Today's Beautiful Gem: `O Where Are You Going' by W. H. Auden.

"`O Where are you going?' said reader to rider,
`That valley is fatal when furnaces burn,
Yonder's the midden whose odours will madden,
That gap is the grave where the tall return.'

"`O do you imagine,' said fearer to farer,
`That dusk will delay on your path to the pass,
Your diligent looking discover the lacking
Your footsteps feel from granite to grass?'

"`O what was that bird,' said horror to hearer,
`Did you see that shape in the twisted trees?
Behind you swiftly the figure comes softly,
The spot on your skin is a shocking disease?'

"`Out of this house'-- said rider to reader,
`Yours never will'-- said farer to fearer,
`They're looking for you'-- said hearer to horror,
As he left them there, as he left them there."

Note: This poem is written in the form of a riddle. The rider,
the farer, and the hearer are one person, faced by three
challengers-- his inner fears.

Om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao