And that self too shall be a foundation. And I too am my own forerunner, for the long shadow stretching before me at sunrise shall gather under my feet at the noon hour. Yet another sunrise shall lay another shadow before me, and that also shall be gathered at another noon. Always have we been our own forerunners, and always shall we be. And all that we have gathered and shall gather shall be but seeds for fields yet unploughed. We are the fields and the ploughmen, the gatherers and the gathered.
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And that self too shall be a foundation. And I too am my own forerunner, for the long shadow stretching before me at sunrise shall gather under my feet at the noon hour.
Yet another sunrise shall lay another shadow before me, and that also shall be gathered at another noon. Always have we been our own forerunners, and always shall we be.
And all that we have gathered and shall gather shall be but seeds for fields yet unploughed. We are the fields and the ploughmen, the gatherers and the gathered. When you were a wandering desire in the mist, I too was there a wandering desire. Then we sought one another, and out of our eagerness dreams were born. And dreams were time limitless, and dreams were space without measure. Then life uttered us and we came down the years throbbing with memories of yesterday and with longing for tomorrow, for yesterday was death conquered and tomorrow was birth pursued.
You are a sun in His right hand and I an earth in His left hand. Yet you are not more, shining, than I, shone upon. And we, sun and earth, are but the beginning of a greater sun and a greater earth.
And always shall we be the beginning. You are your own forerunner, you the stranger passing by the gate of my garden. And I too am my own forerunner, though I sit in the shadows of my trees and seem motionless. And as he walked through the streets he gazed with awe and wonder at the temples and towers and palaces, for the city of Sharia was of surpassing beauty.
And he spoke often to the passers-by, questioning them about their city — but they understood not his language, nor he their language. At the noon hour he stopped before a vast inn.
It was built of yellow marble, and people were going in and coming out unhindered. But what was his surprise to find himself in a hall of great splendour and a large company of men and women seated about many tables. They were eating and drinking and listening to the musicians.
It must be a feast given by the prince to the people, in celebration of a great event. And he was served with meat and wine and most excellent sweets. When he was satisfied, the dreamer rose to depart. At the door he was stopped by a large man magnificently arrayed. Then the large man bethought him, and he looked more closely upon the dreamer. And he saw that he was a stranger, clad in but a poor garment, and that indeed he had not wherewith to pay for his meal.
Then the large man clapped his hands and called — and there came four watchmen of the city. And they listened to the large man. Then they took the dreamer between them, and they were two on each side of him. And the dreamer noted the ceremoniousness of their dress and of their manner and he looked upon them with delight. The dreamer saw before him, seated upon a throne, a venerable man with flowing beard, robed majestically.
And he thought he was the king. And he rejoiced to be brought before him. Now the watchmen related to the judge, who was the venerable man, the charge against the dreamer, and the judge appointed two advocates, one to present the charge and the other to defend the stranger.
And the advocates rose, the one after the other, and delivered each his argument. And the dreamer thought himself to be listening to addresses of welcome, and his heart filled with gratitude to the king and the prince for all that was done for him.
Then sentence was passed upon the dreamer, that upon a tablet about his neck his crime should be written, and that he should ride through the city on a naked horse, with a trumpeter and a drummer before him. And the sentence was carried out forthwith. Now as the dreamer rode through the city upon the naked horse, with the trumpeter and the drummer before him, the inhabitants of the city came running forth at the sound of the noise, and when they saw him they laughed one and all, and the children ran after him in companies from street to street.
Where are we? What race of lavish hosts, who feast the chance guest in their palaces, whose princes companion him, whose kings hangs a token upon his breast and opens to him the hospitality of a city descended from heaven?
He only smiled and slightly shook his head. And the procession passed on. And they say the eagle and the vulture Dig their beaks into the same carcass, And are at peace, one with the other, In the presence of the dead thing. O love, whose lordly hand Has bridled my desires, And raised my hunger and my thirst To dignity and pride, Let not the strong in me and the constant Eat the bread or drink the wine That tempt my weaker self.
