The Country of the Blind
Hard light bathed them-a whole nation of eyeless men,
Dark bipeds not aware how they were maimed.
Process, clearly, a slow curse,
Drained through centuries, left them thus.
At some transitional stage, then, a luckless few,
No doubt, must have had eyes after the up-to-date,
Normal type had achieved snug
Darkness, safe from the guns of heavn;
Whose blind mouths would abuse words that belonged to their
Great-grandsires, unabashed, talking of light in some
Fungoid sense, as a symbol of
If a man, one that had eyes, a poor
Misfit, spoke of the grey dawn or the stars or green-
Sloped sea waves, or admired how
Warm tints change in a lady's cheek,
None complained he had used words from an alien tongue,
It was worse.
All would agree 'Of course,'
Came their answer.
"We've all felt
Just like that.
" They were wrong.
Knew too much to be clear, could not explain.
The words --
Sold, raped flung to the dogs -- now could avail no more;
But the mouldwarps,
With glib confidence, easily
Showed how tricks of the phrase, sheer metaphors could set
Fools concocting a myth, taking the worlds for things.
Do you think this a far-fetched
Picture? Go then about among
Men now famous; attempt speech on the truths that once,
Opaque, carved in divine forms, irremovable,
Dear but dear as a mountain-
Mass, stood plain to the inward eye.
C S Lewis
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