The Prophet (1926) by Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)
The Garden of the Prophet
The Prophet is a book of 26 prose poetry fables written in English by the Lebanese-American poet and writer Kahlil Gibran. It was originally published in 1923 by Alfred A. Knopf. It is Gibran's best known work. The Prophet has been translated into over 100 different languages, making it one of the most translated books in history, and it has never been out of print.
Khalil Gibran (January 6, 1883 - April 10, 1931) was a Lebanese-American writer, poet, visual artist and Lebanese nationalist. Soon after his arrival to Boston, the young boy was enrolled at the Josiah Quincy School which was situated at 88 Tyler Street and that he attended from 30 September 1895 until 22 September 1898. It was during this period his English teacher called him by his father's name - "Kahlil" - anglicising the spelling from 'Khalil to Kahlil'. She also found it odd that his first name is the same as his surname.» His father's name was Khalil Saad Jubran (Khalil Sa`d Jubran), and this probably explains why the records of the Quincy School reported the student's name as «Kahlil Gibran Jr. alias Assad»
?Almustafa, the chosen and the beloved, who was a dawn onto his own day, had waited twelve years in the city of Orphalese for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the isle of his birth.
And in the twelfth year, on the seventh day of Ielool, the month of reaping, he climbed the hill without the city walls and looked seaward; and he beheld the ship coming with the mist.
Then the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.
But he descended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart:
How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.
?Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret?
Too many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in these streets, and too many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a burden and an ache.
It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands.
Nor is it a thought I leave behind me, but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst.
Yet I cannot tarry longer.
The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark.
For to stay, though the hours burn in the night, is to freeze and crystallize and be bound in a mould.
Fain would I take with me all that is here. But how shall I?
A voice cannot carry the tongue and ?the lips that give it wings. Alone must it seek the ether.
And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun.
Now when he reached the foot of the hill, he turned again towards the sea, and he saw his ship approaching the harbour, and upon her prow the mariners, the men of his own land.
And his soul cried out to them, and he said:
Sons of my ancient mother, you riders of the tides,
How often have you sailed in my dreams. And now you come in my awakening, which is my deeper dream.
Ready am I to go, and my eagerness with sails full set awaits the wind.
Only another breath will I breathe in this still air, only another loving look cast backward,
Then I shall stand among you, a seafarer among seafarers.
?And you, vast sea, sleepless mother,
Who alone are peace and freedom to the river and the stream,
Only another winding will this stream make, only another murmur in this glade,
And then shall I come to you, a boundless drop to a boundless ocean.
And as he walked he saw from afar men and women leaving their fields and