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Some Parables by Khalil Gibran

The Golden Belt

Once upon a day two men who met on the road were walking toward Salamis, the City of Columns. In mid-afternoon they came to a wide river and there was no bridge to cross it. They must needs swim, or seek another road unknown to them. And they said to one another, "Let us swim. After all, the river is not so wide." And they threw themselves into the water and swam. And one of the men who had always known rivers and the ways of rivers, in mid-stream suddenly began to lose himself, and to be carried away by the rushing waters; while the other who had never swum before crossed the river straightway amd stood upon the further bank. Then seeing his companion still wrestling with the stream, he threw himself again into the waters and brought him also safely to the shore. And the man who had been swept away by the current said, "But you told me you could not swim. How then did you cross that river with such assurance?" And the second man answered, "My friend, do you see this belt which gridles me? It is full of golden coins that I have earned for my wife and my children, a full year's work. It is the weight of this belt of gold that carried me across the river, to my wife and my children. And my wife and my children were upon my shoulders as I swam." And the two men walked on together toward Salamis.

The Pearl

Said one oyster to a neighboring oyster, "I have a very great pain within me. It is heavy and round and I am in distress." And the other oyster replied with haughty complacence, "Praise be to the heavens and to the sea, I have no pain within me. I am well and whole both within and without." At that moment a crab was passing by and heard the two oysters, and he said to the one who was well and whole both within and without, "Yes, you are well and whole; but the pain that your neighbor bears is a pearl of exceeding beauty."

The Red Earth

Said a tree to a man, "My roots are in the deep red earth, and I shall give you of my fruit." And the man said to the tree, "How alike we are. My roots are also deep in the red earth. And the red earth gives you the power to bestow upon me of your fruit, and the red earth teaches me to receive from you with thanksgiving."

The Full Moon

The full moon rose in glory upon the town and all the dogs of that town began to bark at the moon. Only one dog did not bark, and he said to them in a grave voice, "Awake not stillness from her sleep, nor bring you the moon to the earth with your barking." Then all the dogs ceased barking, in awful silence. But the dog who had spoken to them continued barking for silence, the rest of the night.

Some Poems by Khalil Gibran

Song of Man

I was here from the moment of the
Beginning, and here I am still. And
I shall remain here until the end
Of the world, for there is no
Ending to my grief-stricken being. I roamed the infinite sky, and
Soared in the ideal world, and
Floated through the firmament. But
Here I am, pridoner of measurement. I heard the teachings of Confucius;
I listened to Brahma's wisdom;
I sat by Buddha under the Tree of Knowledge.
Yet here am I, existing with ignorance
And heresy. I was on Sinai when Jehova approached Moses;
I saw the Nazarene's miracles at the Jordan;
I was in Medina when Mohammed visited.
Yet here I am, prisoner of bewilderment. Then I witnessed the might of Babylon;
I learned of the glory of Egypt;
I viewed the warring greatness of Rome.
Yet my earlier teachings showed the
Weakness and sorrow of those achievements. I conversed with the magicians of Ain Dour;
I debated with the priests of Assyria;
I gleaned depth from the prophets of Palestine.
Yet, I am still seeking the truth. I gathered wisdom from quiet India;
I probed the antiquity of Arabia;
I heard all than can be heard.
Yet my heart is deaf and blind. I suffered at the hands of despotic rulers;
I suffered slavery under insane invaders;
I suffered hunger imposed by tyranny;
Yet, I still possess some inner power
With which I struggle to greet each day. My mind is filled, but my heart is empty;
My body is old, but my heart is an infant.
Perhaps in youth my heart will grow, but I
Pray to grow old and reach the moment of
My return to God. Only then will my heart fill! I was here from the moment of the
Beginning, and here I am still. And
I shall remain here until the end
Of the world, for there is no
Ending to my grief-stricken being.

Song of Love

I am the lover's eyes, and the spirit's
Wine, and the heart's nourishment.
I am a rose. My heart opens at dawn and
The virgin kisses me and places me
Upon her breast. I am the house of true fortune, and the
Origin of pleasure, and the beginning
Of peace and tranquility. I am the gentle
Smile upon the lips of beauty. When youth
Overtakes me he forgets his toil, and his
Whole life becomes reality of sweet dreams. I am the poet's elation,
And the artist's revelation,
And the musician's inspiration. I am a sacred shrine in the heart of a
Child, adored by a merciful mother. I appear to a heart's cry; I shun a demand;
My fullness pursues the heart's desire;
It shuns the empty claim of the voice. I appeared to Adam through Eve
And exile was his lot;
Yet I revealed myself to Solomon, and
He drew wisdom from my presence. I smiled at Helena and she destroyed Tarwada;
Yet I crowned Cleopatra and peace dominated
The Valley of the Nile. I am like the ages -- building today
And destroying tommorrow;
I am like a god, who creates and ruins;
I am sweeter than a violet's sigh;
I am more violent than a raging tempest. Gifts alone do not entice me;
Parting does not discourage me;
Poverty does not chase me;
Jealousy does not prove my awareness;
Madness does not evidence my presence. Oh seekers, I am Truth, beseeching Truth;
And your Truth in seeking and receiving
And protecting me shall determine my