The Prophet - Kahlil Gibran

先知 - 東岐明 譯

  
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    amidha.yang@msa.hinet.net 東岐明


 

紀伯倫青年畫像

Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931) 
Lebanese Literature. Born: January 6, 1883
Basharri, Lebanon Died: April 10, 1931
New York City, New York, United States 


 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  1. The Coming of the Ship
  2. Love
  3. Marriage
  4. Children
  5. Giving
  6. Eating and Drinking
  7. Work
  8. Joy and Sorrow
  9. Houses
  10. Clothes
  11. Buying and Selling
  12. Crime and Punishment
  13. Laws
  14. Freedom
  15. Reason and Passion
  16. Pain
  17. Self-Knowledge
  18. Teaching
  19. Friendship
  20. Talking
  21. Time
  22. Good and Evil
  23. Prayer
  24. Pleasure
  25. Beauty
  26. Religion
  27. Death
  28. The Farewell

 

 

目錄

 譯序

船至第一

情愛第二

婚姻第三

孩童第四

施予第五

 

 

  
 譯序

  《先知》這本我正在翻譯的散文詩集,是一本充滿靈性睿智的英語文學傑作,是知名作家紀伯倫最傑出的散文詩作,字句珠璣,智慧閃爍,文采優美而又蘊含生命哲理。雖然我久已喜愛《先知》這部作品的哲思文采,但因為自己本行乃是研習理工,而人文方面的興趣又一向偏重在政治與歷史,對於文藝創作雖然略有欣賞,卻是少有心力關注。直到近來,我在午休時間偶然細看了《先知》的坊間譯文,覺得不夠滿意,原來紀伯倫以英文所寫的優美散文詩集,在經過中文翻譯後,似乎難有原作行文的氣韻風采,還有一些誤譯。本來我以為這種翻譯問題,只是少數現象,沒想到後來在網上查閱與書店翻閱的各種譯本,或多或少都有一樣的問題,而一些誤譯問題更是從1931年作家冰心最早翻譯的作品以來,就已存續至今。茲舉一例在此說明,其餘種種問題也就不再多談,例如首章〈船至〉中的一句:

  Suffer not yet our eyes to hunger for your face.

冰心與其後多數人是譯成此義:『不要使我們的眼睛因渴望你的臉面而酸痛。』,另有少數人譯為此義:『我們眼睛無法自制地渴盼你的臉。』。但這兩種譯法都不太正確,問題主要是出在對 Suffer 的翻譯。Suffer 此字若是作及物動詞,意謂“承受”某種痛苦或不舒服的經驗;若是作不及物動詞,則意謂“受苦”、“受害”、“受罰”,這是由前義衍生而來的用法。第一種冰心譯法,是譯為祈使句,但卻混淆了 suffer 的用法,而譯出了“讓眼睛酸痛”的意思。句中 suffer 所指“承受痛苦”的主體,在祈使句中,應是正在聽話的對方,而非句中的 our eyes , our eyes 應是被 suffer 的受體,所以不會是“讓眼睛酸痛”,而應是“眼睛讓人痛苦”。第二種另類譯法,是將此句當成倒裝的感嘆句,但感嘆句的倒裝是將修飾詞移到前面,而非動詞移到前面。另外, eyes 的意思除了“眼睛”外,還衍生出“視力”、“眼光”、“眼神”、“目光”、“見解”、“觀點”等等意義,而中文的“眼睛”卻只指稱人體器官,所以此句的 eyes 顯然不能譯作“眼睛”,而應譯為“眼神”或“目光”。因此,全句原意應是向對方祈求:“還不要忍受我們的眼神所帶給你的痛苦!”,什麼樣的眼神呢?就是“渴望見到你的臉龐的眼神”;所以我將之修飾通順而譯為“切莫痛忍我們這目光,對你容顏的渴盼”。

而因為《先知》的睿智文采,乃是我所鍾愛,所以自己決定在研究之餘的飯後休息時間,參閱一些現有譯本,每天一點一滴的逐步推敲中文詞句,嘗試譯出一部既氣韻優美又簡練雅達的《先知》譯作,希望中文讀者也可以直接以中文感受《先知》一文之優美與智慧。我並非是專業翻譯或專職作家,只是為了自己喜愛的哲思散文詩集來試圖完成一部優美譯作,當然我這譯文可能也會有問題,敬請讀者電郵來信指教,接下來我要談談我自己翻譯這部《先知》的幾點說明事項。

我的翻譯原則前面已經提過,首先是要求氣韻優美,其次是要求簡練雅達。所謂“氣韻”,乃是指文氣與文韻,文氣是指文章的意象流轉展現,文韻是指文章的音象流轉展現。當我們人類在閱讀時,會在心中思慮文意與朗誦文音,所以就有文氣與文韻的展現,好的文學作品通常都是氣韻兼備,而對於像《先知》這種散文詩集,更是要以氣韻見重。所以紀伯倫寫作《先知》時才會經過多年修改,這不僅是修改文中哲義,也是修改文中氣韻。若用電影表現來比喻文學表現,電影的放映影象對應著文氣,電影的音效配樂對應著文韻。然而對於電影而言,影象與聲音是可以分離創造,而電影中涉及的文句對白,在多數電影所營造的氣勢韻味中,並不占有主要影響─畢竟電影是以影音表現為主。所以翻譯一部電影,只是改變了其中對白聲音,而作為電影主要氣韻基礎的影象與配樂音效都還能原狀保留。可是文學表現中的意象文氣與音象文韻,乃是緊密相連於其所使用的語文詞句,所以當文學作品因為翻譯而改變原有語文詞句後,整個作品氣韻也會隨之改變。對於人類的語文表現而言,文學作品與非文學作品的差異分別,就在於氣韻多少。一般非文學的論述文、記事文、或小說,因為其中語文詞句乃是重於描述,而非重於氣韻,所以翻譯只要通順達意即可。而文學作品因為是以氣韻為本,所以若要適切翻譯文學作品,就必須要能一方面保留原作意涵,一方面轉化原作氣韻,而能以適當氣韻重新表現意涵。而在氣韻上,詩文作品又比其他文學作品更加講究,因為詩文大多精美簡短而富含隱喻,又要能供朗讀吟誦,所以在行文上更必須字句斟酌,以考慮意氣通暢與音韻協和。

在以中文翻譯英文《先知》上,因為中文與英文都是動詞中置而文法寬鬆的語言,所以文氣還比較容易繼承保留;若是像日文那種動詞後置的語言,翻譯過後就較難保留每句表現的文氣。但中文乃是單音節的表意文字,所以翻譯英文這種多音節的拼音文字後,就必然無法保留原作文韻─像德文、法文等那種與英文相同的多音節拼音文字,又有許多同源來自拉丁文與希臘文的字詞和文法,還有可能保留一些原有文韻。所以中文翻譯《先知》這種英語散文詩集,就必須在保留其哲思原義下,注重文韻,而既繼承又轉化文氣。也就是說,除了繼承原作精神外,譯者還不得不在轉化原作氣韻後,重新創造出符合中文表現的優美風格,這就是我所謂的“氣韻優美”。

至於簡練雅達。“簡”是意謂,儘量以簡潔詞句來表現原義,避免冗長多餘的贅述。“練”是意謂,儘量以適切字詞來對應原義。“雅”是意謂,盡量以典雅文詞表現,帶有一些古典文言風格,而非只是口語直述。“達”是意謂,盡量能使詞句表現原作精神意涵。中文譯作要求簡練,自然就會帶有文言風格,這是中文發展的歷史傳統使然,因為中文的文言文自古就是用以簡練表述的書面語文。而紀伯倫在《先知》英文版中的行文風格,雖然字詞淺顯,但也表現著英語傳統的文言風格,若以中國古人文風比擬,是類似蘇軾那淺顯優雅的詩文風格─例如蘇軾的散文《記承天寺夜遊》,或是那篇“明月幾時有”的詞賦《水調歌頭》。所以《先知》的中文翻譯,若能譯出儘量符合原意而又稍帶文言的簡雅文風,就會較能對應英文原作的行文風格,這就是我所謂的“簡練雅達”。

