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Remonstrance

James Joseph Sylvester 1814 (London) – 1897 (London)



Oh! why those narrow rules extol?
These but restrain from ill,
True virtue lies in strength of soul
And energy of will.

To all that's great and high aspires,
Prompts to the path of fame
From Heaven draws down Promethean fires
And wraps the soul in flame.

With brow erect, eye undismayed
Confronts the midday sun,
Nor sleeps inglorious in the shade
Of praises cheaply won;

Scans not too curiously the chance
Of good or evil fate,
But with a free and fearless glance
Knocks at Hope's, golden gate;

The truthful course pursues and knows
By Heaven-imparted light,
And scorns to shape to outward shows
Its conscious sense of right.

Still, while it renders Reason's name
The meed of honour due
Forgets not sacred instincts claim
Their share of reverence too.

The frown of unjust censure braves,
Retreats not with the tide,
But nobly stems and stills the waves
Of prejudice and pride.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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James Joseph Sylvester

James Joseph Sylvester FRS HFRSE was an English mathematician. He made fundamental contributions to matrix theory, invariant theory, number theory, partition theory, and combinatorics. He played a leadership role in American mathematics in the later half of the 19th century as a professor at the Johns Hopkins University and as founder of the American Journal of Mathematics. At his death, he was a professor at Oxford. more…

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    "Remonstrance" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 7 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/20148/remonstrance>.

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