Two Parts of the Mind

July 14th, 2007

C.S. Lewis, “Reason” (quoted in Owen Barfield on C.S. Lewis, “Barfield and/or Lewis”

Set on the soul’s acropolis the reason stands

A virgin, arm’d, commercing with celestial light,

And he who sins against her has defiled his own

Virginity; no cleansing makes his garment white;

So clear is reason. But how dark, imagining,

Warm, dark, obscure and infinite, daughter of Night:

Dark is her brow, the beauty of her eyes with sleep

Is loaded, and her pains are long and her delight.

Tempt not Athene. Wound not in her fertile pains

Demeter, not rebel against her mother-right.

Oh who will reconcile in me both maid and mother,

Who make in me a concord of the depth and height?

Who make imagination’s dim exploring touch

Ever report the same as intellectual sight?

Then could I truly say, and not deceive,

Then wholly say, that I BELIEVE.

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