My friend, I am not what I seem.  Seem-
ing is but a garment I wear--a care-woven
garment that protects me from thy ques-
tionings and thee from my negligence.

  The "I" in me, my friend, dwells in the
house of silence, and therein it shall re-
main for ever more, unperceived, unap-

  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 east-
ward"; 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 seafar-
ing thoughts, nor would I have thee un-
derstand.  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.

  When thou ascendest to thy Heaven I
descend to my Hell--even then thou call-
est to me across the unbridgeable gulf,
"My companion, my comrade," and I call
back to thee, "My comrade, my compan-
ion."--for I would not have thee see my
Hell.  The flame would burn thy eye-
sight and the smoke would crowd thy nos-
trils.  And I love my Hell too well to
have thee visit it.  I would be in Hell

  Thou lovest Truth and Beauty and
Righteousness; and I for thy sake say it is
well and seemly to love these things.  But
in my heart I laugh at thy love.  Yet
I would not have thee see my laughter.
I would laugh alone.

  My friend, thou art good and cautious
and wise; nay, thou art perfect--and I,
too, speak with thee wisely and cautiously.
And yet I am mad.  But I mask my mad-
ness.  I would be mad alone.

  My friend, thou art not my friend, but
how shall I make thee understand?  MY
path is not thy path, yet together we walk,
hand in hand.

			-The Madman, Kahlil Gibran