This is an excerpt from The Book of Mirdad, Mikhail Naimy

"For I, O monks, is the Creative word. And save you grasp thereof the magic power; and save you be of that power the masters, you are too apt to groan when you would sing; or be at war, when you would be at peace; or cringe in gaols dark, when you would soar in light.

Your I is but your consciousness of being, silent and incorporeal, made vocal and corporeal. It is the inaudible in you made audible, and the invisible made visible that, seeing, you may see the un-seeable; and hearing, you may hear the unhearable. For eye-and ear-bound yet are you. And save you see with eyes, and save you hear with ears, you see and hear nothing at all. "

I am confused as to how to make sense of the use "save you" in this context.

Although this is my interpretation, in the first paragraph, looks like "save" can be nearly approximated to "unless" and in the second paragraph "save you" behaves more like "even if".

Please help me resolve this.

  • 1
    I would read "unless" in all four cases.
    – Lee Leon
    Feb 26, 2018 at 8:50
  • @LeeLeon probably right, I was definitely overthinking.
    – Bijesh K.S
    Feb 26, 2018 at 9:03
  • Essentially, answered at Etymology of "save" in the meaning of "except", "but", "unless" Feb 26, 2018 at 9:19
  • Bijesh - thanks for selecting my answer, but I usually like to leave it a day or so before selecting an answer in case other people (whose answers may be even better) are discouraged from posting them. Feb 26, 2018 at 10:04
  • @ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere Oh okay! not familiar with how things are here in this platform but anyway the link served my purpose. Thank you
    – Bijesh K.S
    Feb 26, 2018 at 10:13

1 Answer 1


The problem here is considering only part of the phrase - the whole phrase is "save you grasp", or "save you see", or "save you hear".

As Lee Leon mentions, its "unless you grasp", or "without you grasping".

More detail can be found on the answer to this question.


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