Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese-American poet and philosopher, is known for his insightful reflections on various aspects of life, with love being a prominent theme in his work. Born in 1883, Gibran’s writing has left a lasting impact, thanks to his ability to distill complex emotions into poetic form. His multicultural upbringing, blending Eastern and Western influences, adds a distinctive flavor to his creations.
In this collection, we explore six of Khalil Gibran’s love poems, offering a deeper dive into his exploration of human connection. Beyond the snippets of wisdom shared earlier, these verses provide a more comprehensive view of love’s intricacies. Each poem serves as a glimpse into the human experience, capturing the essence of love in its diverse forms.
Join us on a journey through Gibran’s words, where the boundaries of time and culture blur, and emotions are expressed with a simplicity that resonates universally. Whether you’re well-acquainted with his work or encountering it for the first time, these six love poems invite contemplation on the nuanced nature of love through the lens of Khalil Gibran’s straightforward yet profound prose.
A Lover’s Call XXVII
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?
Or are you in your chamber where the shrine of Virtue has been placed in your honor, and upon Which you offer my heart and soul as sacrifice?
Or amongst the books, seeking human knowledge, While you are replete with heavenly wisdom?
Oh companion of my soul, where are you? Are you Praying in the temple? Or calling Nature in the Field, haven of your dreams?
Are you in the huts of the poor, consoling the Broken-hearted with the sweetness of your soul, and Filling their hands with your bounty?
You are God’s spirit everywhere; You are stronger than the ages.
Do you have memory of the day we met, when the halo of You spirit surrounded us, and the Angels of Love Floated about, singing the praise of the soul’s deed?
Do you recollect our sitting in the shade of the Branches, sheltering ourselves from Humanity, as the ribs Protect the divine secret of the heart from injury?
Remember you the trails and forest we walked, with hands Joined, and our heads leaning against each other, as if We were hiding ourselves within ourselves?
Recall you the hour I bade you farewell, And the Maritime kiss you placed on my lips? That kiss taught me that joining of lips in Love Reveals heavenly secrets which the tongue cannot utter!
That kiss was introduction to a great sigh, Like the Almighty’s breath that turned earth into man.
That sigh led my way into the spiritual world, Announcing the glory of my soul; and there It shall perpetuate until again we meet.
I remember when you kissed me and kissed me, With tears coursing your cheeks, and you said, “Earthly bodies must often separate for earthly purpose, And must live apart impelled by worldly intent.
“But the spirit remains joined safely in the hands of Love, until death arrives and takes joined souls to God.
“Go, my beloved; Love has chosen you her delegate; Over her, for she is Beauty who offers to her follower The cup of the sweetness of life. As for my own empty arms, your love shall remain my Comforting groom; you memory, my Eternal wedding.”
Where are you now, my other self? Are you awake in The silence of the night? Let the clean breeze convey To you my heart’s every beat and affection.
Are you fondling my face in your memory? That image Is no longer my own, for Sorrow has dropped his Shadow on my happy countenance of the past.
Sobs have withered my eyes which reflected your beauty And dried my lips which you sweetened with kisses.
Where are you, my beloved? Do you hear my weeping From beyond the ocean? Do you understand my need? Do you know the greatness of my patience?
Is there any spirit in the air capable of conveying To you the breath of this dying youth? Is there any Secret communication between angels that will carry to You my complaint?
Where are you, my beautiful star? The obscurity of life Has cast me upon its bosom; sorrow has conquered me.
Sail your smile into the air; it will reach and enliven me! Breathe your fragrance into the air; it will sustain me!
Where are you, me beloved? Oh, how great is Love! And how little am I!
Let These be Your Desires
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself But if your 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.
The Life of Love XVI
Come, my beloved; let us walk amidst the knolls, For the snow is water, and Life is alive from its Slumber and is roaming the hills and valleys. Let us follow the footprints of Spring into the Distant fields, and mount the hilltops to draw Inspiration high above the cool green plains.
Dawn of Spring has unfolded her winter-kept garment And placed it on the peach and citrus trees; and They appear as brides in the ceremonial custom of the Night of Kedre.
