Eden's Courtesy

Such natural love twixt beast and man we find
That children all desire an animal book,
And all brutes, not perverted from their kind,
Woo us with whinny, tongue, tail, song, or look;
So much of Eden's courtesy yet remains.
But when a creature's dread, or mine, has built
A wall between, I think I feel the pains
That Adam earned and do confess my guilt.
For till I tame sly fox and timorous hare
And lording lion in my self, no peace
Can be without; but after, I shall dare
Uncage the shadowy zoo and war will cease;
Because the brutes within, I do not doubt,
Are archetypal of the brutes without.

C. S. Lewis, Poems, "Eden's Courtesy" (1964) Posted by Picasa


Nomad said...

This is so good. I don't think I've ever read someone describing that pang you feel when you alarm something you don't wish to startle but simply want to know-- it's just like that! Some day when the world's not broken anymore we'll understand one another.

My friend Virginia, a young botanist who is at play forever in Eden's land now, used to describe the pleasure in looking at and naming things by their names, whether plants or creatures, as feeling like Adam and Eve getting to give things their name. She was right!

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