Friday, August 13, 2010

15th August special...


" WHAT do you seek, my countrymen?
Do you desire that i build for
You gorgeous palaces,
decorated with words of empty meaning,
Temples roofed with dreams?
Do you command me to destroy
what the liars and the tyrants have built?
Shall i uproot with my fingers,
what the hypocrites and the wicked have implanted?
Speak your insane wish!

What is it you would have me do,
My countrymen?
Shall i purr like the kitten to satisfy you,
roar like the lion to please myself?
i have sung for you,
but you did not Dance;
i have wept before you,
but you did not Cry.
Shall i sing and weep at the same time?
Your souls are suffering the pangs of hunger,
and yet the fruit of knowledge is more plentiful
than the stones of the valleys.

Your hearts are withering from Thirst,
and yet the springs of Life
are streaming about your Homes----
why do you not drink?
The sea has its ebb and flow,
The moon has its fullness and Crescents,
and the Ages have their winter and summer,
and all things vary like the shadow of
an unborn God moving between Earth and Sun,
but Truth cannot be changed,
nor will it pass away;
Why, then, do you endeavour to
disfigure its countenance?

i have called you in the silence of the night
to point out the Glory of the moon
and the dignity of the stars,
but you startled from your slumber
and clutched your swords in Fear,
crying,"Where is the enemy?
We must kill him first!"
At morningtide, when the enemy came,
i called to you again,
but now you did not wake from your slumber,
for you were locked in fear,
wrestling with the processions of spectres in your dreams.

And i said unto you,
"Let us climb to the mountain top
and view the Beauty of the world."
And you answered me saying,
"In the depths of this valley our fathers lived,
And in its shadows they died,
and in its caves they were buried.
How can we depart this place
for one which they tailed to honour?"
And i said unto you,
"Let us go to the plain
that gives its bounty to the sea."
And you spoke timidly to me, saying,
"The uproar of the abyss will frighten our spirits,
and the terror of the depths will deaden our bodies."

i have loved you, my countrymen,
but my love for you is painful to me
and useless to you;
and Today i hate you,
and hatred is a flood that sweeps away the dry branches
and quivering houses.

i have pitied your weakness,
my countrymen,
but my pity has but increased your feebleness,
exalting and nourishing slothfulness
which is vain to life.
and today i see your infirmity
which my soul loathes and fears.

i have cried over your humiliation and submission;
and my tears streamed like crystalline,
but could not sear away
your stagnant weakness;
yet they removed the veil from my eyes.

My tears have never reached your petrified hearts,
but they cleansed the darkness
from my inner self.
Today i am mocking at your suffering,
for laughter is a raging thunder
that precedes the tempest
and never comes After it.

What do you desire, my countrymen;
Do you wish for me to show you
the ghost of your countenance
on the face of still water?
and see how ugly you are!

Look and meditate!
Fear has turned your hair grey
as the Ashes,
and dissipation has grown over your eyes
and made them into obscured hollows,
and cowardice has touched your cheeks
that now appear as dismal pits in the valley,
and death has kissed your lips
and left them yellow
as the autumn leaves.

What is it that you seek,
my countrymen?
What ask you from Life,
who does not count you among her children?
Your souls are freezing
in the clutches of the priests and Sorcerers,
and your bodies tremble
between the paws of the Despots
and the shedders of blood,
and your country quakes
under the marching feet of the conquering enemy;
What may you expect
even though you stand proudly
before the face of the Sun?
Your swords are sheathed with rust,
and your spears are broken,
and your shields are laden with gaps;
Why, then,
do you stand in the field of battle?

Hypocrisy is your religion,
and falsehood is your life,
and nothingness is your ending;
Why, then,
are you living?
Is not death the sole comfort of miserables?

Life is a resolution that accompanies youth,
and a diligence that follows maturity,
and a Wisdom that pursues senility;
but you, my countrymen,
were born old and weak.
And your skins withered
and your head shrank,
whereupon you became as children,
running into the mire
and casting stones
upon each other.

Knowledge is a light, 
enriching the warmth of life,
and all may partake
who seek it out;
but you, my countrymen,
seek out darkness and flee the light,
awaiting the coming of water from the rock,
your nation's misery is your crime...
i do not forgive you your sins,
for you know what you are doing.

Humanity is a brilliant river,
Singing its way
and carrying with it
the mountains' secret
into the heart of the sea;
but you, my countrymen,
are stagnant marshes
infested with
insects and vipers.

The Spirit is sacred blue torch,
burning and devouring the dry plants,
and growing with die storm
and illuminating the faces of the goddesses;
but you, my countrymen...
Your souls are like ashes
which the winds scatter upon the snow,
and which the tempests disperse
forever in the valleys.

Fear not the phantom of Death,
My countrymen,
for his greatness and mercy
will refuse to approach your smallness;
and dread not the dagger,
for it will decline
to be lodged in your shallow hearts.

I hate you my countrymen,
because you hate glory and greatness.
I despise you because you despise yourselves.
I am your enemy,
for you refuse to realise that
you are the enemies of the goddesses.

                                               - KAHLIL GIBRAN

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