by Khalil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

Children
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER ITA
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.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed, 
for love is sufficient unto love.

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Kinder", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Figli", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Maria Nimmerfall

This text was added to the website: 2010-11-06
Line count: 23
Word count: 197