In the shadow of the temple my friend and I saw a blind man sitting alone. And my friend said, “Behold the wisest man of our land.”
Then I left my friend and approached the blind man and greeted him. And we conversed.
After a while I said, “Forgive my question; but since when has thou been blind?”
“From my birth,” he answered.
Said I, “And what path of wisdom followest thou?”
Said he, “I am an astronomer.”
Then he placed his hand upon his breast saying, “I watch all these suns and moons and stars.”
Here I sit between my brother the mountain and my sister the sea.
We three are one in loneliness, and the love that binds us together is deep and strong and strange. Nay, it is deeper than my sister’s depth and stronger than my brother’s strength, and stranger than the strangeness of my madness.
Aeons upon aeons have passed since the first grey dawn made us visible to one another; and though we have seen the birth and the fullness and the death of many worlds, we are still eager and young.
We are young and eager and yet we are mateless and unvisited, and though we lie in unbroken half embrace, we are uncomforted. And what comfort is there for controlled desire and unspent passion? Whence shall come the flaming god to warm my sister’s bed? And what she-torrent shall quench my brother’s fire? And who is the woman that shall command my heart?
In the stillness of the night my sister murmurs in her sleep the fire-god’s unknown name, and my brother calls afar upon the cool and distant goddess. But upon whom I call in my sleep I know not.
* * * * * * * * *
Here I sit between my brother the mountain and my sister the sea. We three are one in loneliness, and the love that binds us together is deep and strong and strange.
Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, “You make such a noise falling! You scatter all my winter dreams.”
Said the leaf indignant, “Low-born and low-dwelling! Songless, peevish thing! You live not in the upper air and you cannot tell the sound of singing.”
Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept. And when spring came she waked again—and she was a blade of grass.
And when it was autumn and her winter sleep was upon her, and above her through all the air the leaves were falling, she muttered to herself, “O these autumn leaves! They make such noise! They scatter all my winter dreams.”
Said the Eye one day, “I see beyond these valleys a mountain veiled with blue mist. Is it not beautiful?”