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Ballad of Ada Lovelace (December 1815 to November 1852

"Oh! What an implement of torture,"

"Have I acquired in you? "

These first words, spoken at your birth,

you would never have heard.

Uttered by father George, who wouldn't,

or couldn't love you,

But you loved him,

You and he interred eternally side by side


Eighteen fifteen, death to the Napoleonic Wars,

but the birth of Ada Byron,

fair daughter to the incestuous Lord,

Saved from herself, my mother,

for a life of logic and reason,

Whilst dear papa, George, frolicked

and gambolled in lands far aboard.


No greater mathematical brain

did any other mortal claim,

Your grasp of computation

Eclipses above the average,

Through your steadfast work,

men of science courted you,

None more so than Charles Babbage.

Leading analytical light


You painstakingly translated the French article,

Of Babbage's Analytical Engine, for the masses

elaborating on those writings with copious notes,

With the very first programmable algorithm.

Computer queen.


Inspired, you grasped the coming digital world.

The digitalisation of music, text, sound, and pictures

You proposed, accurately; how bird anatomy could

aid the realisation of man's flight,

Brewster, Wheatstone, and Faraday

stood in awe like statues, blinded by brilliance,


Throughout your life, there seemed

a certain c'est la vie,

Your marriage, your children,

your title, Lady Lovelace,

and your untimely death,

Gambling regularly, especially horses,

mostly without due care,

Losing three thousand pounds in one evening

triggers a sudden intake of air.


You understand best the unique analytical engine,

You saw more of its true potential

more than just a number cruncher,

But you can’t help Babbage see past his nose,

You considered him just a card puncher.

History has the knack

of forgetting visionaries,

Just ask Eunice Foote or Rosalind Franklin

It would be a hundred years

till they re-remembered,

The 'Enchantress of Numbers '

Babbage's attribution


So now, lying juxtaposed with Lord Byron,

The scientist and the poet,

Inside the tiny village church

of Mary Magdalene, Hucknall,

History is slowly recalling your accomplishments,

Granting recognition of your talents and struggles

May you never be forgotten



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