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A Tear And A Smile
by Kahlil Gibran


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Excerpt

A Tear And A Smile

I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart for the joys of the multitude. And I would not have the tears that sadness makes to flow from my every part turn into laughter. I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.
A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding of life's secrets and hidden things. A smile to draw me high to the sons of my kind and to be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.
A tear to unite me with those of broken heart; a smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.
I would rather that I died in yearning and longing than that I lived weary and despairing.
I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the depths of my spirit, for I have seen those who are satisfied the most wretched of people. I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and longing, and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.
With evening's coming the flower folds her petals and sleeps, embracing her longing. At morning's approach she opens her lips to meet the sun's kiss.
The life of a flower is longing and fulfillment. A tear and a smile.
The waters of the sea become vapor and rise and come together and are a cloud.
And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping to the fields and joins with the brooks and rivers to return to the sea, its home.
The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting. A tear and a smile.
And so does the spirit become separated from the greater spirit to move in the world of matter and pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow and the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death and return whence it came.
To the ocean of Love and Beauty --- to God.
-- pages 3-4

The Life of Love

Spring

Come, my beloved, let us walk among the little hills, for the snows have melted and life is awakened from its sleep and wanders through the hills and vallyes.
Come, let us follow the footsteps of spring in the far-off field;
Come and we will ascend the heights and look upon the waving greenness of the plains below.

The dawn of spring has unfolded the garment concealed by the winter night, and the peach tree and the apple wear it, adorned as brides on the Night of Power.
The vines are awakened, their tendrils entwined like the embrace of lovers.
The streams run and leap among the rocks singing songs of rejoicing.
The flowers are bursting forth from the heart of Nature as foam from the crest of sea waves.
Come, my beloved, let me drink of the last of rain's tears from narcissus cups and make full our spirits of the joyful songs of birds.
Let us breathe the scent of the breeze and sit by yonder rock where hides the violet, and give and take of Love's kisses.

Summer

Arise, my love, to the field, for the days of the harvest are come and the time of reaping is nigh.
The grain is ripened by the sun in the warmth of its love to Nature;
Come ere the birds reap the fruits of our labor, and the ants consume our land.
Come, let us garner the earth's yield as the spirit does grains of bliss from fulfillment's sowing in the depths of our hearts,
And fill our bins with Nature's bounty as Life does the storehouses of our souls.

Come, my mate, let us make the grass our couch and the heavens our coverlet.
Lay us down our heads on a pillow of soft hay and seek thereon repose from the toil of the day and hearken to the music of the murmur of the brook in the valley.
--pages 5-6

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