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The Hugger Mugger

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Armed with Her Whip, Truth Emerges from the Pit to Chastize Humanity (La Vérité sortant du puits armée de son martinet pour châtier l’humanité [1896])

“We know her not, for truth lies deep.”—Democritus*

But love her well!

You cannot tell

When she’ll emerge—

Always, ever?

Perhaps though never?

Don’t be too clever—

You’ll feel her scourge!


*Diogenes Laërtius, Lives and Thoughts of the Renowned Philosophers (3rd century CE); “We actually know zip, for the truth lies deep” (ἐτεῇ δὲ οὐδὲν ἴδμεν: ἐν βυθῷ γὰρ ἡ ἀλήθεια).


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