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This brings me to another poem found amongst my mothers’ things.

Again, it was only a little snippets of the whole, which makes me wonder whether she knew of the whole poem or whether they were just her favorite lines.


To a Child                                

by Christopher Morley

The greatest poem ever known

Is one all poets have outgrown:

The poetry, innate, untold,

Of being only four years old.

Still young enough to be a part

Of Nature’s great impulsive heart,

Born comrade of bird, beast and tree

And unselfconscious as the bee

And yet with lovely reason skilled

Each day new paradise to build;

Elate explorer of each sense,

Without dismay, without pretense!

In your untrained transparent eyes

There is no conscious, no surprise:

Life’s queer conundrums you accept,

Your strange divinity still kept.

Being, that now absorbs you, all

Harmonious, unit, integral,

Will shred into perplexing bits,

Oh, contradictions of the the wits!

And life, that sets all things in rhyme,

May make you poet, too, in time

But there were days, O tender elf,

When you were Poetry itself!


I knew not much about this Lebanese-born ‘prophet’ previously, except I had a little snippet of one of his poems found inside an article left by my late mother when I was thirteen or so.

Treasuring anything left behind by her, I’d stuck it inside a journal I wrote in back then. It was only recently, when I married that I thought of it as I said to myself when I pasted it there that if I were to get married I would use it.


These three are my favorites but there are many more. Please enjoy:

On Love

When love beckons to you follow it,
Though it’s ways are hard and steep.
And when it’s wings enfold you yield to it,
Though the sword hidden among it’s pinions may wound you.
And when it speaks to you believe in it,
Though it’s voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall it crucify you.
Even as it is for your growth so is it for your pruning.
Even as it ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall it descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn it gathers you unto itself.
It threshes you to make you naked.
Sifts you to free you from your husks.
Grinds you to whiteness.
Kneads you until you are pliant;
And then it assigns you to it’s sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for it’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, “Love is in my heart,” but rather, I am in the heart of Love.” And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

(I have altered this one to suit myself)


On Marriage

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of each other.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

On Self Knowledge

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.





April 2021

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