My humble apologies to John Godfrey Saxe, whose poem I have modified to add a seventh man, and to make a point…

 

‘twas seven men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d 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 mighty 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 most this 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: "E’en 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,
Then, 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 Indostan
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!

Silent was the Seventh man
Who heard the heated fray
Not touching the amazing beast
Upon that fateful day
Chose wisely to collect his clues
From what each had to say

Concluding from the evidence
That no man clearly knew
The seventh man did not attempt
To posit what was true
Instead he sought to ascertain
what the beast could do

Tried and failed, and tried again
This man did ply his art
Invented he, a harness great
And cried out from his heart
“I cannot see the shape of it
but it sure can pull a cart!”

MORAL

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

The wise, instead, do not delay
to overcome their lack of vision
They absorbs, from fellow men, their
thoughts and intuition
And then they act to journey forth
accomplishing their mission