O science metaphysicalAnd very very quizzicalYou only make this maze of life the mazier;For boasting to illuminateSuch riddles dark as Will and FateYou muddle them to hazier and hazier.
The cause of every actionYou expound with satisfaction;Through the mind in all its corners and recessesYou say that you have travelled,And all problems unravelledAnd axioms you call your learned guesses.
Right and wrong you've so dissected,And their fragments so connected,That which we follow doesn't seem to matter;But the cobwebs you have wrought,And the silly flies they have caught,It needs no broom miraculous to shatter.
You know no more that I,What is laughter, tear, or sigh,Or love, or hate, or anger, or compassion;Metaphysics, then, adieu,Without you I can do,And I think you'll very soon be out of fashion.
Written in 1897 by Lady Russell, grandmother and guardian of Bertrand Russell, as quoted in Earl Russell's (Bertrand Russell's elder brother, Frank) My Life and Adventure, London: Cassell & Co. Ltd., 1923.