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Khalil Gibran

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

Song of the Wave XVII


The strong shore is my beloved
And I am his sweetheart.
We are at last united by love, and
Then the moon draws me from him.
I go to him in haste and depart
Reluctantly, with many
Little farewells.


I steal swiftly from behind the
Blue horizon to cast the silver of
My foam upon the gold of his sand, and
We blend in melted brilliance.


I quench his thirst and submerge his
Heart; he softens my voice and subdues
My temper.
At dawn I recite the rules of love upon
His ears, and he embraces me longingly.


At eventide I sing to him the song of
Hope, and then print smooth hisses upon
His face; I am swift and fearful, but he
Is quiet, patient, and thoughtful. His
Broad bosom soothes my restlessness.


As the tide comes we caress each other,
When it withdraws, I drop to his feet in
Prayer.


Many times have I danced around mermaids
As they rose from the depths and rested
Upon my crest to watch the stars;
Many times have I heard lovers complain
Of their smallness, and I helped them to sigh.


Many times have I teased the great rocks
And fondled them with a smile, but never
Have I received laughter from them;
Many times have I lifted drowning souls
And carried them tenderly to my beloved
Shore. He gives them strength as he
Takes mine.


Many times have I stolen gems from the
Depths and presented them to my beloved
Shore. He takes them in silence, but still
I give fro he welcomes me ever.


In the heaviness of night, when all
Creatures seek the ghost of Slumber, I
Sit up, singing at one time and sighing
At another. I am awake always.


Alas! Sleeplessness has weakened me!
But I am a lover, and the truth of love
Is strong.
I may be weary, but I shall never die.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Lotus Jereau (11/29/2009 7:40:00 AM)

    This poem has been a part of my life since I was a child. My Grandpa Lee read it to me when I was twelve years old. I was recovering from facial reconstructive surgery after a major accident. I felt hideous on the outside, and I was begining to feel there was no beauty or hope in the world. He read this poem to me and it revealed something interesting. I had always considered the ocean to be cruel and ugly, but seeing from Girban's poetic perspective, I realized that what one finds ugly can be beautiful when seen in a different light. I learned to accept my new face, and understood that my inner beauty could shine on the outside, as well. As an adult, I live on a yacht for most of the year, traveling the west coast. I keep a copy of this poem at the helm, right next to my GPS. This poem is my secondary compass, leading my heart in the right direction when my perspective and view needs to be broadened. (Report) Reply

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