THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT
JOHN GODFREY SAXE
1. All It was six men of Hindustan,
2. To learning much inclined,
3. Who went to see the elephant
4. (Though all of them were blind)
5. That each by observation
6. Might satisfy his mind.
7. Reader 1 The First approached the elephant,
8. And, happening to fall
9. Against his broad and sturdy side,
10. At once began to bawl:
11. All "God bless me! but the elephant
12. Is nothing but a wall!"
13. Reader 2 The Second, feeling of the tusk,
14. Cried: "Ho! what have we here,
15. So very round and smooth and sharp?
16. To me 'tis mighty clear
17. All This wonder of an elephant
18. Is very like a spear!"
19. Reader 3 The Third approached the animal,
20. And, happening to take
21. The squirming trunk within his hands,
22. Thus boldly up and spake:
23. All "I see," quoth he, "the elephant
24. Is very like a snake!"
25. Reader 4 The Fourth reached out his eager hand
26. And felt about the knee.
27. "What most this wondrous beast is like
28. Is mighty plain," quoth he.
29. All "'Tis clear enough the elephant
30. Is very like a tree."
31. Reader 5 The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
32. Said: "E'en the blindest man
33. Can tell what this resembles most.
34. Deny the fact who can,
35. All This marvel of an elephant
36. Is very like a fan!"
37. Reader 6 The Sixth no sooner had begun
38. About the beast to grope
39. Than, seizing on the swinging tail
40. That fell within his scope,
41. All "I see," quoth he, "the elephant
42. Is very like a rope!"
43. Reader 7 And so these men of Hindustan
44. Disputed loud and long,
45. Each in his own opinion
46. Exceeding stiff and strong,
47. All Though each was partly in the right
48. And all were in the wrong!
49. Reader 8 So, oft in theologic wars
50. The disputants, I ween,
51. Rail on in utter ignorance
52. Of what each other mean
53. All And prate about an elephant
54. Not one of them has seen!
Een - even
Hindustan the Hindu areas of India
Prate - babble
Spake - spoke
Theologic studies about God