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Khalil The Heretic / Khalil Gibran

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Khalil Gibran   (January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) was an Arab-American artist, poet, and writer

From the clutches of Pharaoh

To the paws of Nebuchadnezzar,

To the iron hands of Alexander,

To the swords of Herod,

To the talons of Nero,

and the sharp teeth of Demon . . . into whose hands are we now to fall, and when will Death come and take us, so we may rest at last?

With the strength of our arms we lifted the columns of the temple,

and upon our backs we carried the mortar to build the great walls

and the impregnable pyramids for the sake of glory. Until when shall we continue building such magnificent palaces and living in wretched huts?

Until when shall we continue filling the bins of the rich with provisions, while sustaining weak life on dry morsels?

Until when shall we continue weaving silk and wool for our lords and masters while we wear naught except tattered swaddles?

Through their wickedness we were divided amongst ourselves; and the better to keep their thrones and be at ease, they armed the Druze to fight the Arab, and stirred up the Shiite to attack the Sunnite, and encouraged the Kurdish to butcher the Bedouin, and cheered the Mohammedan to dispute with the Christian.

Until when shall a brother continue killing his own brother upon his mother’s bosom?

Until when shall the Cross be kept apart from the Crescent before the eyes of God?

Oh Liberty, hear us, and speak in behalf of but one individual, for a great fire is started with a small spark. Oh Liberty, awaken but one heart with the rustling of thy wings, for from one cloud alone comes the lightning which illuminates the pits of the valleys and the tops of the mountains. Disperse with thy power these black clouds and descend like thunder and destroy the thrones that were built upon the bones and skulls of our ancestors.”

Hear us, Oh Liberty; Bring mercy,

Oh Daughter of Athens; Rescue us,

Oh Sister of Rome; Advise us,

Oh Companion of Moses; Help us,

Oh Beloved of Mohammed ; Teach us,

Oh Bride of Jesus; Strengthen our hearts so we may live;

Or harden our enemies so we may perish And live in peace eternally.

From Spirits Rebellious, Khalil Gibran

Filed under: Arab lit and art, Articles, English

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