I cried to men, “I would be crucified!”
And they said, “Why should your blood be upon our heads?”
And I answered, “How else shall you be exalted except by crucifying madmen?”
And they heeded and I was crucified. And the crucifixion appeased me.
And when I was hanged between earth and heaven they lifted up their heads to see me. And they were exalted, for their heads had never before been lifted.
But as they stood looking up at me one called out, “For what art thou seeking to atone?”
And another cried, “In what cause dost thou sacrifice thyself?”
And a third said, “Thinkest thou with this price to buy world glory?”
Then said a fourth, “Behold, how he smiles! Can such pain be forgiven?”
And I answered them all, and said:
“Remember only that I smiled. I do not atone—nor sacrifice—nor wish for glory; and I have nothing to forgive. I thirsted—and I besought you to give me my blood to drink. For what is there can quench a madman’s thirst but his own blood? I was dumb—and I asked wounds of you for mouths. I was imprisoned in your days and nights—and I sought a door into larger days and nights.
And now I go—as others already crucified have gone. And think not we are weary of crucifixion. For we must be crucified by larger and yet larger men, between greater earths and greater heavens.”
Read Kahlil Gibran's Poems:
The Three Ants | Said a Blade of Grass | And When My Sorrow was Born | The Pomegranate | When My Sorrow Was Born | The Two Hermits | The Scarecrow | The Astronomer | War | The Blessed City | The Sleep-Walkers | The Eye & The Fox | The Great Longing | The Wise King | Ambition | The Good God and the Evil God & The Grave-Digger | The Perfect World | The Seven Selves | The Other Language | The Greater Sea | The Wise Dog | The Two Learned Men | My Friend | Crucified | Night and the Madman | Defeat | Faces | God