The sprigs of grapevine embrace each other like Sweethearts, and the brooks burst out in dance Between the rocks, repeating the song of joy; And the flowers bud suddenly from the heart of Nature, like foam from the rich heart of the sea.
Come, my beloved; let us drink the last of Winter’s Tears from the cupped lilies, and soothe our spirits With the shower of notes from the birds, and wander In exhilaration through the intoxicating breeze.
Let us sit by that rock, where violets hide; let us Pursue their exchange of the sweetness of kisses.
Let us go into the fields, my beloved, for the Time of harvest approaches, and the sun’s eyes Are ripening the grain. Let us tend the fruit of the earth, as the Spirit nourishes the grains of Joy from the Seeds of Love, sowed deep in our hearts. Let us fill our bins with the products of Nature, as life fills so abundantly the Domain of our hearts with her endless bounty. Let us make the flowers our bed, and the Sky our blanket, and rest our heads together Upon pillows of soft hay. Let us relax after the day’s toil, and listen To the provoking murmur of the brook.
Let us go and gather grapes in the vineyard For the winepress, and keep the wine in old Vases, as the spirit keeps Knowledge of the Ages in eternal vessels.
Let us return to our dwelling, for the wind has Caused the yellow leaves to fall and shroud the Withering flowers that whisper elegy to Summer. Come home, my eternal sweetheart, for the birds Have made pilgrimage to warmth and lest the chilled Prairies suffering pangs of solitude. The jasmine And myrtle have no more tears.
Let us retreat, for the tired brook has Ceased its song; and the bubblesome springs Are drained of their copious weeping; and Their cautious old hills have stored away Their colorful garments.
Come, my beloved; Nature is justly weary And is bidding her enthusiasm farewell With quiet and contented melody.
Come close to me, oh companion of my full life; Come close to me and let not Winter’s touch Enter between us. Sit by me before the hearth, For fire is the only fruit of Winter.
Speak to me of the glory of your heart, for That is greater than the shrieking elements Beyond our door. Bind the door and seal the transoms, for the Angry countenance of the heaven depresses my Spirit, and the face of our snow-laden fields Makes my soul cry.
Feed the lamp with oil and let it not dim, and Place it by you, so I can read with tears what Your life with me has written upon your face.
Bring Autumn’s wine. Let us drink and sing the Song of remembrance to Spring’s carefree sowing, And Summer’s watchful tending, and Autumn’s Reward in harvest.
Come close to me, oh beloved of my soul; the Fire is cooling and fleeing under the ashes. Embrace me, for I fear loneliness; the lamp is Dim, and the wine which we pressed is closing Our eyes. Let us look upon each other before They are shut. Find me with your arms and embrace me; let Slumber then embrace our souls as one. Kiss me, my beloved, for Winter has stolen All but our moving lips.
You are close by me, My Forever. How deep and wide will be the ocean of Slumber, And how recent was the dawn!
A Tear And A Smile
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.
I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.
A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding Of life’s secrets and hidden things. A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and To be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.
A tear to unite me with those of broken heart; A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.
I would rather that I died in yearning and longing than that I live Weary and despairing.
I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the Depths of my spirit,for I have seen those who are Satisfied the most wretched of people. I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and Longing, and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.
With evening’s coming the flower folds her petals And sleeps, embracing her longing. At morning’s approach she opens her lips to meet The sun’s kiss.
The life of a flower is longing and fulfilment. A tear and a smile.
The waters of the sea become vapor and rise and come Together and area cloud.
And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys Until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping To the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to Return to the sea, its home.
The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting. A tear and a smile.
And so does the spirit become separated from The greater spirit to move in the world of matter And pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow And the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death And return whence it came.
To the ocean of Love and Beauty – to God.
Love One Another
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.
They said to him “Speak to us of Love.”
He looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his feathers may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so he is for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
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 to cover yourself and pass out of love’s door, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives nothing but itself and takes nothing but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
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 fulflll itself.