HELP ye the Blind that cannot help themselves,
His greatest blessing God from them withholds;
The deepest pit-slave in no darkness delves
Like that black bondage that the Blind enfolds.
Our world is sweet with sunshine and with smiles,
Theirs is a no-man’s-land of sorrowed shade;
We laugh along the glad and golden miles
The pools of nether night they weary wade.
Help ye the Blind, and unto Heaven pray
That He has showered sunlight on your way!
WORK for the Blind, let them not know the need
Of seeking for to-morrow’s urgent meal;
There is no class, partitioning nor creed
Where all their halting way for ever feel.
The splendour of the earth and sky is ours,
The dawn magnificent, the eventide;
The verdant valleys, summer streams and flow’rs,
The hills where light and loveliness abide.
And though their perfume wanders on the wind
All else is but a mockery to the Blind!
PITY the Blind, whose eyes may never see
The dear ones round about who laugh and love;
The curly-headed babes around their knee,
The star-worlds beaming in the blue above.
They touch the tiny hands and tiny heads
That alter through the long processing years;
But on through all their darkness and their dreads
They do not see their loved ones’ tender tears.
Towards the black abyss that lies behind
Go all the pains and pleasures of the Blind!
THINK for the Blind, and, when you’re thinking, think
If that same shadow came to yours and you,
And not a beam of light broke o’er the brink
To pierce the Stygian shadow through and through.
Picture yourself blind, friendless and alone,
Your loved ones’ voices echoes of the past,
The golden mem’ries you in youth had known
Into a black and bleak Avernus cast.
Hell is more happy, curses less unkind
Than a hard world towards the friendless Blind!
SEE for the Blind, lend them your precious sight,
Make one day glorious in those years of pain
And though you cannot lead them to the light,
Be you their beacon through th’ Unlightened Lane.
Do unto them as they to you would do
Had fate upon you set a sightless seal,
Let their poor useless eyes not turn to you
A mute and melancholy vain appeal.
May He who tortured died for human-kind
Plead to you through this Ballad of the Blind!
Edwin Greenslade Murphy, Dryblower’s Verses, Perth, W.A.: E. G. Murphy, 1926, pages 61-62
Previously published (with some differences) in:
The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 11 September 1921, p. 4
Avernus = hell; a lake west of Naples (Italy), which, because of its sulfurous vapors, was regarded by the ancient Romans as an entrance to the underworld
Stygian = very dark, gloomy; forbidding, hellish, unpleasantly dark; of or pertaining to the river Styx (in Greek mythology, a river which formed the boundary between the land of the living and the underworld)
verdant = countryside covered with lush green grass or other plant life; may also refer to the colour green, or to someone who is “green” (i.e. lacking experience, judgment, or sophistication)