And like the seasons you are also, And though in your winter you deny your spring, Yet spring, reposing within you, smiles in her drowsiness and is not offended. Think not I say these things in order that you may say the one to the other, "He praised us well.
He saw but the good in us. And what is word knowledge but a shadow of wordless knowledge? Your thoughts and my words are waves from a sealed memory that keeps records of our yesterdays, And of the ancient days when the earth knew not us nor herself, And of nights when earth was upwrought with confusion, Wise men have come to you to give you of their wisdom.
I came to take of your wisdom: And behold I have found that which is greater than wisdom. It is a flame spirit in you ever gathering more of itself, While you, heedless of its expansion, bewail the withering of your days. It is life in quest of life in bodies that fear the grave. There are no graves here. These mountains and plains are a cradle and a stepping-stone.
Whenever you pass by the field where you have laid your ancestors look well thereupon, and you shall see yourselves and your children dancing hand in hand. Verily you often make merry without knowing. Others have come to you to whom for golden promises made unto your faith you have given but riches and power and glory. Less than a promise have I given, and yet more generous have you been to me. You have given me deeper thirsting after life. Surely there is no greater gift to a man than that which turns all his aims into parching lips and all life into a fountain.
And in this lies my honour and my reward, - That whenever I come to the fountain to drink I find the living water itself thirsty; And it drinks me while I drink it. Some of you have deemed me proud and over-shy to receive gifts. To proud indeed am I to receive wages, but not gifts. And though I have eaten berries among the hill when you would have had me sit at your board, And slept in the portico of the temple where you would gladly have sheltered me, Yet was it not your loving mindfulness of my days and my nights that made food sweet to my mouth and girdled my sleep with visions?
For this I bless you most: You give much and know not that you give at all. Verily the kindness that gazes upon itself in a mirror turns to stone, And a good deed that calls itself by tender names becomes the parent to a curse. And some of you have called me aloof, and drunk with my own aloneness, And you have said, "He holds council with the trees of the forest, but not with men.
He sits alone on hill-tops and looks down upon our city. How could I have seen you save from a great height or a great distance? How can one be indeed near unless he be far?
And others among you called unto me, not in words, and they said, Stranger, stranger, lover of unreachable heights, why dwell you among the summits where eagles build their nests? Why seek you the unattainable? What storms would you trap in your net, And what vaporous birds do you hunt in the sky? Come and be one of us. Descend and appease your hunger with our bread and quench your thirst with our wine. But the hunter was also the hunted: For many of my arrows left my bow only to seek my own breast. And the flier was also the creeper; For when my wings were spread in the sun their shadow upon the earth was a turtle.
And I the believer was also the doubter; For often have I put my finger in my own wound that I might have the greater belief in you and the greater knowledge of you. And it is with this belief and this knowledge that I say, You are not enclosed within your bodies, nor confined to houses or fields.
That which is you dwells above the mountain and roves with the wind. It is not a thing that crawls into the sun for warmth or digs holes into darkness for safety, But a thing free, a spirit that envelops the earth and moves in the ether. If this be vague words, then seek not to clear them. Vague and nebulous is the beginning of all things, but not their end, And I fain would have you remember me as a beginning. Life, and all that lives, is conceived in the mist and not in the crystal. And who knows but a crystal is mist in decay?
This would I have you remember in remembering me: That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most determined. Is it not your breath that has erected and hardened the structure of your bones? And is it not a dream which none of you remember having dreamt that building your city and fashioned all there is in it? Could you but see the tides of that breath you would cease to see all else, And if you could hear the whispering of the dream you would hear no other sound.
But you do not see, nor do you hear, and it is well. The veil that clouds your eyes shall be lifted by the hands that wove it, And the clay that fills your ears shall be pierced by those fingers that kneaded it. And you shall see And you shall hear. Yet you shall not deplore having known blindness, nor regret having been deaf. For in that day you shall know the hidden purposes in all things, And you shall bless darkness as you would bless light.
After saying these things he looked about him, and he saw the pilot of his ship standing by the helm and gazing now at the full sails and now at the distance. Patient, over-patient, is the captain of my ship. The wind blows, and restless are the sails; Even the rudder begs direction; Yet quietly my captain awaits my silence. And these my mariners, who have heard the choir of the greater sea, they too have heard me patiently. Now they shall wait no longer. The stream has reached the sea, and once more the great mother holds her son against her breast.
Fare you well, people of Orphalese. This day has ended. It is closing upon us even as the water-lily upon its own tomorrow. Still, when I revisited the book at the age of forty, I was pleasantly surprised to find a wealth of intelligent observations and good advice. Many of the teachings seem surprisingly modern despite their form.
Not "modern" in the sense of "trendy"; I mean "modern" in being highly applicable to our present society. Just take this passage on marriage:.
The story of the difficult birth of a book that is still being read and quoted by millions of people across the world. Early in his life Khalil Gibran's path was that of a. We review the stage production Rest Upon the Wind which explores the life of Khalil Gibran and reveals that while the man was a genius.
When one considers that this was published in by a man who was raised in a culture not generally considered to be in the vanguard of female emancipation, one has to admit that it reflects a remarkably fresh view of what marriage should ideally be like. It is not surprising that this passage is widely used at present-day weddings. The first line should of course be understood: Perhaps under the influence of this verse, I realized even before my children were born, that I was looking forward to getting to know them , rather than have them getting to know me.
All parents know that each child has its own unique personality, but all too many of us and our relatives! Kahlil Gibran originally spelled Khalil was born in in a small village in Lebanon, at that time a part of Syria under Turkish rule. His impoverished family was Arabic and Christian. At the age of twelve he migrated to the United States with his mother, a brother and two sisters. They lived in poverty in Boston. He completed his studies in Lebanon during three years before returning to Boston.
He lost his mother, his brother and one sister to illness in From that time onwards he made his living from his art and from his writing, helped by several female American admirers. His best-known work, The Prophet , was published in He died from cancer in The Prophet describes the last day of Almustafa, "the chosen and the beloved" , before he leaves the town of Orphalese, where he has been waiting for twelve years for the ship that will carry him back to his native island. The people ask him to share his truths with them before his departure.