Here is a snippet When my sorrow was born When my sorrow was born I nursed it with care, and watched over it with loving tenderness. And my Sorrow grew like all living things, strong and beautiful and full of wondrous delights. And we loved one another, my Sorrow and I, and we loved the world about us; for Sorrow had a kindly heart and mine was kindly with Sorrow. And when we conversed, my Sorrow and I, our days were winged and our nights were girdled with dreams; for Sorrow had an eloquent tongue, and mine was eloquent with Sorrow. And when we sang together, my Sorrow and I, our neighbors sat at their windows and listenend; for our songs were deep as the sea and our melodies were full of strange memories.
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For the first time the sun kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And I have found both freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.
But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. Thy hidden will is my law and I shall obey thee for ever more. Out of clay hast thou fashioned me and to thee I owe mine all. In pity and love thou hast given me birth, and through love and worship I shall inherit thy kingdom. I am thy root in the earth and thou art my flower in the sky, and together we grow before the face of the sun.
And when I descended to the valleys and the plains God was there also. Seeming is but a garment I wear--a care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee from my negligence. I would not have thee believe in what I say nor trust in what I do--for my words are naught but thy own thoughts in sound and my deeds thy own hopes in action. Thou canst not understand my seafaring thoughts, nor would I have thee understand.
I would be at sea alone. When it is day with thee, my friend, it is night with me; yet even then I speak of the noontide that dances upon the hills and of the purple shadow that steals its way across the valley; for thou canst not hear the songs of my darkness nor see my wings beating against the stars--and I fain would not have thee hear or see.
I would be with night alone. The flame would burn thy eyesight and the smoke would crowd thy nostrils. And I love my Hell too well to have thee visit it. I would be in Hell alone. Thou lovest Truth and Beauty and Righteousness; and I for thy sake say it is well and seemly to love these things. But in my heart I laughed at thy love. Yet I would not have thee see my laughter. I would laugh alone. My friend, thou art good and cautious and wise; nay, thou art perfect--and I, too, speak with thee wisely and cautiously.
And yet I am mad. But I mask my madness. I would be mad alone. My friend, thou art not my friend, but how shall I make thee understand? My path is not thy path, yet together we walk, hand in hand. A year passed, during which the scarecrow turned philosopher.
And when I passed by him again I saw two crows building a nest under his hat. One night, while silence enfolded the world, the woman and her daughter, walking, yet asleep, met in their mist-veiled garden.
You by whom my youth was destroyed--who have built up your life upon the ruins of mine! Would I could kill you! Who stand between my freer self and me! Who would have my life an echo of your own faded life! Would you were dead! And as he came near and saw that they were very intent and heeded him not, he stopped. Now these two hermits had one earthen bowl, and this was their only possession. The time has come for us to part. Let us divide our possessions. I will take nothing but mine own.
It must be divided. If it be thy pleasure let us rather cast a lot. The bowl must be divided. Wouldst thou not give me a needle? I can bear my fate no longer, and now I rebel.
I laugh his laughter and sing his happy hours, and with thrice winged feet I dance his brighter thoughts. It is I that would rebel against my weary existence. Third Self: And what of me, the love-ridden self, the flaming brand of wild passion and fantastic desires? It is I the love-sick self who would rebel against this madman.
Fourth Self: I, amongst you all, am the most miserable, for naught was given me but odious hatred and destructive loathing. It is I, the tempest-like self, the one born in the black caves of Hell, who would protest against serving this madman.
Fifth Self: Nay, it is I, the thinking self, the fanciful self, the self of hunger and thirst, the one doomed to wander without rest in search of unknown things and things not yet created; it is I, not you, who would rebel. Sixth Self: And I, the working self, the pitiful labourer, who, with patient hands, and longing eyes, fashion the days into images and give the formless elements new and eternal forms--it is I, the solitary one, who would rebel against this restless madman. Seventh Self: How strange that you all would rebel against this man, because each and every one of you has a preordained fate to fulfil.
But I have none, I am the do-nothing self, the one who sits in the dumb, empty nowhere and nowhen, while you are busy re-creating life. Is it you or I, neighbours, who should rebel? When the seventh self thus spake the other six selves looked with pity upon him but said nothing more; and as the night grew deeper one after the other went to sleep enfolded with a new and happy submission.
But the seventh self remained watching and gazing at nothingness, which is behind all things. WAR One night a feast was held in the palace, and there came a man and prostrated himself before the prince, and all the feasters looked upon him; and they saw that one of his eyes was out and that the empty socket bled. And now, O prince, I ask for justice upon the weaver. It is right that one of my eyes be taken. And yet, alas! But I have a neighbour, a cobbler, who has also two eyes, and in his trade both eyes are not necessary.
And he came. And justice was satisfied. And he was feared for his might and loved for his wisdom. Now, in the heart of that city was a well, whose water was cool and crystalline, from which all the inhabitants drank, even the king and his courtiers; for there was no other well.
Our king and his lord chamberlain have lost their reason. Surely we cannot be ruled by a mad king. We must dethrone him. And when it was brought to him he drank deeply, and gave it to his lord chamberlain to drink. And there was great rejoicing in that distant city of Wirani, because its king and its lord chamberlain had regained their reason.
One was a weaver, another a carpenter and the third a ploughman. Let us have all the wine we want. We will have a great roast with the wine. Let us have honey cakes too. And they were merry. And the host rubbed his hands and smiled at his wife; for his guests were spending freely. When they left the moon was high, and they walked along the road singing and shouting together. The host and his wife stood in the tavern door and looked after them.
So freehanded and so gay! If only they could bring us such luck every day! Then our son need not be a tavern-keeper and work so hard. We could educate him, and he could become a priest.
And after three and thirty years, during which my mother, and the nurse, and the priest have all died, the shadow of God be upon their spirits the soothsayer still lives. Even in your infancy I prophesied and foretold your future. And so I moved that very day into the heart of a quince, where the seeds are few and almost silent.
And after they had saluted one another, each according to the custom of his tribe, they stood there conversing. I have searched all day for a grain of some sort, and there is none to be found. This is, I believe, what my people call the soft, moving land where nothing grows. At that moment the man moved and in his sleep raised his hand and scratched his nose, and the three ants were crushed.
One side of her face was pale, the other was blushing. And I made great provision for my journey. And after forty days I beheld the city and on the forty-first day I entered into it. And lo! All withered. God hath made us conquerors over the evil that was in us. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Yibrán Jalil Yibrán
Seeming is but a garment I wear-a care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee from my negligence. I would not have thee believe in what I say nor trust in what I do-for my words are naught but thy own thoughts in sound and my deeds thy own hopes in action. Thou canst not understand my seafaring thoughts, nor would I have thee understand. I would be at sea alone. When it is day with thee, my friend, it is night with me; yet even then I speak of the noontide that dances upon the hills and of the purple shadow that steals its way across the valley; for thou canst not hear the songs of my darkness nor see my wings beating against the stars-and I fain would not have thee hear or see.
It happened thus: One day, long before many gods were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found all my masks were stolen -- the seven masks I have fashioned and worn in seven lives -- I ran maskless through the crowded streets shouting, "Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves. And when I reached the market place, a youth standing on a house-top cried, "He is a madman. For the first time the sun kissed my own naked face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun, and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance I cried, "Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my masks. And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief.
The Madman Quotes
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