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Contents > Author > Kahlil Gibran > The Prophet 27 On Death 1883- 1931
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Kahlil Gibran
The Prophet 27 On Death
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ON DEATH

Than Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death."

And he said:

You would know the secret of death.

But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day
cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart
wide unto the body of life.

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge
of the beyond;

And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams
of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he
stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Is the sheared not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear
the mark of the king?

Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt
into the sun?

And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless
tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink form the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin
to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

 

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