in the right!”

Then, laughing still, he bade then all goodnight




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