When my Sorrow was born
When my sorrow was born I nursed it with care, and watched over it with loving tenderness.
And my Sorrow grew like all living things, strong and beautiful and full of wondrous delights.
And we loved one another, my Sorrow and I, and we loved the world about us; for Sorrow had a kindly heart and mine was kindly with Sorrow.
And when we conversed, my Sorrow and I, our days were winged and our nights were girdled with dreams; for Sorrow had an eloquent tongue, and mine was eloquent with Sorrow.
And when we sang together, my Sorrow and I, our neighbors sat at their windows and listenend; for our songs were deep as the sea and our melodies were full of strange memories.
And when we walked together, my Sorrow and I, people gazed at us with gentle eyes and whispered in words of exceeding sweetness. And there were those who looked with envy upon us, for Sorrow was a noble thing and I was proud with Sorrow.
But my Sorrow died, like all living things, and alone I am left to muse and ponder.
And now when I speak my words fall heavily upon my ears.
And when I sing my songs my neighbours come not to listen.
And when I walk the streets no one looks at me.
Only in my sleep I hear voices saying in pity, “See, there lies the man whose Sorrow is dead.”
When my Joy was born
And when my joy was born I held it in my arms and stood on the house-top shouting, “Come ye, my neighbours, come and see, for Joy this day is born unto me. Come and behold this gladsome thing that laugheth in the sun.”
But none of my neighbours came to look upon my Joy, and great was my astonishment.
And every day for seven moons I proclaimed my Joy from the house-top — and yet no one heeded me. And my Joy and I were alone, unsought and unvisited.
Then my Joy grew pale and weary because no other heart but mine held its loveliness and no other lips kissed its lips.
Then my Joy died of isolation.
And now I only remember my dead Joy in remembering my dead Sorrow. But memory is an autumn leaf that murmurs in the wind and then is heard no more.
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 hast 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.”