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But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail
is safe from another thief.
In the ancient days, when the first quiver of speech came to my lips,
I ascended the holy mountain and spoke unto God, saying, "Master,
I am thy slave. Thy hidden will is my law and I shall obey thee
for ever more."
But God made no answer, and like a mighty tempest passed away.
And after a thousand years I ascended the holy mountain and again
spoke unto God, saying, "Creator, I am thy creation. Out of clay
hast thou fashioned me and to thee I owe mine all."
And God made no answer, but like a thousand swift wings passed
And after a thousand years I climbed the holy mountain and spoke
unto God again, saying, "Father, I am thy son. In pity and love
thou hast given me birth, and through love and worship I shall
inherit thy kingdom."
And God made no answer, and like the mist that veils the distant
hills he passed away.
And after a thousand years I climbed the sacred mountain and gain
spoke unto God, saying, "My God, my aim and my fulfillment; I am
thy yesterday and thou are my tomorrow. I am thy root in the earth
and thou art my flower in the sky, and together we grow before the
face of the sun."
Then God leaned over me, and in my ears whispered words of sweetness,
and even as the sea that enfoldeth a brook that runneth down to
her, he enfolded me.
And when I descended to the valleys and the plains God was there
My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear--a
care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee
from my negligence.
The "I" in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and
therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable.
I would not have thee believe in what I say nor trust in what I
do--for my words are naught but thy own thoughts in sound and my
deeds thy own hopes in action.
When thou sayest, "The wind bloweth eastward," I say, "Aye it doth
blow eastward"; for I would not have thee know that my mind doth
not dwell upon the wind but upon the sea.
Thou canst not understand my seafaring thoughts, nor would I have
thee understand. I would be at sea alone.
When it is day with thee, my friend, it is night with me; yet even
then I speak of the noontide that dances upon the hills and of
the purple shadow that steals its way across the valley; for thou
canst not hear the songs of my darkness nor see my wings beating
against the stars--and I fain would not have thee hear or see. I
would be with night alone.
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