Translated by Valerie Smith
My baby, sleeping close to me, all pink and fresh,
like a tiny drowsy Jesus in his crèche;
In your innocent sleep, so calm and so charming,
You do not hear the bird singing in the shadows
Pensively, I inhale all the sweet darkness
of the mysterious heavens.
And I listen to the angels flying above your head;
And watch you sleeping; and over your coverlets
Noiselessly, I strip the leaves from jasmine and carnation;
As I pray, watching over your shuttered eyelids;
My eyes well up full with water, dreaming of things
That await us in the night.
One day, my turn will come to sleep; and my sleep
will be so shadowy, so gloomy, so wild and deep
That I will hear the singing bird no more;
And the night will be black; then, o my dove,
You will return to my tomb,
the tears, prayers and flowers
That I bestrewed by your cradle.
Pino Daeni Painting
This song of mine will wind its music around you,
my child, like the fond arms of love.
The song of mine will touch your forehead
like a kiss of blessing.
When you are alone it will sit by your side and
whisper in your ear, when you are in the crowd
it will fence you about with aloofness.
My song will be like a pair of wings to your dreams,
it will transport your heart to the verge of the unknown.
It will be like the faithful star overhead
when dark night is over your road.
My song will sit in the pupils of your eyes,
and will carry your sight into the heart of things.
And when my voice is silenced in death,
my song will speak in your living heart.
Émile Munier Art
Bless this little heart, this white soul that has won the kiss of
heaven for our earth.
He loves the light of the sun, he loves the sight of his
He has not learned to despise the dust, and to hanker after
Clasp him to your heart and bless him.
He has come into this land of an hundred cross-roads.
I know not how he chose you from the crowd, came to your
door,and grasped you hand to ask his way.
He will follow you, laughing the talking, and not a doubt in
Keep his trust, lead him straight and bless him.
Lay your hand on his head, and pray that though the waves
underneath grow threatening, yet the breath from above may
come and fill his sails and waft him to the heaven of peace.
Forget him not in your hurry, let him come to your heart
and bless him.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.