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Before the Throne of Beauty

She sat down on the grass and said: “I am a symbol of Nature. I am the virgin whom your forefathers did adore; for whom they build altars and shrines and temples in Baalbek and Aphaca and Byblos.” And I said: “Those temples are destroyed and the bones of my forefathers lie level with the earth, and naught remains of their gods and their ways save a few pages between the covers of books.”
Said she: “Many of their gods live in the life of their adorers and die in their death. Others of them live eternally and forever. My god-state is sustained by the beauty you behold wheresoever you lift your eyes; a beauty that is Nature in all her forms. A beauty that is the beginning of the shepherd’s happiness as he stands among the hills; and of the villager’s in his fields; and of the wandering tribes between mountain and plain. A beauty that is a stepping-stone for the wise to the throne of living truth.”

-Kahlil Gibran