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Rabindranath Tagore

 

      On the Nature of Love

  

The night is black and the forest has no end;
a million people thread it in a million ways.
We have trysts to keep in the darkness, but where
or with whom – of that we are unaware.
But we have this faith – that a lifetime’s bliss
will appear any minute, with a smile upon its lips.
Scents, touches, sounds, snatches of songs
brush us, pass us, give us delightful shocks.
Then peradventure there’s a flash of lightning:
whomever I see that instant I fall in love with.
I call that person and cry: `This life is blest!
for your sake such miles have I traversed!’
All those others who came close and moved off
in the darkness – I don’t know if they exist or not..

  

 

 

 

Sympathy

 

If I were only a little puppy, not your baby, mother dear,
would you say “No” to me if I tried to eat from your dish?

Would you drive me off, saying to me,
“Go away, you naughty little puppy”?

Then go, mother, go! I will never come to you when you call me,
and l will never let you feed me any more.

If I were only a little green parrot, and not your baby,
mother dear, would you keep me chained lest I should fly away?

Would you shake your finger at me and say,
“What an ungrateful wrertch of a bird!
It is gnawing at its chain day and night”?

Then go, mother, go! I will run away into the woods;
I will never let you take me in your arms again

 

My Dependence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like to be dependent, and so for ever
with warmth and care of my mother
my father , to love, kiss and embrace
wear life happily in all their grace.
I like to be dependent, and so for ever
on my kith and kin, for they all shower
harsh and warm advices, complaints
full wondering ,true and info giants.
I like to be dependent, and so for ever
for my friends, chat and want me near
with domestic,family and romantic tips
colleagues as well , guide me work at risks.
I like to be dependent, and so for ever
for my neighbours too, envy at times
when at my rise of fortune like to hear
my daily steps , easy and odd things too.
 

The Child Angel

Let your life come amongst them like a flame of light, my child,
unflickering and pure, and delight them into silence.

They are cruel in their greed and their envy,
their words are like hidden knives thirsting for blood.

Go and stand amidst their scowling hearts, my child,
and let your gentle eyes fall upon them like the
forgiving peace of the evening over the strife of the day.

Let them see your face, my child, and thus know the
meaning of all things, let them love you and love each other.

Come and take your seat in the bosom of the limitless, my child.
At sunrise open and raise your heart like a blossoming flower,
and at sunset bend your head and in silence
complete the worship of the day.

 

 

 

The Flower School

 

“When storm-clouds rumble in the sky and
June showers come down,
The moist east wind comes marching over the heath
to blow its bagpipes amongst the bamboos.
The crowds of flowers come out of a sudden,
from nobody knows where,
and dance upon the grass in wild glee.
Mother, I really think the flowers go to school underground.
They do their lessons with doors shut,
and if they want to come out to play before it is time,
their master makes them stand in a corner.
When the rains come they have their holidays.
Branches clash together in the forest,
and the leaves rustle in the wild wind,
the thunder-clouds clap their giant hands and
the flower children rush out in dresses of
pink, yellow and white.
 
 
 
 

 

 

Do you know, mother, their home is in the sky,
where the stars are.
Haven’t you seen how eager they are to get there?
Don’t you know why they are in such a hurry?
Of course, I can guess to whom they raise their arms,
they have their mother as I have my own.

 

 

My Song

This song of mine will wind its music around you,
my child, like the fond arms of love.

The song of mine will touch your forehead
like a kiss of blessing.


When you are alone it will sit by your side and
whisper in your ear, when you are in the crowd
it will fence you about with aloofness.


My song will be like a pair of wings to your dreams,
it will transport your heart to the verge of the unknown.


It will be like the faithful star overhead
when dark night is over your road.


My song will sit in the pupils of your eyes,
and will carry your sight into the heart of things.


And when my voice is silenced in death,
my song will speak in your living heart
.

 

 

The Gift

If you would have it so,
I will end my singing.

If it sets your heart aflutter,
I will take away my eyes from your face.


If it suddenly startles you in your walk,
I will step aside and take another path.


If it confuses you in your flower-weaving,
I will shun your lonely garden.


If it makes the water wanton and wild,
I will not row my boat by your bank.