然而一切語言文字畢竟都是自身所屬文化傳統的產物與載體,因此,不同文化傳統不止是發生不同音象體系的語言傳統,更還會衍生不同意象體系的語文傳統。例如在音象上,英語單字既是多音節又有許多中語沒有的字音(如`θ'),而中語單字既是單音節又有英語所沒有的聲調分別。例如在意象上,英文傳統將事物當成存在本體(與古希臘哲學思想有關的文化傳統),所以描述事物必須涉及單複數的差別,而中文傳統則將事物當成訊息顯現(與古中國易學思想有關的文化傳統),所以描述事物就不一定要涉及數量差別,只需描述代表事物的訊息即可。這種不同文化傳統在認知現象上的語文差異,往往導致相異文化傳統的對應語文字義,會有一些不能相容的情況發生,這正是語文翻譯上的根本困難─基於不同文化傳統的認知差異所引起的翻譯困難。

舉例來說,一般指稱現實事物的名詞,例如中文的“水”,對應英文的“water”,因為水乃是現實存在的客觀物體,所以中英雙方文化傳統基於各自生活經驗,自然都有對應字詞代表。然而即使是“水”這種指稱現實上客觀存在物的字詞,也會隨著不同文化傳統的歷史演進,而發展出各自不同的衍生意涵。中文的“水”,因為注重水的液象,所以衍生出液態的含義,所以會有“鐵水”此詞,用以指稱液態熔鐵。但英文的“water”,因為注重水的質體,而衍生出水溶液的意涵,所以英文的“iron water”並非是指液態熔鐵,而是指溶有鐵質的水。而且因為西方航海海權的歷史傳統,所以“water”更還衍生出領海海域的意涵,這更是中文沒有的。但像上述這種涉及某種現象的對應指稱,並不會構成翻譯上的太大困難,真正困難的是在認知觀念上的對應指稱。

如果引介翻譯的某種觀念及其體系,乃是中文本來就沒有的,那只要另創新詞即可,因為新詞的觀念背景乃是由引介進來的思想體系所支持,並不會與文化體系中的原有觀念衝突;例如佛學的“般若”就是古代直接由印度梵文音譯的詞,而其觀念是由印度引入的佛學體系所支持。再例如英文的“being”乃是自古希臘哲學傳統所發展的觀念字詞,中文會意譯作“存有”、“本體”、“本有”,“存在”等,以試圖找出貼切字組來對應正確意涵。但這種哲學上所用的專有名詞,因為較少使用,也不會影響語句文法,只會引起名詞定義的麻煩,還不算是翻譯上的嚴重問題。更嚴重的,是常用字詞的翻譯難以確定,必須視上下文的環境關係,才能決定對應的中文字詞,因為萬事萬物的道理,其實都互有相通,所以許多不同文化傳統所各自發展的字詞觀念,其實都會相互交涉,但卻又不能完全對應,也就增加了翻譯的麻煩。

例如《先知》首句的一段“a dawn unto his own day”,其中的 dawn 對應著中文的“曙光、破曉、黎明、開端”等詞,其本義是指涉了早晨太陽初昇的事態,又從這事態衍生出兩種意涵。一是從陽光照臨,衍生出讓人明白或頓悟的意涵;二是從太陽初昇,衍生出起始或開端的意涵。“曙光”一詞是最適合用來形容先知,又可對應英詞原意,但中文的“曙光”一詞卻沒有開端或頓悟的意涵,無法完整表現出 dawn 的隱喻,所以只好組合字詞而成“啟蒙曙光”,以能較為貼切表現原意。或如另一段

  And shall my desires flow like a fountain that I may fill their cups.

這堜狳洏峈 desire 並不能翻成常用的“欲望”一詞,因為依文中所述, desire 在此是指先知即將離別而對於居住城中種種人事的牽畔渴望。但也不能翻成“渴望”,因為一方面不足以表達原意,又會與句中的泉源譬喻相衝突,所以在此句,我必須將 desire 譯作“情盼”。但諸如此類只涉及單一字詞的翻譯問題,還不是最麻煩的,真正最麻煩的問題是涉及語句意義的字詞。

例如常令我們中文使用者頭痛的未來式助動詞 shall 和 will,只要翻開英漢字典看到兩字的解釋,這兩字的定義似乎是繁多複雜,若再加上其過去式 should 和 would 的種種用法,乍看之下,簡直令人望之生畏,難以想像英文傳統是如何發展出如此莫衷一是的字詞意涵,又如何能自在使用!偏偏這些字又常事關全句解釋,也就造成我們中文翻譯者的嚴重困難。但這種翻譯問題的根源,並不在字典表面所見到的字詞解釋,那些解釋只是定義彙編,卻沒說出字詞意涵背後所涉及文化傳統的觀念原理。真正原因是在於中文與英文的各自文化傳統,是根據各自認知現象的不同方式,而各自發展出關於未來的不同字詞觀念。正如同中文的名詞使用,可以脫離物體的單複數,而英文名詞卻必須帶有指涉數量的單複數。中文的“將要”、“將會”等詞,乃是只指涉了未來發展的時間現象,只代表了抽象於物體之外的未來時間觀念,因為中文的文化傳統是以現象認知,不分主客,並不涉及西方觀念的本體問題。而英文的 shall 和 will 則是分別起源於代表‘基於主體的主觀發展未來’與‘基於客體的客觀發展未來’,然後再衍生出許多相關用法。因為英文的文化傳統涉及了有關古希臘傳統的主客二分觀念,所以英文的未來時間觀念,就大多不能脫離主體或客體而使用─如同英文名詞不能脫離單複數的數量關係而使用。中文傳統的表達未來觀念,既然沒有基於主體或客體的概念,所以當只用中文傳統的未來觀念去對應 shall 和 will 所表達的未來觀念,若又不知道兩字起源背後的哲學觀念,而只用中文字詞體系去對應字義,自然會難以瞭解兩字的核心意義及其衍生使用。

上述種種翻譯問題,在《先知》的詩文翻譯上會更形嚴重,因為詩文往往富含隱喻,而這種隱喻必然是根據英文字詞的意涵範疇來表現,所以譯者就要尋找或創造出適切對應的中文詞句,以儘量確使原文的隱喻意涵不會扭曲或喪失。幸好中文這種表意語言,是很容易組合單字而創造新詞,文法也很寬鬆,所以比較容易譯出簡練雅達的文風,至於氣韻優美就要在字句斟酌上下功夫。翻譯詩文的譯者,有點類似翻拍電影的導演,雖然劇情內容是一樣的,但卻要用不同的演員與場景,再拍出另部電影─譯者也是要用不同的語文與詞句,再譯出一部詩文。

我的《先知》譯文,為了要表現典雅古意,所以用了稍帶文言的行文風格,以求吻合英文《先知》在英文傳統中的古雅風格。而文中人名與稱呼的翻譯,我也採用了特別文字以創造古典風格。 Almustafa 譯為“阿穆斯祂法”,其中“穆”與“祂”正對應著先知角色。 Almitra 譯為“阿宓特拉”,其中“宓”字意含“沉靜”,又使全名帶有古意。 Master 譯為“師主”,以創造出書中先知的特別時代形象,而不用一般使用的“大師”或“主人”。

我現在所努力翻譯的《先知》譯作,乃是建立在自冰心以來許多中文譯者的努力上。因為《先知》早已被一譯再譯而有許多中文版本,所以我在翻譯時乃是參考著以往譯作,加以轉化改進,並融會自己的創造構思,而點滴逐步寫成。但願我的《先知》譯文,能使中文讀者在閱讀後,猶似閱讀英文原作般深深感動,也就不枉費我苦心推敲原文,點滴反思以進行譯作吧。

  謹感謝紀伯倫與所有以往中文《先知》版本的譯者們。


                           東岐明


 

THE COMING OF THE SHIP

Almustafa, the chosen and the beloved, who was a dawn unto 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 his 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 as 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 l? A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave 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, And 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 I shall 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 their vineyards and hastening towards the city gates. And he heard their voices calling his name, and shouting from field to field telling one another of the coming of his ship.

