Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Lebanese artist & poet in US (1883 - 1931)

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Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?
Verily, when good is hungry is seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and the sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping,
For only the hand of God can contain your hearts.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most determined.
You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief, But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against passion and your appetite.

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