And a youth said, "Speak to us of Friendship"
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind,
nor do you withhold the "ay."
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires,
all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence,
as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love
but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
And a man said, "Speak to us of Self-Knowledge"
And he answered, saying:
Your hearts know in silence
the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst
for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
You would know in words
that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers
the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise
and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths
would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales
to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths
of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Say not, "I have found the truth,"
but rather, "I have found a truth."
Say not, "I have found the path of the soul."
Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line,
neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself,
like a lotus of countless petals.
And a woman who held a babe against
her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's
longing for itself.
They come through you but not from
And though they are with you yet they
belong not to you.
You give them your love but not
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not
For their souls dwell in the house of
tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even
in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek
not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path
of the infinite, and He bends you with His
might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand
be for gladness:
For even as He loves the arrow that flies
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
by Kahill Gibran.
Should you be interested in reading more of Kahlil Gibran's writings,
and in particular "The Prophet" visit
Kahlil Gibran Online
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