And he said to himself: Shall the day of parting be the day of gathering? And shall it be said that my eve was in truth my dawn? And what shall I give unto him who has left his slough in midfurrow, or to him who has stopped the wheel of his winepress? Shall my heart become a tree heavy-laden with fruit that I may gather and give unto them? And shall my desires flow like a fountain that I may fill their cups? Am I a harp that the hand of the mighty may touch me, or a flute that his breath may pass through me? A seeker of silences am I, and what treasure have I found in silences that I may dispense with confidence? If this is my day of harvest, in what fields have I sowed the seed, and in what unremembered seasons? If this indeed be the hour in which I lift up my lantern, it is not my flame that shall burn therein. Empty and dark shall I raise my lantern, And the guardian of the night shall fill it with oil and he shall light it also.

These things he said in words. But much in his heart remained unsaid. For he himself could not speak his deeper secret.

And when he entered into the city all the people came to meet him, and they were crying out to him as with one voice. And the elders of the city stood forth and said: Go not yet away from us. A noontide have you been in our twilight, and your youth has given us dreams to dream.

No stranger are you among us, nor a guest, but our son and our dearly beloved. Suffer not yet our eyes to hunger for your face.

And the priests and the priestesses said unto him: Let not the waves of the sea separate us now, and the years you have spent in our midst become a memory. You have walked among us a spirit, and your shadow has been a light upon our faces. Much have we loved you. But speechless was our love, and with veils has it been veiled. Yet now it cries aloud unto you, and would stand revealed before you. And ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.

And others came also and entreated him. But he answered them not. He only bent his head; and those who stood near saw his tears falling upon his breast.

And he and the people proceeded towards the great square before the temple. And there came out of the sanctuary a woman whose name was Almitra. And she was a seeress. And he looked upon her with exceeding tenderness, for it was she who had first sought and believed in him when he had been but a day in their city. And she hailed him, saying: Prophet of God, in quest of the uttermost, long have you searched the distances for your ship. And now your ship has come, and you must needs go. Deep is your longing for the land of your memories and the dwelling-place of your greater desires; and our love would not bind you nor our needs hold you. Yet this we ask ere you leave us, that you speak to us and give us of your truth. And we will give it unto our children, and they unto their children, and it shall not perish. In your aloneness you have watched with our days, and in your wakefulness you have listened to the weeping and the laughter of our sleep. Now therefore disclose us to ourselves, and tell us all that has been shown you of that which is between birth and death.

And he answered: People of Orphalese, of what can I speak save of that which is even now moving within your souls?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

船至第一

阿穆斯祂法,蒙受那召選與珍愛,是他一己時代的啟蒙曙光,
在歐發里斯城久等歸船帶他返回誕生之島,已歷十二年。

在第十二年,收穫之月的艾伊露第七日,
他登上城垣外的山丘向海眺望,望見歸船伴霧而來。
此時,他的心扉豁然開朗,他的喜樂遠颺海際,就在心靈靜默中閉目祈禱。
但他下山時,卻頓覺憂傷而心想:

『我何能平靜遠去而不傷悲?不!我怎能無有心傷而遠離此城。
 在那城垣堙A有我多少長日傷痛,又有多少長夜孤寂;
 而誰又能遠離一己之孤寂傷痛而無悔無憾?
 太多心礫碎念我已撒播街道,太多孩童赤身漫步山間是我熱愛,
 我怎能離此種種而無負無痛!
 這豈是衣裳可以讓我今日扔脫,而是膚皮用我親手撕剝。
 這豈是思慮可以讓我遺卻身後,而是感念甜蜜在我渴求。
 但我再不能耽擱。
 召喚萬物的大海,正召喚著我,我必須上船了。
 因為停留此城,生涯雖於黑夜燃起光熱,卻在模框中晶瑩凍結而困縛。
 我多想帶走這堣@切,隨我而去,但我如何能夠?
 聲音無法帶走賦予翅翼的唇舌,它必須獨覓蒼穹。
 而那無巢孤翔的蒼鷹,方能飛越太陽。』

到達山麓的當下,他又再轉身向海,望見歸船已近港口,船首水手都是同鄉之人。
然後他的心魄呼喊他們,他說:

『我母祖之子,你們乘浪馭潮,在我夢中出航已有多少。
 而今你們來臨,在我清醒之際,乃我更深夢堙C
 我已準備出發,滿帆而行的熱望,只待風起。
 在這寂靜氛氳,只有另一氣息,我將再次吸呼,
 只有另一愛念瞻視,我將再拋身後。
 那時,我將立於你們之間,位列水手之林。
 而您,廣翰大海,不眠母親,溪流江河嚮往的唯一自由和平之地,
 這溪流只再次迂迴,只再次林間潺語,
 那時,我將向您而來,如一無盡水滴落入無涯海洋。』
 
然後,當他走著,他見到遠方男女,紛紛離開田野與葡萄園,急急奔向城門。
他聽見他們呼喚著他的名字,呼喊著他的歸船來到,在田園間,一聲聲的傳訴。
而他自語著:

『分離之日也應是相聚之日麼?
 難道要說我的暮夕其實是黎明?
 而我要拿什麼,去給予在耕轍中放下田犁的人,或給予在酒釀中停止榨輪的人呢?
 我此心意要化作果實纍纍樹木,讓我採收分予他們麼?
 我此情盼要像似長流漫漫泉源,供我滿足他們杯觴麼?
 我己可是豎琴,而讓神能之手撫觸麼?或是橫笛,而讓祂所吹呼麼?
 尋求靜默者是我,而在靜默堙A我又尋得何種寶藏足以自信佈施呢?
 如果這時是我收穫之日,哪處田園是我所曾播種,在哪個忘卻的季節呢?
 假使此刻,真是我高舉燈火之時,燃燈火光,絕非由我。
 空虛黑暗中,我要高舉己燈,那守夜者必會添滿燈油,點燃光明。』

凡此種種,他字字念說,
可他心中種種,還有更多未說,
因為唯他一己,無能述說他己更深奧秘。

當他進城時,所有人們都來迎接,眾聲一致地呼喊著他。
城中長老們佇立在前,說道:

『還別離開我們!
 曾經,你是我們昏曚時的午光,在你青春生涯賜予我們夢想嚮往。
 在我們之間,你不是生人,不是過客,
 而是我們孩子,我們所深情摯愛的。
 切莫痛忍我們這目光,對你容顏的渴盼。』

而那男女祭師們也對他說:

『莫讓海潮現在就分離我們,而使共度歲月徒成追憶。
 你的精神曾與我們同行,你的身影曾是照耀我們面前的明燈。
 我們愛你至深,無以言傳,種種曾已蒙藏。
 而今對你縱聲呼訴,方想表白於前。
 直至別離時刻,愛才知有多深。』

其他人也來懇求,但他並不答允,只是垂頭,淚灑胸前而為旁人所見。
然後他與人們行向神殿前的廣場,
那堬蔑顙咱X一女,名叫阿宓特拉,是位預言師。
他凝望她以溫柔極緻,因為他在此城首日,就是她率先尋訪他並信仰他。
接著她向他致意高喊說:

『神主先知啊!為探求那至上至極,為了你的歸船,已向遠方尋視許久。
 現今你的歸船已至,而你必要出行。
 如此深切是你渴盼,為了你憶念之土,為了你更欲留居之地;
 而我們的愛,必將無法羈縛你,我們的需,也將無法攬留你。
 在你離去前,必答應我們請求,向我們說講,賜予我們你的真理。
 我們將傳之子孫,傳之子子孫孫,永不遺滅。
 你獨處時,曾守視我們日日生涯。 
 你不眠時,曾傾聽我們睡寐哭笑。
 所以,現在就向我們揭示我們一己,
 告訴我們所有昭顯於你,由生至死的種種吧!』

然後他回答說:

『歐發里斯的人們啊!
 除了你們心靈那仍在遷動的當下種種,我還能談論些什麼呢?』

 

 


LOVE

Then said Almitra, "Speak to us of Love."

