There in the middle of the field, by the side of a
crystalline stream, I saw a bird-cage whose rods and hinges
were fashioned by an expert's hands. In one corner lay a dead
bird, and in another were two basins -- one empty of water
and the other of seeds. I stood there reverently, as if the
lifeless bird and the murmur of the water were worthy of deep
silence and respect -- something worth of examination and
meditation by the heard and conscience.
As I engrossed myself in view and thought, I found that the
poor creature had died of thirst beside a stream of water,
and of hunger in the midst of a rich field, cradle of life;
like a rich man locked inside his iron safe, perishing from
hunger amid heaps of gold.
Before my eyes I saw the cage turned suddenly into a human
skeleton, and the dead bird into a man's heart which was
bleeding from a deep wound that looked like the lips of a
sorrowing woman. A voice came from that wound saying, "I
am the human heart, prisoner of substance and victim of
"In God's field of Beauty, at the edge of the stream of
life, I was imprisoned in the cage of laws made by man.
"In the center of beautiful Creation I died neglected
because I was kept from enjoying the freedom of God's
"Everything of beauty that awakens my love and desire
is a disgrace, according to man's conceptions; everything
of goodness that I crace is but naught, according to
"I am the lost human heart, imprisoned in the foul
dungeon of man's dictates, tied with chains of earthly
authority, dead and forgotten by laughing humanity whose
tongue is tied and whose eyes are empty of visible tears."
All these words I heard, and I saw them emerging with
a stream of ever thinning blood from that wounded heart.
More was said, but my misted eyes and crying should prevented
further sight or hearing.
Copyright @ Kahlil Gibran.