One of the most dramatic images – but there are lots of others – is in the very first sentence:
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
to which I've just discovered the following posthumous response from C S Lewis,
I am so coarse, the things the poets see
Are obstinately invisible to me.
For twenty years I've stared my level best
To see if evening – any evening – would suggest
A patient etherised upon a table;
In vain. I simply wasn't able.
To me each evening looked far more
Like the departure from a silent, yet crowded shore
Of a ship whose freight was everything, leaving behind
Gracefully, finally without farewells, marooned mankind ...
(CSL, A Confession, 1964)
When literary giants clash like mastodons bellowing across the primeval swamp, the prudent ignoramus retires from the fray.