Tuesday, November 14, 2006

On a Vulgar Error

No. It's an impudent falsehood. Men did not
Invariably think the newer way
Prosaic, mad, inelegant, or what not.

Was the first pointed arch esteemed a blot
Upon the church? Did anybody say
How modern and how ugly? They did not.

Plate-armour, or windows glazed, or verse fire-hot
With rhymes from France, or spices from Cathay,
Were these at first a horror? They were not.

If, then, our present arts, laws, houses, food
All set us hankering after yesterday,
Need this be only an archaising mood?

Why, any man whose purse has been let blood
By sharpers, when he finds all drained away
Must compare how he stands with how he stood.

If a quack doctor's breezy ineptitude
Has cost me a leg, must I forget straightway
All that I can't do now, all that I could?

So, when our guides unanimously decry
The backward glance, I think we can guess why.

C. S. Lewis


More Lewis Poetry Here


Images: Matthew Alderman proposal for a city church

1 comment:

Bernadette said...

So I think I'm going to be able to make it to the Edith Stein conference in February. And maybe stay with you? Mamie said that it was a possibility. (Although I don't know if you and I can exist in the same space - every time I visit Mamie you're mysteriously absent... perhaps we're really the same person and don't know it?)