Treasure Island

Khalil Gibran

(January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931 / Bsharri)

Beauty XXV


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

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 enflamed 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 forever 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.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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Comments about this poem (Beauty XXV by Khalil Gibran )

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  • Khetha Kunene (8/12/2013 6:56:00 AM)

    a true work of art, i like the way he stresses his point by using both positive and negative (Report) Reply

  • Ejaz Khan (5/20/2009 2:54:00 PM)

    Khalil Gibran remains one of the greatest poet/ philosopher human race has ever produced. A beautiful poem as many other of his great works (Report) Reply

  • Lois Dawes (4/1/2009 8:37:00 AM)

    Khalil's verson of 'beauty is moe than skin deep' Somone should make tis a song then another inspiration for a commercial..about how to loose weight..not that I', against weight watchers and weight lifters and..oh that 'GREAT' body but we should laways remember that to hit the mark of that Eternal inner beauty of purity that cannot be captured/not realling in a picture/mybe a painting..is the BEATUY so when my figure is not the 100% ideal i'm looking for I look to my husband and he says...don't worry it is all for some inner glory..thanks Ghibran...and you too Pier One..Jamaica West Indies..come and visit us sometime..anyone who reads these comments. (Report) Reply

  • Riquetta Elliott (2/17/2009 10:41:00 AM)

    Yea because he is asking what is the definition of a beauty. Defining what beauty is. Marvelous work. (Report) Reply

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