Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Two Blind Men


Two blind men met. Said one: "This earth
Has been a blackout from my birth.
Through darkness I have groped my way,
Forlorn, unknowing night from day.
But you - though War destroyed your sight,
Still have your memories of Light,
And to allay your present pain
Can live your golden youth again."

Then said the second: "Aye, it's true,
It must seem magical to you
To know the shape of things that are,
A women's lips, a rose, a star.
But therein lies the hell of it;
Better my eyes had never lit
to love of bluebells in a wood,
Or daffodils in dancing mood.

"You do not know what you have lost,
But I, alas! can count the cost -
Than memories that goad and gall,
Far better not to see at all.
And as for love, you know it not,
For pity is our sorry lot.
So there you see my point of view:
'Tis I, my friend, who envy you.

And which was right still puzzles me:
Perhaps one should be blind to see.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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