And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said: 

When love beckons to you, follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked. He sifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness. He kneads you until you are pliant; And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God." And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; To return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

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情愛第二

那時,阿宓特拉說:『向我們講說愛吧!』

他就抬頭凝望人群,剎那間眾聲寂靜,然後他朗聲說:

『當愛向你召喚,就跟隨他,縱使路途艱難險峻。
 當愛翼緊抱你,就順服他,縱使翼梢藏刃,或許會傷害你。
 當愛向你言語,就信賴他,縱使語聲或如北風摧殘園圃,壞滅你美好夢想。
 因為啊!當愛賜你加冕,也必給你試煉[1]。當愛助你成長,也必幫你修整。
 當他昇達你頂極,親撫陽光下你那最嫩顫動枝椏;
 也必降至你源柢,搖撼你根枒對土地的依附纏黏。

 如捆束禾穀,他採收你,給予他自己。
 擊打你,使你裸露。
 篩濾你,使你去殼。
 碾磨你,使你潔白。
 揉捏你,至你柔順。
 然後遣你進入他的聖火,
 你方能成為神主聖餐的聖餅。
 
 如是一切,必要愛造作予你,
 你才能了悟自心奧秘,
 由此了悟,你方成生命之心的一員[2]。

 但若你在懼怯堙A只想尋求愛的安詳歡樂;
 那就不如遮掩你的裸露,躲過愛的擊打場地。
 進入那無有季節的世界,那堙A
 你會嘻笑,但卻不是全然歡笑。
 你會哭泣,但卻不是全然淚泣。
 
 愛無別贈,只是贈出他自己。愛無別取,只是取由他自己。
 愛不佔有,也不願被佔有;因為對愛而言,愛就已是足夠。

 當你有愛,不應說「神在我心」,而要說「我在神心」。
 且莫以為你能指引愛途,因為若你受愛青睞,他自會指引你的去途。
 愛無別欲,只求要圓滿他自己。
 但若你愛必有所欲,就讓你有這些欲求吧:
 
 求要融為柔情,似一奔流溪瀨,鳴唱美妙樂音給夜晚。
 求要體驗認識,那過多柔情的痛苦[3]。
 求要受傷創痛,在你自己對愛的領悟,而且傷痛得歡喜情願。
 求你晨曦醒來,心情飛揚,感謝又一天在愛的日子。
 求你午時歇息,專心沉醉愛悅喜戀。
 求你日暮歸家,心懷感激感恩。
 然後,求你入睡之際,也為心中摯愛祈禱,吟唱讚頌,繚繞口唇而眠。』

 
【譯註】

[1]此句完整應譯為:“正當愛賜你加冕,也必立即給你試煉”,但為求行文簡潔有力,所以縮寫文句。而“試煉”此詞是對 crucify 在上下文角色的意譯,crucify 意為“受釘十字袈的刑罰”,衍生出“迫害”與“壓抑”的意涵。其實上述這些衍生意涵都是來自基督耶穌的受十字架刑罰,所以對應前文的“加冕”而譯為“試煉”。

[2]“一員”是對應 a fragment 的意譯,雖然不太貼切,但考慮到上下文的流暢,也只能如此。 fragment 在此非指碎片,而是指分離的一部份。

[3] To melt ,有物體融化、態度軟化、逐漸消散等意涵。 Tenderness 有溫柔、親切、心軟等意涵。綜合兩者,又考慮上下文的表現,所以譯出“柔情”的譯詞。

 


MARRIAGE

Then Almitra spoke again and said, "And what of Marriage, master?"

And he answered saying: You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness. And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

婚姻第三

那時,阿宓特拉又再發言,說:『師主!婚姻又是什麼呢?』

而他回答說:

『你們一同受命而來[1],而後應當永遠共守[2]。
 當死亡白翼揚散你們一生之際[3],你們應當一起共守。
 恆久永遠啊!甚至在神主的靜寂紀念偨4],你們也應一起共守。
 但使你們的緊密相依有所留白,且讓天風在你們之間飛舞。
 
 彼此相愛,但別造就情愛鎖鏈:
 寧可讓它是漫流動人的情海潮濤[5],介乎你們心魂岸濱之間。
 注滿彼此杯盞,但別唯獨飲用一杯。
 彼此分享麵包,但別只吃相同一塊。
 歌舞同歡,但讓你們各自獨立。
 正如琵琶絃線,雖在同一樂音中舞動,卻仍是各自獨立。
 獻出你們倆心[6],卻非納入彼此看管。
 因為只有生命祂手[7],方能包納你們倆心。
 佇立共守,但不要太過依偎。
 猶如那神廟樑柱各自分立,又如那橡柏不會生長在彼此樹蔭。』

 
【譯註】

[1] Bear 原意為“承擔”或“攜帶運送”,也常引申為“生育”─意謂“承擔與帶來”
孩子。此處 born 不可譯作“誕生”,因為文中乃是意謂婚姻雙方乃是一起被帶來
,不僅是誕生而已,所以譯作“受命而來”。

[2] Together, togetherness 在此文中為了流暢美感,而譯以“一起”、“共守”、
“相依”、“依偎”、或是混用,視上下文情況而定。

[3] 此句指老死,及其後全句也就是“願能白首偕老”之意。

[4] The silent memory of God 的字面是指“神的靜寂紀念”,也就是隱喻墓地。
全句是暗指死後也應同葬共守。

[5] a moving sea 在此含有兩義,一是流動的浪潮,二是感動人心的似海深情。
所以混譯而成“漫流動人的情海潮濤”。

[6] give your hearts 應譯為“贈出你們的心”,但此譯修辭不美,故修飾為“獻出
你們倆心”。雖然紀伯倫的伊斯蘭教傳統會有一夫四妻的婚姻,但因為婚姻是建立
在夫妻的一對一關係上,即使是一夫四妻,也還是經由夫妻關係建立,而非群體關
係建立─畢竟不是妻妾結婚─,所以“倆”的譯詞,在此仍是符合原意。

[7] the hand of Life ,因為 Life 採大寫,賦予“生命”此詞特殊意涵,故譯為
  “生命祂手”。

 


 

CHILDREN

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 you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of to-morrow, 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 with yesterday. 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.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

孩童第四

然後,一名懷抱嬰孩的婦人說:『向我們講說孩子吧!』

接著他說:

『你們孩子不是你們的孩子[1]。
 他們是生命為祂自己所渴盼的子女[2]。
 他們藉由你,而非來自你。
 雖然伴隨你,卻非屬於你。

 你可以施予他們你的愛,卻非你的想法,因為他們有自己想法。
 你可以用房舍留居他們身軀,卻非他們心靈,
 因為他們心靈居住於來日房舍,那堿O你無法造訪,連你夢想亦無法企及。
 你可以努力像似他們,但別想要使他們像你。
 因為生命既不回返,也不會逗留昨日。

 你是那弓,你孩子乃是那活生生的箭,由你射出[3]。
 射手望見無盡路途[4]上的靶標,用力彎起你,使箭射得既快又遠。
 讓你由於歡喜樂意,而彎在那射手掌中;
 因為,正如祂愛那飛馳的箭,祂也愛那穩當的弓。』


 
【譯註】

[1] 英文的 you ,並沒有區分單複數,即使相應的動詞變化也不區分。這是因為在英
文思維的觀念中,作為聽者的第二人稱,並不分別單複數,所以 you 就同時對應著中
文的第二人稱“你”與“你們”,而 you 的中文翻譯就必須視上下文情況而定。關於
代名詞的意義區分,太平洋群島中的新美拉尼西亞語有個更明顯的例子,在這種語言中
區分兩種“我們”:一種是包含聽者,另一種是不包含聽者。所以中文的“我們”要譯
成新美拉尼西亞語時,就如同英文的 you 要譯成中文時,也會遇到要如何對應的問題
。在我的譯文中,對於 you 的譯法,是以文感優美為主;也就是說,只要不影響到文
義,我會根據譯文優美與否,來決定使用“你”或者“你們”。

[2] the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself 的直譯是“生命渴盼祂
自己的子女”,但如此譯文不但容易弄錯意思,而且也沒傳達意義,所以才譯為“生命
為祂自己所渴盼的子女”。

[3] 此句因為弓是複數,本應譯作“你們”,但為行文美感,所以譯為“你”。此句原
文以 from which 聯結兩句,可中文直譯會文氣弱化,所以最後用“由你射出”來聯結
兩句。

[4] the infinite 在此是意謂“無窮無盡的時空”,意喻人生的時空生涯。為求行文
通暢,所以沒有譯出“時空”。

 


 

GIVING

Then said a rich man, "Speak to us of Giving."

