Pleasure


Then the hermit,

who visited the city once a year,

came forth and said,

Speak to us of Pleasure.

And he answered saying;

pleaseure is a freedom-song,

But it is not freedom.

It is the blossoming of your desires,

But it is not the fruit.

It is the depth calling unto a height,

But it is not the deep or the high.

It is the caged taking wing,

But it is not space encompassed.

Ay, in very truth, pleasure is a freedom-song.

And I fain would have you sing it with fullness of heart;

yet I would have you lose your heart in the singing.

Some of your youth seek pleasure as if it were all,

and they are judged and rebuked.

I would not judge nor rebuke them.

I would have them seek.

For they shall find pleasure, but not alone;

seven are her sisters, and the least of them

is more beutiful than pleasure.

Have you heard of the man who was digging

in the earth for roots and found treasure?

And some of your elders remember pleasures

with regret like wrongs committed in drunkeness.

But regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisment.

They should remember their pleasures with gratitude,

as they would the harvest of a summer.

Yet if it comforts them to regret,

let them be comforted.

And there are among you those who

are neither young to seek or old to remember;

And in their fear of seeking and remembering