The below letter was sent to my grandmother, Myrtle Van Every Deutsch (1900-1951), by her niece, Elizabeth Campbell (1914-1996), daughter of Evelyn Van Every Campbell Crabtree (1892-1982).
I don't have a year on the letter. Somewhere between 1941 and 1951.
My Darling Tante
Do you like this?
And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."
And he said:
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.
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 Arrow 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.
This is from a book that was given me recently, and has enchanted me although I do not know whether it is because of the meaning in the words or just the beauty of their sound.
Happy Easter to you and Martin, and Barbara, and Peggy.
I post this today as well because it is the start of National Poetry Month. The poem, "On Children," was written by the Lebanese American poet, Khalil Gibran (1883-1931).
It has been set to music and recorded by at least two different artists/groups
On Children - Astrid Seriese
On Children - by Sweet Honey in the Rock