The Hunting Of The Quark

They sought it here,
They sought it there,
They sought the bleeder everywhere,
Inside the atom, nucleon,
In sea water and pi-meson.

They sought it down,
They sought it up,
With charm and bottom, top and strange;
However did it rearrange
When muons failed,
Kaons decayed,
And theories wore and frayed?

They sought it in the cosmic rays,
In cyclotrons,
And syncrotrons,
In bubble chambers,
Cloud chambers;
They proved it with the quantum
And with unified fields.

They speculated,
Formulated,
Inequated,
And finally, frustrated,
They decimated
Proton after proton,
Meson after meson,
But still they found no reason,
And the quark
Would yield no arc
To any physicist or nark;
'Twas enough to make Newton
Shoot 'em
Or Beethoven bark.

Quarkium might exist, they said,
Or free quarks in the ground,
But still it stayed unfound,
Kept them in the dark,
And led a merry lark,
Then some unbright spark said:
What if there's a sub-quark?

It must be God again,
Playing tricks on men.
Must quarks remain ever beyond our ken?

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