Let me rather starve, And let my heart parch with thirst, And let me die and perish, Ere I stretch my hand To a cup you did not fill, Or a bowl you did not bless.
And they also said that he, of his own will, had left his throne and the land of his glory and come to dwell in the wilderness. And I found him sitting under a white cypress, and in his hand a reed as if it were a sceptre. And I greeted him even as I would greet a king. Seek you a lost self in the green shadows, or is it a home-coming in your twilight?
It happened thus: one day as I sat at a window in my palace, my chamberlain and an envoy from a foreign land were walking in my garden. And like my lord the king I have storms of temper. For who would not leave a kingdom for a forest where the seasons sing and dance ceaselessly?
Many are those who have given their kingdom for less than solitude and the sweet fellowship of aloneness. Countless are the eagles who descend from the upper air to live with moles that they may know the secrets of the earth. There are those who renounce the kingdom of dreams that they may not seem distant from the dreamless. And those who renounce the kingdom of nakedness and cover their souls that others may not be ashamed in beholding truth uncovered and beauty unveiled.
And greater yet than all of these is he who renounces the kingdom of sorrow that he may not seem proud and vainglorious. And see that you find him who, though born a king, is without kingdom; and him who though ruled in flesh rules in spirit — though neither he nor his subjects know this; and him also who but seems to rule yet is in truth slave of his own slaves. Then he turned and walked away into the heart of the forest. And I returned to the city, and I sat at its gate to watch the passers-by even as he had told me.
And from that day to this numberless are the kings whose shadows have passed over me and few are the subjects over whom my shadow passed. And she was snoring.
See her mouth droop; and she breathes as if the devil were choking her. She must be dreaming of something evil. She would surely slay us. I like not my dream. And she snored. And the four slaves went on fanning her.
You fan but the fire that consumes you. His thundering roar shall fill the earth with fear, and the flames of his nostrils shall set the sky afire. At the eclipse of the moon we shall be wedded, and at the eclipse of the sun I shall give birth to a Saint George, who shall slay me. THE SAINT In my youth I once visited a saint in his silent grove beyond the hills; and as we were conversing upon the nature of virtue a brigand came limping wearily up the ridge.
My sins are heavy upon me. And when he left us he went skipping down the hill. See you not this man went away no longer believing in you? But he went away much comforted. And for a long while I watched him.
After the coronation of Nufsibaal King of Byblus, he retired to his bed-chamber — the very room which the three hermit-magicians of the mountains had built for him.
He took off his crown and his royal raiment, and stood in the centre of the room thinking of himself, now the all-powerful ruler of Byblus. Suddenly he turned; and he saw stepping out of the silver mirror which his mother had given him, a naked man. The naked man looked down upon him. And the naked man, gazing lovingly upon the king, entered into the mirror. And the king roused, and straightway he looked into the mirror.
And he saw there but himself crowned. And as he was about to descend and seize his prey, another eagle appeared and hovered above the sheep and her young with the same hungry intent.
Then the two rivals began to fight, filling the sky with their fierce cries. The sheep looked up and was much astonished. Is not the vast sky large enough for both of them? Pray, my little one, pray in your heart that God may make peace between your winged brothers. He dismounted and, confident in man and night like all riders towards the sea, he tied his horse to a tree beside the door and entered into the inn. In the morning the man awoke, and discovered that his horse was stolen.
And he grieved for his horse, and that a man had found it in his heart to steal. Then his fellow lodgers came and stood around him and began to talk. But strange, not one word of reproach have you uttered about the man who stole my horse. And the melody holds my heart as the white rose imprisons the bee within her petals. I feel their wings, like the breath of a sleeping fairy, brushing against my fingers.
He went to work for a local Ottoman -appointed administrator. Kamila decided to follow her brother to the United States. Holland Day , c. Holland Day, c. Gibran entered the Josiah Quincy School on September 30,
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