Norman Rowland Gale

Here you will find the Poem The Decimal Point of poet Norman Rowland Gale

The Decimal Point

When first sent to School (now the Station was Rugby) 
I fancied my masters and took to the boys; 
I thought to myself--here 'tis plain I shall snug be 
Revolving at last in an orbit of joys: 
The Alphabet Grecian I quickly could stammer, 
Nor ran any risk of a jaw out of joint; 
I waddled sedately through Fatherland Grammar, 
But own I was floored by the Decimal Point! 

Le Roi de Montagnes was my Gallic translation, 
And soon I was praised by my master, who said:-- 
"I certainly deem that, with good education, 
A Scholarship laurel should circle your head!" 
I revelled in idioms; I thrilled at the phrases; 
I knew how to render "avaunt" and "aroint," 
But own that I shed many tears on the daisies 
Of Rugby when stumped by the Decimal Point! 

I mastered the building proceedings of Balbus, 
And rarely omitted a requisite cum; 
I never remarked that an equa was albus, 
And deftly supplied the subjunctive with quum! 
No canis to me was a dog in the manger-- 
A classic by Fate I was clearly anoint! 
I own, though, I ran into desperate danger 
When fogged and be-fooled by the Decimal Point!