On beauty

Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide? And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle. Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us."

And the passionate say, "Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread. Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us."

The tired and the weary say, "Beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit. Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow."

But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains, and with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."

At night the watchmen of the city say, "Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east."

And at noon-time the toilers and the wayfarers say, "We have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset."

In winter say the snow-bound, "She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills."

And in the summer heat the reapers say, "We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair."

All these things have you said of beauty, yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied, and beauty is not a need but an ecstasy. It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth, but rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted. It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear, but rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears. It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw, but rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.
你们谈到关于美的所有这些,实际并非关于她本身,而是关于你们未被满足的需求,但美并不是一种需求,而是心醉神迷的欣喜。她不是焦渴的唇,也不是伸出的空空的手,而是一颗燃烧的心,一个充满喜悦的灵魂。她不是你们想看到的形象,也不是你们想听到的歌声,而是 你们闭上眼睛看到的形象,堵住耳朵听到的歌声。她不是伤残树皮下的树液,也不是悬在利爪下的翅膀。而是一座鲜花永远盛开的花园,一群永远在天空飞翔的天使。

Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.