And he answered: You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them to morrow? And to-morrow, what shall to-morrow bring to the ovcr-prudent dog burying bones in the track less sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city? And what is fear of need but need itself? Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable? There are those who give little of the much which they have-and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome. And there are those who have little and give it all. These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.

There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward. And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism. And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space. Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles Upon the earth.

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding; And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving. And is there aught you would withhold? All you have shall some day be given; Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'.

You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving." The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish. Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights is worthy of all else from you. And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream. And what desert greater shall there be, than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving? And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed? See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving. For in truth it is life that gives unto life-while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.

And you receivers-and you are all receivers- assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives. Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings; For to be overmindful of your debt is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father.

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施予第五

那時,一名富人說:『向我們講說施予吧!』

接著他說:

『當你佈施財物擁有,你僅是微行施予。
 當你佈施自己本人,你才是真行施予[1]。

 因為啊!
 除了你為擔憂來日之需,所保管守護的,又有什麼是你所擁有呢?
 而來日!來日又要帶來什麼[2],給那隻過於算計的狗?
 ─當它跟隨朝聖者行赴聖城時,還埋藏骨頭在無跡可尋的沙堙I
 除了需求本身,又有什麼對於需求的擔憂呢?
 那不止的渴求!不就是在你泉源滿溢時還恐懼乾渴嗎?

 有些人施予了他們富饒擁有中的微許─而且還是為了名聞報償才施予。
 他們私隱的欲望,玷污了他們的施贈[3]。
 有些人僅有微許,而全部用來施予。
 這些人才是生命及生命慷慨的信徒,他們錢箱從不匱乏。

 有些人懷著喜悅去施予,那喜悅就是他們的報償。
 有些人懷著痛苦去施予,那痛苦就是他們的洗禮。
 有些人去施予,既不覺痛苦,也不求喜悅,又不念念於善行。
 他們那施予,如同遠方山谷堛漁蝒鷵],吐露芬芳到虛空之中。
 藉由像他們那樣的行動,神主正在言語。
 從由他們眼光之後,祂正對著凡塵微笑。
 
 因有請求而行施予,固然是好,
 但更好是,未有請求即行施予─基於了解而施予;
 對於慷慨出手[4]者而言,尋找一位應得受予之人,此種喜悅更勝施予。
 
 而有任何東西是你要保留的嗎?
 一切你的所有,必有一天都要施出;
 所以現在就行施予!讓那施予時機屬於你,而非你的繼承人。

 你時常說:「我要施予,但只給那值得受贈的人。」
 你果園堛瑣薴ㄗ獐侄﹛A你牧場的牲畜也不那樣說。
 它們由於施予才能活命,若是有所保留就要滅亡。
 他既然配得一己生涯的日日夜夜,當然也就配得由你而予的其他一切。
 他既然已經該由那生命之洋領飲,也就該由你這微流來注滿他的杯盞。
 要有怎樣的乾蕪荒漠,才會如此廣闊而超越了在接受施予上,
 那勇氣、那自信、甚至是那慈善寬厚,的荒漠乾蕪[5]?
 而你是誰?竟要人們扯破胸襟而揭露自尊,
 讓你可以看見他們的赤裸價值與無赧尊傲[6]!

 先看看你自己是否配作一名施予者、及一個施予器。
 因為事實上,那是生命在對生命施予─
 而自許為施予者的你,只不過是一名見證者。
 而你們這些受予者─你們全然是受予者─
 莫要承受那感恩的重擔,否則就會為你自己,也為施予的他,套上枷軛。
 寧可同施予者一起,藉由他的施贈而昇華,如同藉由羽翼而飛昇[7]。
 因為啊!太過掛念你這負債,就是去懷疑他那慷慨─
 他那有寬宏[8]大地為母、有神主為父的慷慨。』



【譯註】

[1] give of 意指“慷慨供給”,並非是如 give 僅指“給予”。為了要使 give 與
give of 在全文中能夠意義連貫,所以我將 give 譯為“施予”, give of 譯為
“佈施”,以“施”此字貫通兩詞。“佈施”,或作“布施”,原是佛家所譯詞彙,
屬於六度波羅密─佈施、持戒、忍辱、精進、禪定、般若。

[2] shall 在此疑問句中,表示說者(先知)向聽者(富人)的詢問意見。“未來又要帶來
什麼”此句的完整意義,應是“你要我讓未來又要帶來什麼”,但如此語氣不是中文的
表達方式,所以未譯出完整意涵。舉例來說, Shall he open the door ? 可譯為“要
他開門嗎?”,但 shall 在此表達的完整意涵應是“你要我讓他幫你開門嗎?”。

[3] hidden desire 考慮上下文意,所以譯為“私隱的欲望”。 gift 在此乃是對應
give ,作為 give 的名詞意涵,所以譯為“施贈”。

[4] open-handed 原意是指“攤開手掌的”,而又意味“大方慷慨的”。因為中文觀念
堛滿巫u手”並不對應著“慷慨”的意涵,所以用“出手”而譯為“慷慨出手的”。

[5] And what desert greater shall there be, than that which lies in the
courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving. 此句若解除問句倒
裝,就是 And there shall be what desert greater than that which lies in the
courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving. 此句隱喻較深,所
以其中含攝的完整原意,很難用中文辭句直接表達。句中的 desert 是對應著上一句的
ocean 與 stream。上一句用“海洋”與“溪流”來比喻施予,而此句的第一個“沙漠”
是比喻“不願施予的吝嗇”,第二個“沙漠”(以 that which 代表)是比喻“缺乏”。
此句一開始的 And what desert greater shall there be 是先知在質問聽者,用沙漠
廣大做為譬喻,意謂說“你想要多麼吝嗇啊?”。接下來的 than that which lies in
,就是將這聽者(施予者)在施予上的意願缺乏,和那受予者在受予上的意願缺乏,兩者
相互比較。兩者比較的意思是指,受予者接受施捨也是要放下面子,戰勝自己的羞愧;
相較之下,難道施予者自心要戰勝的吝嗇,竟然還會更困難嗎(沙漠還更大嗎)?接下來
的 the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving. 就是指受予
者在接受施捨時,所要具備的自信、勇氣、甚至是 charity。 Charity 本是指“慈善”
、“施捨”、“善行”,用在此處 charity of receiving ,是將“接受施捨”也當成
是一種施捨的善行,意謂著要放下自尊來接受他人施捨,也是另一種施捨的慈善行為。

[6] 此句中的兩個 pride ,不是指“對於別人的驕傲”,而是指“個人的尊嚴傲骨”
,所以視句中上下文意,而分別譯為“自尊”及“尊傲”。

[7] 此句中只有一個 rise ,但為了文氣通暢,所以在對應的兩處 gifts, wings 分別
譯為“昇華”、“飛昇”。 

[8] free-hearted 此處意謂“寬大”、“慷慨”,考慮上下文氣,所以譯為“寬宏”。


 

EATING AND DRINKING

Then an old man, a keeper of an inn, said, "Speak to us of Eating and Drinking."

And he said: Would that you could live on the fragrance of the earth, and like an air plant be sustained by the light. But since you must kill to eat, and rob the newly born of its mother's milk to quench your thirst, let it then be an act of worship, And let your board stand an altar on which the pure and the innocent of forest and plain are sacrificed for that which is purer and still more innocent in man.

When you kill a beast say to him in your heart: "By the same power that slays you, I too am slain; and I too shall be consumed. For the law that delivered you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier hand. Your blood and my blood is naught but the sap that feeds the tree of heaven."

And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart: "Your seeds shall live in my body, And the buds of your to-morrow shall blossom in my heart, And your fragrance shall be my breath, And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons."

And in the autumn, when you gather the grapes of your vineyards for the winepress, say in your heart: "I too am a vineyard, and my fruit shall be gathered for the winepress, And like new wine I shall be kept in eternal vessels." And in winter, when you draw the wine, let there be in your heart a song for each cup; And let there be in the song a remembrance for the autumn days, and for the vineyard, and for the winepress.

