Saturday, September 13, 2008

Scientia, Dogma, and Data

   Scientia and Dogma crossed the Way,
Pilgrims who passed in directions diverse.
The odd couple stilled with nothing to say.
But before they were about to disperse
A sentinel bringing blessing or curse
Appearing from nowhere brandishing lance
Met the duo with a challenging stance.

"Pilgrims, where go ye, as two or as one?"
"Two," Scientia said. "My quest unknown.
I don't know if ever my journey's done."
"My travel takes me to the Holy Stone,"
Dogma replied in reverential tone,
"A destination sure, my faith tells me."
Scientia wonders, "And who are thee?"

"My name is 'Data', harbinger of fact,
The slayer of theories, certainty's bane."
She patiently waited to see them react.
Dogma, unmoved: "My Holy Stone will explain
Secrets of all when He removes death's chain."
Scientia, troubled: "What have I missed?
Can my theory withstand this fateful twist?"

Data smiled and released them from arrest.
Scientia took her number-filled book,
Pondering if current theory be stressed.
Dogma continued on without a look
Back to the path that Scientia took.
Scientia and Dogma rode along the Way,
To each other still with nothing to say.

a-b-a-b-b-c-c / rhyme royal stanza (Chaucer)
e.g. The Student's Tale