Defeat, my Defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;
You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,
And sweeter to my heart than all world-glory.
Defeat, my Defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,
Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot
And not to be trapped by withering laurels.
And in you I have found aloneness
And the joy of being shunned and scorned.
Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,
In your eyes I have read
That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,
And to be understood is to be leveled down,
And to be grasped is but to reach one’s fullness
And like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed.
Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,
You shall hear my songs and my cries and my silences,
And none but you shall speak to me of the beating of wings,
And urging of seas,
And of mountains that burn in the night,
And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.
Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,
You and I shall laugh together with the storm,
And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,
And we shall stand in the sun with a will,
And we shall be dangerous.
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