The Madman

Khalil Gibran


The Eye


    Said the Eye one day, "I see beyond these valleys a mountain veiled with blue mist. Is it not beautiful?"

       The Ear listened, and after listening intently awhile, said, "But where is any mountain? I do not hear it."

       Then the Hand spoke and said, "I am trying in vain to feel it or touch it, and I can find no mountain."

       And the Nose said, "There is no mountain, I cannot smell it."

       Then the Eye turned the other way, and they all began to talk together about the Eye's strange delusion.
    And they said, "Something must be the matter with the Eye."


The Two Learned Men


    Once there lived in the ancient city of Afkar two learned men who hated and belittled each other's learning.
    For one of them denied the existence of the gods and the other was a believer.

       One day the two met in the market-place, and amidst their followers they began to dispute and to argue
    about the existence or the non-existence of the gods. And after hours of contention they parted.

       That evening the unbeliever went to the temple and prostrated himself before the altar and prayed the
    gods to forgive his wayward past.

       And the same hour the other learned man, he who had upheld the gods, burned his sacred books. For he
    had become an unbeliever.


When My Sorrow Was Born


    When my sorrow was born I nursed it with care, and watched over it with loving tenderness.

       And my Sorrow grew like all living things, strong and beautiful and full of wondrous delights.

       And we loved one another, my Sorrow and I, and we loved the world about us; for Sorrow had a kindly
    heart and mine was kindly with Sorrow.

       And when we conversed, my Sorrow and I, our days were winged and our nights were girdled with dreams;
    for Sorrow had an eloquent tongue, and mine was eloquent with Sorrow.

       And when we sang together, my Sorrow and I, our neighbors sat at their windows and listenend; for our
    songs were deep as the sea and our melodies were full of strange memories.

       And when we walked together, my Sorrow and I, people gazed at us with gentle eyes and whispered in
    words of exceeding sweetness. And there were those who looked with envy upon us, for Sorrow was a noble
    thing and I was proud with Sorrow.

       But my Sorrow died, like all living things, and alone I am left to muse and ponder.

       And now when I speak my words fall heavily upon my ears.

       And when I sing my songs my neighbours come not to listen.

       And when I walk the streets no one looks at me.

       Only in my sleep I hear voices saying in pity, "See, there lies the man whose Sorrow is dead."



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