 

 

 

 

 
Ungrateful Sorrow
 
 
 
 

 

 

At dawn sheydeparted
My mind tried to console me –
” Everything is Maya
Angrily I replied:
“Here’s this sewing box on the table,
that flower-pot on the terrace,
this monogrammed hand-fan on the bed—
all these are real.”

My mind said: “Yet, think again.”
I rejoined: ” You better stop.
Look at this storybook,
the hairpin halfway amongst its leaves,
signaling the rest is unread;
if all these things are “Maya”,
then why should “shey” be more unreal?”


My mind becomes silent.
A friend arrived and says:
“That which is good is real
it is never non-existent;
entire world preserves and cherishes it its chest
like a precious jewel in a necklace.”


I replied in anger: “How do you know?
Is a body not good? Where did that body go?”

 

Authorship

You say that father writes a lot of books,
but what he writes I don’t understand.
He was reading to you all the evening,
but could you really make out what he meant?
What nice stories, mother, you can tell us!
Why can’t father write like that, I wonder?
Did he never hear from his own mother
stories of giants and fairies and princesses?
Has he forgotten them all?

Often when he gets late for his bath
you have to go and call him an hundred times.
You wait and keep his dishes warm for him,
but he goes on writing and forgets.
Father always plays at making books.
If I ever go to play in father’s room,
you come and call me,”What a naughty child!”
If I make the slightest noise you say,
“Don’t you see that father’s at his work?”
What is the fun of always writing and writing?

When I take up father’s pen or pencil
and write upon his book just as he does, –
a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i, – why do you get cross
with me then, mother?
You never say a word when father writes.

When my father writes heaps and heaps of papers,
mother, you don’t seem to mind at all.
But if I take only one sheet to make a boat with,
you say, “Child, how troublesome you are!”
What do you think of father’s spoiling sheets and
sheets of paper with black marks all over on both sides?

 

                   I

 

 I wonder if I know him
In whose speech is my voice,
In whose movement is my being,
Whose skill is in my lines,
Whose melody is in my songs
In joy and sorrow.
I thought he was chained within me,
Contained by tears and laughter,
Work and play.
I thought he was my very self
Coming to an end with my death.
Why then in a flood of joy do I feel him
In the sight and touch of my beloved?
This ‘I’ beyond self I found
On the shores of the shining sea.
Therefore I know
This’I’ is not imprisoned within my bounds.
Losing myself, I find him
Beyond the borders of time and space.
Through the Ages
I come to know his Shining Self
In the Iffe of the seeker,
In the voice of the poet.
From the dark clouds pour the rains.
I sit and think:
Bearing so many forms, so many names,
I come down, crossing the threshold
Of countless births and deaths.
The Supreme undivided, complete in himself,
Embracing past and present,
Dwells in Man.
Within Him I shall find myself –
The ‘I’ that reaches everywhere.

 

The Gift

If you would have it so,
I will end my singing.

If it sets your heart aflutter,
I will take away my eyes from your face.


If it suddenly startles you in your walk,
I will step aside and take another path.

                               
If it confuses you in your flower-weaving,
I will shun your lonely garden.


If it makes the water wanton and wild,
I will not row my boat by your bank
.

 

The First Jasmines

Ah, these jasmines, these white jasmines!
I seem to remember the first day when I filled my hands
with these jasmines, these white jasmines.
I have loved the sunlight, the sky and the green earth;
I have heard the liquid murmur of the river
through the darkness of midnight;
Autumn sunsets have come to me at the bend of the road
in the lonely waste, like a bride raising her veil
to accept her lover.
Yet my memory is still sweet with the first white jasmines
that I held in my hands when I was a child.
Many a glad day has come in my life,
and I have laughed with merrymakers on festival nights.
On grey mornings of rain
I have crooned many an idle song.
I have worn round my neck the evening wreath of
BAKULAS woven by the hand of love.
Yet my heart is sweet with the memory of the first fresh jasmines
that filled my hands when I was a child.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                            From Afar


The ‘I’ that floats along the wave of time,
From a distance I watch him.
With the dust and the water,
With the fruit and the flower,
With the All he is rushing forward.
He is always on the surface,
Tossed by the waves and dancing to the rhythm
Of joy and suffering.
The least loss makes him suffer,
The least wound hurts him–
Him I see from afar.
That ‘I’ is not my real self;
I am still within myself,
I do not float in the stream of death.
I am free, I am desireless,
I am peace, I am illumined–
Him I see from afar.

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