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WORK

Then a ploughman said, "Speak to us of Work."

And he answered, saying: You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune. But I say to you that when you work you fulfill a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born, And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life, And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.

But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.

You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary. And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge, And all urge is blind save when there is know ledge. And all knowledge is vain save when there is work, And all work is empty save when there is love; And when you work with love you bind your self to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to charge all things your fashion with a breath of your own spirit, And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.

Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, "He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil. And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet." But I say, not in sleep, but in the overwakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass; And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.

Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger. And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine. And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

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JOY AND SORROW

Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow."

And he answered: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."

But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced. When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

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HOUSES

Then a mason came forth and said, "Speak to us of Houses."

And he answered and said: Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness ere you build a house within the city walls. For even as you have home-comings in your twilight, so has the wanderer in you, the ever distant and alone. Your house is your larger body. It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night; and it is not dreamless. Does not your house dream? and dreaming, leave the city for grove or hilltop?

Would that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower scatter them in forest and meadow. Would the valleys were your streets, and the green paths your alleys, that you might seek one another through vineyards, and come with the fragrance of the earth in your garments. But these things are not yet to be.

In their fear your forefathers gathered you too near together. And that fear shall endure a little longer. A little longer shall your city walls separate your hearths from your fields.

And tell me, people of Orphalese, what have you in these houses? And what is it you guard with fastened doors? Have you peace, the quiet urge that reveals your power? Have you remembrances, the glimmering arches that span the summits of the mind? Have you beauty, that leads the heart from things fashioned of wood and stone to the holy mountain? Tell me, have you these in your houses? Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master?

Aye, and it becomes a tamer, and with hook and scourge makes puppets of your larger desires.

Though its hands are silken, its heart is of iron. It lulls you to sleep only to stand by your bed and jeer at the dignity of the flesh. It makes mock of your sound senses, and lays them in thistledown like fragile vessels. Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.

But you, children of space, you restless in rest, you shall not be trapped nor tamed. Your house shall be not an anchor but a mast. It shall not be a glistening film that covers a wound, but an eyelid that guards the eye. You shall not fold your wings that you may pass through doors, nor bend your heads that they strike not against a ceiling, nor fear to breathe lest walls should crack and fall down. You shall not dwell in tombs made by the dead for the living. And though of magnificence and splendour, your house shall not hold your secret nor shelter your longing.

For that which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of night.

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CLOTHES

And the weaver said, "Speak to us of Clothes."

And he answered: Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful. And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy you may find in them a harness and a chain. Would that you could meet the sun and the wind with more of your skin and less of your raiment. For the breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind.

Some of you say, "It is the north wind who has woven the clothes we wear." And I say, Aye, it was the north wind, But shame was his loom, and the softening of the sinews was his thread. And when his work was done he laughed in the forest. Forget not that modesty is for a shield against the eye of the unclean. And when the unclean shall be no more, what were modesty but a fetter and a fouling of the mind?

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

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BUYING AND SELLING

And a merchant said, "Speak to us of Buying and Selling."

And he answered and said: To you the earth yields her fruit, and you shall not want if you but know how to fill your hands. It is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied. Yet unless the exchange be in love and kindly justice it will but lead some to greed and others to hunger.

When in the market-place you toilers of the sea and fields and vineyards meet the weavers and the potters and the gatherers of spices,- Invoke then the master spirit of the earth, to come into your midst and sanctify the scales and the reckoning that weighs value against value. And suffer not the barren-handed to take part in your transactions, who would sell their words for your labour. To such men you should say:

"Come with us to the field, or go with our brothers to the sea and cast your net; For the land and the sea shall be bountiful to you even as to us."

And if there come the singers and the dancers and the flute players, - buy of their gifts also. For they too are gatherers of fruit and frankincense, and that which they bring, though fashioned of dreams, is raiment and food for your soul.

And before you leave the market-place, see that no one has gone his way with empty hands. For the master spirit of the earth shall not sleep peacefully upon the wind till the needs of the least of you are satisfied.

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CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

Then one of the judges of the city stood forth and said, "Speak to us of Crime and Punishment."

And he answered, saying: It is when your spirit goes wandering upon the wind, That you, alone and unguarded, commit a wrong unto others and therefore unto yourself. And for that wrong committed must you knock and wait a while unheeded at the gate of the blessed.

Like the ocean is your god-self; It remains for ever undefiled. And like the ether it lifts but the winged. Even like the sun is your god-self; It knows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it the holes of the serpent. But your god-self dwells not alone in your being. Much in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man, But a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening. And of the man in you would I now speak.

For it is he and not your god-self nor the pigmy in the mist that knows crime and the punishment of crime.

Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world. But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you, So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also. And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree, So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all. Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self. You are the way and the wayfarers. And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.

Aye, and he falls for those ahead of him, who, though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.

And this also, though the word lie heavy upon your hearts: The murdered is not unaccountable for his own murder, And the robbed is not blameless in being robbed. The righteous is not innocent of the deeds of the wicked, And the white-handed is not clean in the doings of the felon. Yea, the guilty is oftentimes the victim of the injured. And still more often the condemned is the burden bearer for the guiltless and unblamed. You cannot separate the just from the unjust and the good from the wicked; For they stand together before the face of the sun even as the black thread and the white are woven together.

And when the black thread breaks, the weaver shall look into the whole cloth, and he shall examine the loom also.

If any of you would bring to judgment the unfaithful wife, Let him also weigh the heart of her husband in scales, and measure his soul with measurements. And let him who would lash the offender look unto the spirit of the offended. And if any of you would punish in the name of righteousness and lay the axe unto the evil tree, let him see to its roots; And verily he will find the roots of the good and the bad, the fruitful and the fruitless, all entwined together in the silent heart of the earth.

And you judges who would be just. What judgment pronounce you upon him who though honest in the flesh yet is a thief in spirit? What penalty lay you upon him who slays in the flesh yet is himself slain in the spirit?

And how prosecute you him who in action is a deceiver and an oppressor, Yet who also is aggrieved and outraged?

And how shall you punish those whose remorse is already greater than their misdeeds? Is not remorse the justice which is administered by that very law which you would fain serve? Yet you cannot lay remorse upon the innocent nor lift it from the heart of the guilty. Unbidden shall it call in the night, that men may wake and gaze upon themselves. And you who would understand justice, how shall you unless you look upon all deeds in the fullness of light? Only then shall you know that the erect and the fallen are but one man standing in twilight between the night of his pigmy-self and the day of his god self, And that the corner-stone of the temple is not higher than the lowest stone in its foundation.

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LAWS

Then a lawyer said, "But what of our Laws, master?"

And he answered: You delight in laying down laws, Yet you delight more in breaking them. Like children playing by the ocean who build sand-towers with constancy and then destroy them with laughter. But while you build your sand-towers the ocean brings more sand to the shore, And when you destroy them the ocean laughs with you. Verily the ocean laughs always with the innocent.

But what of those to whom life is not an ocean, and man-made laws are not sand-towers, But to whom life is a rock, and the law a chisel with which they would carve it in their own likeness? What of the cripple who hates dancers? What of the ox who loves his yoke and deems the elk and deer of the forest stray and vagrant things?

What of the old serpent who cannot shed his skin, and calls all others naked and shameless? And of him who comes early to the wedding feast, and when over-fed and tired goes his way saying that all feasts are violation and all feasters law-breakers?

What shall I say of these save that they too stand in the sunlight, but with their backs to the sun? They see only their shadows, and their shadows are their laws. And what is the sun to them but a caster of shadows? And what is it to acknowledge the laws but to stoop down and trace their shadows upon the earth? But you who walk facing the sun, what images drawn on the earth can hold you? You who travel with the wind, what weather vane shall direct your course? What man's law shall bind you if you break your yoke but upon no man's prison door?

What laws shall you fear if you dance but stumble against no man's iron chains? And who is he that shall bring you to judgment if you tear off your garment yet leave it in no man's path? People of Orphalese, you can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?

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FREEDOM

And an orator said, "Speak to us of Freedom."

