On Clothes | Kahlil Gibran, 1923

Sir William Russell Flint, Blustery Day, St. Malo, 1925


And the weaver said, Speak to us of
Clothes.
     And he answered:
     Your clothes conceal much of your beauty,
yet they hide not the unbeautiful.
     And though you seek in garments the
freedom of privacy you may find in them
a harness and a chain.
     Would that you could meet the sun
and the wind with more of your skin and less
of your raiment,
     For the breath of life is in the sunlight
and the hand of life is in the wind.

     Some of you say, “It is the north wind
who has woven the clothes we wear.”
     And I say, Ay, it was the north wind,
     But shame was his loom, and the soften-
ing of the sinews was his thread.
     And when his work was done he laughed
in the forest.
     Forget not that modesty is for a shield
against the eye of the unclean.
     And when the unclean shall be no more,
what were modesty but a fetter and a fouling
of the mind?
     And forget not that the earth delights to
feel your bare feet and the winds long to
play with your hair.

Kahlil Gibran, On Clothes, 1923
from “The Prophet”

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