Elephants

File:Elefant.13.jh.jpg

Because my Muse has deserted me.  So. Elephants.

It was six men of Indostan

To learning much inclined,

Who went to see the Elephant

(Though all of them were blind),

That each by observation

Might satisfy his mind

https://i1.wp.com/uploads1.wikipaintings.org/images/rembrandt/hansken-1637.jpg

Rembrandt

The First approached the Elephant,

And happening to fall

Against his broad and sturdy side,

At once began to bawl:

“God bless me! but the Elephant

Is very like a wall!”

 

https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9a/Franco_Elephants_lion_and_boar.jpg/640px-Franco_Elephants_lion_and_boar.jpg

Giovanni Battista Franco

The Second, feeling of the tusk,

Cried, “Ho! what have we here

So very round and smooth and sharp?

To me ’tis mighty clear

This wonder of an Elephant

Is very like a spear!”

Hanno, The Pope’s Leo X Elephant  - Raphael

Hanno, Pope Leo X’s Elephant – Raphael

The Third approached the animal,

And happening to take

The squirming trunk within his hands,

Thus boldly up and spake:

“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant

Is very like a snake!”

https://i0.wp.com/uploads3.wikipaintings.org/images/franz-marc/elephant-1907.jpg

Franz Marc

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,

And felt about the knee.

“What most this wondrous beast is like

Is mighty plain,” quoth he;

” ‘Tis clear enough the Elephant

Is very like a tree!”

Eléphant - Gustave Dore

Gustave Doré

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,

Said: “E’en the blindest man

Can tell what this resembles most;

Deny the fact who can

This marvel of an Elephant

Is very like a fan!”

Elephant in Hortus sanitatis - Martin Schongauer

Martin Schongauer

The Sixth no sooner had begun

About the beast to grope,

Than, seizing on the swinging tail

That fell within his scope,

“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant

Is very like a rope!”

Elephant and Whale (diptych) - Ito Jakuchu

Ito Jakuchu

And so these men of Indostan

Disputed loud and long,

Each in his own opinion

Exceeding stiff and strong,

Though each was partly in the right,

And all were in the wrong!

File:Embroidered housings and trappings of the elephant and Howdah exhibited by her Majesty in Great Exhibition.jpg

Moral:

So oft in theologic wars,

The disputants, I ween,

Rail on in utter ignorance

Of what each other mean,

And prate about an Elephant

Not one of them has seen!

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/32/Blind_men_and_elephant.jpg/309px-Blind_men_and_elephant.jpg

 

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