And he answered: At the city gate and by your fireside I have seen you prostrate yourself and worship your own freedom, Even as slaves humble themselves before a tyrant and praise him though he slays them. Aye, in the grove of the temple and in the shadow of the citadel I have seen the freest among you wear their freedom as a yoke and a handcuff. And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfillment. You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief, But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.

And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights unless you break the chains which you at the dawn of your understanding have fastened around your noon hour? In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest of these chains, though its links glitter in the sun and dazzle your eyes.

And what is it but fragments of your own self you would discard that you may become free? If it is an unjust law you would abolish, that law was written with your own hand upon your own forehead. You cannot erase it by burning your law books nor by washing the foreheads of your judges, though you pour the sea upon them. And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed. For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud, but for a tyranny in their own freedom and a shame in their own pride? And if it is a care you would cast off, that care has been chosen by you rather than imposed upon you.

And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared. Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape. These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling. And when the shadow fades and is no more, the light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light. And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes itself the fetter of a greater freedom.

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REASON AND PASSION

And the priestess spoke again and said:
"Speak to us of Reason and Passion."

And he answered, saying: Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against your passion and your appetite. Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody. But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?

Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul. If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction. Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing;

And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.

I would have you consider your judgment and your appetite even as you would two loved guests m your house. Surely you would not honour one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and the faith of both. Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows-then let your heart say in silence, "God rests in reason." And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky,-then let your heart say in awe, "God moves in passion." And since you are a breath in God's sphere, and a leaf in God's forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.

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PAIN

And a woman spoke, saying, "Tell us of Pain."

And he said: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief. Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity: For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,

And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

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SELF-KNOWLEDGE

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.

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TEACHING

Then said a teacher, "Speak to us of Teaching."

And he said: No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge. The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness. If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind. The astronomer may speak to you of his under standing of space, but he cannot give you his under standing. The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm, nor the voice that echoes it. And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.

For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.

And even as each one of you stands alone in God's knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his under standing of the earth.

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FRIENDSHIP

And a youth said, "Speak to us of Friendship."

And he answered, saying: 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 with hold the "aye." 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 unclaimed. 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.

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TALKING

And then a scholar said, "Speak of Talking."

And he answered, saying: You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts; And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime. And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered. For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.

There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone. The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape. And there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand. And there are those who have the truth within them, but they tell it not in words.

In the bosom of such as these the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence.

When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market-place, let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue. Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear; For his soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered. When the colour is forgotten and the vessel is no more.

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TIME

And an astronomer said, "Master, what of Time?"

And he answered: You would measure time the measureless and the immeasurable. You would adjust your conduct and even direct the course of your spirit according to hours and seasons. Of time you would make a stream upon whose bank you would sit and watch its flowing.

Yet the timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness, And knows that yesterday is but to-day's memory and to-morrow is to-day's dream. And that which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into space. Who among you does not feel that his power to love is boundless? And yet who does not feel that very love, though boundless, encompassed within the centre of his being, and moving not from love thought to love thought, nor from love deeds to other love deeds? And is not time even as love is, undivided and paceless?

But if in your thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons, And let to-day embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.

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GOOD AND EVIL

And one of the elders of the city said, "Speak to us of Good and Evil."

And he answered: Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.

You are good when you are one with yourself. Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil. For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house. And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom. You are good when you strive to give of yourself. Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.

For when you strive for gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast. Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, "Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance." For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.

You are good when you are fully awake in your speech. Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose. And even stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.

You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps. Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping. Even those who limp go not backward. But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.

You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when you are not good, You are only loitering and sluggard. Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.

In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you. But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest. And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends and lingers before it reaches the shore. But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little, "Wherefore are you slow and halting?" For the truly good ask not the naked, "Where is your garment?" nor the houseless, "What has befallen your house?"

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PRAYER

Then a priestess said, "Speak to us of Prayer."

And he answered, saying: You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.

For what is prayer but the expansion of your self into the living ether? And if it is for your comfort to pour your darkness into space, it is also for your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart. And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayer, she should spur you again and yet again, though weeping, until you shall come laughing. When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet. Therefore let your visit to that temple invisible be for naught but ecstasy and sweet communion. For if you should enter the temple for no other purpose than asking you shall not receive:

And if you should enter into it to humble yourself you shall not be lifted: Or even if you should enter into it to beg for the good of others you shall not be heard. It is enough that you enter the temple invisible.

I cannot teach you how to pray in words. God listens not to your words save when He Himself utters them through your lips. And I cannot teach you the prayer of the seas and the forests and the mountains. But you who are born of the mountains and the forests and the seas can find their prayer in your heart, And if you but listen in the stillness of the night you shall hear them saying in silence: Our God, who art our winged self, it is thy will in us that willeth. "It is thy desire in us that desireth. "It is thy urge in us that would turn our nights, which are thine, into days, which are thine also.

"We cannot ask thee for aught, for thou knowest our needs before they are born in us:

"Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all."

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PLEASURE

Then a hermit, who visited the city once a year, came forth and said, "Speak to us of Pleasure."

And he answered, saying: Pleasure is a freedom-song, But it is not freedom. It is the blossoming of your desires, But it is not their fruit. It is a depth calling unto a height, But it is not the deep nor the high. It is the caged taking wing, But it is not space encompassed. Aye, in very truth, pleasure is a freedom-song. And I fain would have you sing it with fullness of heart; yet I would not have you lose your hearts in the singing.

Some of your youth seek pleasure as if it were all, and they are judged and rebuked. I would not judge nor rebuke them. I would have them seek. For they shall find pleasure, but not her alone;

Seven are her sisters, and the least of them is more beautiful than pleasure. Have you not heard of the man who was digging in the earth for roots and found a treasure?

And some of your elders remember pleasures with regret like wrongs committed in drunkenness. But regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisement. They should remember their pleasures with gratitude, as they would the harvest of a summer. Yet if it comforts them to regret, let them be comforted.

And there are among you those who are neither young to seek nor old to remember; And in their fear of seeking and remembering they shun all pleasures, lest they neglect the spirit or offend against it. But even in their foregoing is their pleasure. And thus they too find a treasure though they dig for roots with quivering hands.

But tell me, who is he that can offend the spirit? Shall the nightingale offend the stillness of the night, or the firefly the stars? And shall your flame or your smoke burden the wind? Think you the spirit is a still pool which you can trouble with a staff?

Oftentimes in denying yourself pleasure you do but store the desire in the recesses of your being. Who knows but that which seems omitted to day, waits for to-morrow? Even your body knows its heritage and its rightful need and will not be deceived. And your body is the harp of your soul, And it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds.

And now you ask in your heart, "How shall we distinguish that which is good in pleasure from that which is not good?" Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower, But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee. For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life, And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love, And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.

People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.

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BEAUTY

And a poet said, "Speak to us of Beauty."

And he answered: Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide? And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle. Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us." And the passionate say, "Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread. Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us."

The tired and the weary say, "Beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit. Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow." But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains, And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."

At night the watchmen of the city say, "Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east." And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, "We have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset."

In winter say the snow-bound, "She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills." And in the summer heat the reapers say, "We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair." All these things have you said of beauty, Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied, And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy. It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth, But rather a heart inflamed and a soul enchanted.

It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear, But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears. It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw, But rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are life and you are the veil. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

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RELIGION

And an old priest said, "Speak to us of Religion."

And he said: Have I spoken this day of aught else? Is not religion all deeds and all reflection, And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom? Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations? Who can spread his hours before him, saying, "This for God and this for myself; This for my soul and this other for my body"? All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self. He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked. The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin. And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage. The freest song comes not through bars and wires.

And he to whom worshipping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.

Your daily life is your temple and your religion. Whenever you enter into it take with you your all. Take the slough and the forge and the mallet and the lute, The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight. For in reverie you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures. And take with you all men: For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.

And if you would know God, be not therefore a solver of riddles. Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.

And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain. You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.

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DEATH

Then Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death."

And he said: You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life? The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light. If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring. Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king? Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

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THE FAREWELL

And now it was evening.

And Almitra the seeress said, "Blessed be this day and this place and your spirit that has spoken."

And he answered, Was it I who spoke? Was I not also a listener?

