“But,” said Lewis, “myths are lies, even though lies breathed through silver.”
“No,” said Tolkien, “they are not.”
An excerpt from J.R.R. Tolkien’s poem “Mythopoeia”:
The heart of man is not compound of lies,
but draws some wisdom from the only Wise, and still recalls Him.
Though now long estranged, Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed.
Dis-graced he may be, yet is not de-throned,
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned.
Man, Sub-creator, the refracted light through whom is splintered
from a single White to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
Though all the crannies of the world we filled with Elves and Goblins,
though we dared to build Gods and their houses out of dark and light,
and saved the seed of dragons – ’twas our right (used or misused).
That right has not decayed: we make still by the laws in which we’re made.