It was six men of Hindustan
To learning much inclined
Who went to see an Elephant
Though each of them was blind
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

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!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! What have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me tis very clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!

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!”

The fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee
“What this most wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain!” quoth he:
“Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “Even the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most:
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

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!”

And so these men of Hindustan
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.

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what the others mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!