Where are you, my beloved? Are you in that little
Paradise, watering the flowers who look upon you
As infants look upon the breast of their mothers?
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses
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.
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.
And a youth said, "Speak to us of Friendship."
Your friend is your needs answered.
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 an orator said, "Speak to us of Freedom."
And he answered:
The dark wings of night enfolded the city upon which Nature had spread a pure white garment of snow; and men deserted the streets for their houses in search of warmth, while the north wind probed in contemplation of laying waste the gardens. There in the suburb stood an old hut heavily laden with snow and on the verge of falling. In a dark recess of that hovel was a poor bed in which a dying youth was lying, staring at the dim light of his oil lamp, made to flicker by the entering winds. He a man in the spring of life who foresaw fully that the peaceful hour of freeing himself from the clutches of life was fast nearing. He was awaiting Death's visit gratefully, and upon his pale face appeared the dawn of hope; and on his lops a sorrowful smile; and in his eyes forgiveness.
He was poet perishing from hunger in the city of living rich. He was placed in the earthly world to enliven the heart of man with his beautiful and profound sayings. He as noble soul, sent by the Goddess of Understanding to soothe and make gentle the human spirit. But alas! He gladly bade the cold earth farewell without receiving a smile from its strange occupants.
Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow."
And he answered:
One heavy day I ran away from the grim face of society and the dizzying clamor of the city and directed my weary step to the spacious alley. I pursued the beckoning course of the rivulet and the musical sounds of the birds until I reached a lonely spot where the flowing branches of the trees prevented the sun from the touching the earth.
I stood there, and it was entertaining to my soul - my thirsty soul who had seen naught but the mirage of life instead of its sweetness.