Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ADVENTURERS OF SCIENCE, by BERTON BRALEY

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ADVENTURERS OF SCIENCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: With a microscope and a butterfly net and a specimen case they go
Last Line: Fare forth on the trail of truth!
Subject(s): Knowledge; Microscopes; Science; Teaching & Teachers; Scientists; Educators; Professors

With a microscope and a butterfly net and a specimen case they go
Into the heart of an African swamp or a jungle in Borneo.
Or with shovel and pick where the sand lies thick over cities a long time dead,
They dig down deep where the dead kings sleep—to learn of the lives they
They climb to the crest of Everest, they freeze in the arctic night,
To weigh the air of the mountain-peak, or see that a map reads right.
With tube and retort they grimly sport with poison or deadly germs
In order to write a monograph in highly technical terms.

Spectacled "Profs" from colleges
"Fusty and bookish-brained,"
Probing wherever knowledge is
Likely to be obtained.
Sifting the old mythologies,
Testing the dreams of youth,
Experts in all the "ologies"
Trudging the trail of Truth!

Their bones are strewn mid caverns hewn by the Paleolithic man,
They have died on the trail of the rumored vale where the Aryan race began;
Fever and drouth in the blistering South, the storms of the cruel North
Have taken toll ere they reached their goal, but—their brethren still go
They have suffered cancer to learn its cause, died lepers to seek a cure,
In quest of "basic natural laws" there's nothing they won't endure.
"Theorists, highbrows and logothetes" who nevertheless will dare
The ends of earth and the gates of death—if Knowledge is waiting there!

Little of fame they get for it,
And poor they live—and die.
Knowledge they seek—and sweat for it
That the world may gain thereby,
The world that learns but tardily
And grudgingly too, in sooth;
While ever these "pedants" hardily
Fare forth on the trail of Truth!

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