Then he descended the steps of the Temple and all the people followed him. And he reached his ship and stood upon the deck. And facing the people again, he raised his voice and said: People of Orphalese, the wind bids me leave you. Less hasty am I than the wind, yet I must go. We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us. Even while the earth sleeps we travel. We are the seeds of the tenacious plant, and it is in our ripeness and our fullness of heart that we are given to the wind and are scattered.

Brief were my days among you, and briefer still the words I have spoken.

But should my voice fade in your ears, and my love vanish in your memory, then I will come again, And with a richer heart and lips more yielding to the spirit will I speak. Yea, I shall return with the tide, And though death may hide me, and the greater silence enfold me, yet again will I seek your under standing. And not in vain will I seek. If aught I have said is truth, that truth shall reveal itself in a clearer voice, and in words more kin to your thoughts.

I go with the wind, people of Orphalese, but not down into emptiness; And if this day is not a fulfillment of your needs and my love, then let it be a promise till another day. Man's needs change, but not his love, nor his desire that his love should satisfy his needs. Know, therefore, that from the greater silence I shall return.

The mist that drifts away at dawn, leaving but dew in the fields, shall rise and gather into a cloud and then fall down in rain. And not unlike the mist have I been. In the stillness of the night I have walked in your streets, and my spirit has entered your houses, And your heart-beats were in my heart, and your breath was upon my face, and I knew you all. Aye, I knew your joy and your pain, and in your sleep your dreams were my dreams. And oftentimes I was among you a lake among the mountains. I mirrored the summits in you and the bending slopes, and even the passing flocks of your thoughts and your desires. And to my silence came the laughter of your children in streams, and the longing of your youths in rivers. And when they reached my depth the streams and the rivers ceased not yet to sing. But sweeter still than laughter and greater than longing came to me.

It was the boundless in you; The vast man in whom you are all but cells and sinews; He in whose chant all your singing is but a soundless throbbing. It is in the vast man that you are vast, And in beholding him that I beheld you and loved you. For what distances can love reach that are not in that vast sphere? What visions, what expectations and what presumptions can outsoar that flight? Like a giant oak tree covered with apple blossoms is the vast man in you. His might binds you to the earth, his fragrance lifts you into space, and in his durability you are deathless. You have been told that, even like a chain, you are as weak as your weakest link. This is but half the truth. You are also as strong as your strongest link. To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of ocean by the frailty of its foam.

To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconstancy.

Aye, you are like an ocean, And though heavy-grounded ships await the tide upon your shores, yet, even like an ocean, you cannot hasten your tides. And like the seasons you are also, And though in your winter you deny your spring, Yet spring, reposing within you, smiles in her drowsiness and is not offended. Think not I say these things in order that you may say the one to the other, "He praised us well. He saw but the good in us." I only speak to you in words of that which you yourselves know in thought. And what is word knowledge but a shadow of wordless knowledge? Your thoughts and my words are waves from a sealed memory that keeps records of our yesterdays, And of the ancient days when the earth knew not us nor herself, And of nights when earth was upwrought with confusion.

Wise men have come to you to give you of their wisdom. I came to take of your wisdom: And behold I have found that which is greater than wisdom. It is a flame spirit in you ever gathering more of itself, While you, heedless of its expansion, bewail the withering of your days. It is life in quest of life in bodies that fear the grave.

There are no graves here. These mountains and plains are a cradle and a stepping-stone. Whenever you pass by the field where you have laid your ancestors look well thereupon, and you shall see yourselves and your children dancing hand in hand. Verily you often make merry without knowing.

Others have come to you to whom for golden promises made unto you faith you have given but riches and power and glory. Less than a promise have I given, and yet more generous have you been to me. You have given me my deeper thirsting after life. Surely there is no greater gift to a man than that which turns all his aims into parching lips and all life into a fountain. And in this lies my honour and my reward,- That whenever I come to the fountain to drink I find the living water itself thirsty; And it drinks me while I drink it. Some of you have deemed me proud and over shy to receive gifts. Too proud indeed am I to receive wages, but not gifts. And though I have eaten berries among the hills when you would have had me sit at your board, And slept in the portico of the temple when you would gladly have sheltered me, Yet it was not your loving mindfulness of my days and my nights that made food sweet to my mouth and girdled my sleep with visions?

For this I bless you most: You give much and know not that you give at all. Verily the kindness that gazes upon itself in a mirror turns to stone, And a good deed that calls itself by tender names becomes the parent to a curse.

And some of you have called me aloof, and drunk with my own aloneness, And you have said, "He holds council with the trees of the forest, but not with men. "He sits alone on hill-tops and looks down upon our city." True it is that I have climbed the hills and walked in remote places. How could I have seen you save from a great height or a great distance? How can one be indeed near unless he be far? And others among you called unto me, not in words, and they said:

"Stranger, stranger, lover of unreachable heights, why dwell you among the summits where eagles build their nests? Why seek you the unattainable? What storms would you trap in your net, and what vaporous birds do you hunt in the sky? Come and be one of us. Descend and appease your hunger with our bread and quench your thirst with our wine." In the solitude of their souls they said these things; But were their solitude deeper they would have known that I sought but the secret of your joy and your pain, And I hunted only your larger selves that walk the sky. But the hunter was also the hunted; For many of my arrows left my bow only to seek my own breast. And the flier was also the creeper; For when my wings were spread in the sun their shadow upon the earth was a turtle. And I the believer was also the doubter;

For often have I put my finger in my own wound that I might have the greater belief in you and the greater knowledge of you. And it is with this belief and this knowledge that I say, You are not enclosed within your bodies, nor confined to houses or fields. That which is you dwells above the mountain and roves with the wind. It is not a thing that crawls into the sun for warmth or digs holes into darkness for safety, But a thing free, a spirit that envelops the earth and moves in the ether.

If these be vague words, then seek not to clear them. Vague and nebulous is the beginning of all things, but not their end, And I fain would have you remember me as a beginning. Life, and all that lives, is conceived in the mist and not in the crystal.

And who knows but a crystal is mist in decay?

This would I have you remember in remembering me: That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most determined. Is it not your breath that has erected and hardened the structure of your bones? And is it not a dream which none of you re member having dreamt, that built your city and fashioned all there is in it? Could you but see the tides of that breath you would cease to see all else, And if you could hear the whispering of the dream you would hear no other sound.

But you do not see, nor do you hear, and it is well. The veil that clouds your eyes shall be lifted by the hands that wove it, And the clay that fills your ears shall be pierced by those fingers that kneaded it. And you shall see. And you shall hear.

Yet you shall not deplore having known blindness, nor regret having been deaf. For in that day you shall know the hidden purposes in all things, And you shall bless darkness as you would bless light.

After saying these things he looked about him, and he saw the pilot of his ship standing by the helm and gazing now at the full sails and now at the distance.

And he said: Patient, over patient, is the captain of my ship. The wind blows, and restless are the sails; Even the rudder begs direction; Yet quietly my captain awaits my silence. And these my mariners, who have heard the choir of the greater sea, they too have heard me patiently. Now they shall wait no longer. I am ready.

The stream has reached the sea, and once more the great mother holds her son against her breast.

Fare you well, people of Orphalese. This day has ended. It is closing upon us even as the water-lily upon its own to-morrow. What was given us here we shall keep, And if it suffices not, then again must we come together and together stretch our hands unto the giver. Forget not that I shall come back to you. A little while, and my longing shall gather dust and foam for another body. A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me. Farewell to you and the youth I have spent with you. It was but yesterday we met in a dream. You have sung to me in my aloneness, and I of your longings have built a tower in the sky. But now our sleep has fled and our dream is over, and it is no longer dawn.

The noontide is upon us and our half waking has turned to fuller day, and we must part. If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song. And if our hands should meet in another dream we shall build another tower in the sky.

So saying he made a signal to the seamen, and straightaway they weighed anchor and cast the ship loose from its moorings, and they moved eastward. And a cry came from the people as from a single heart, and it rose into the dusk and was carried out over the sea like a great trumpeting. Only Almitra was silent, gazing after the ship until it had vanished into the mist. And when all the people were dispersed she still stood alone upon the sea-wall, remembering in her heart his saying:

"A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me."

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