Clive Staples Lewis

Here you will find the Poem On a Vulgar Error of poet Clive Staples Lewis

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.