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Rabindranath Tagore 1861 (Kolkata) – 1941 (Kolkata)
My fancies are fireflies, —
Specks of living light
twinkling in the dark.
he voice of wayside pansies,
that do not attract the careless glance,
murmurs in these desultory lines.
In the drowsy dark caves of the mind
dreams build their nest with fragments
dropped from day's caravan.
Spring scatters the petals of flowers
that are not for the fruits of the future,
but for the moment's whim.
Joy freed from the bond of earth's slumber
rushes into numberless leaves,
and dances in the air for a day.
My words that are slight
my lightly dance upon time's waves
when my works havy with import have gone down.
Mind's underground moths
grow filmy wings
and take a farewell flight
in the sunset sky.
The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough.
My thoughts, like spark, ride on winged surprises,
carrying a single laughter.
The tree gazes in love at its own beautiful shadow
which yet it never can grasp.
Let my love, like sunlight, surround you
and yet give you illumined freedom.
Days are coloured vbubbles
that float upon the surface of fathomless night.
My offerings are too timid to claim your remembrance,
and therefore you may remember them.
Leave out my name from the gift
if it be a burden,
but keep my song.
April, like a child,
writes hieroglyphs on dust with flowers,
wipes them away and forgets.
Memory, the priestess,
kills the present
and offers its heart to the shrine of the dead past.
From the solemn gloom of the temple
children run out to sit in the dust,
God watches them play
and forgets the priest.
My mind starts up at some flash
on the flow of its thoughts
like a brook at a sudden liquid note of its own
that is never repeated.
In the mountain, stillness surges up
to explore its own height;
in the lake, movement stands still
to contemplate its own depth.
The departing night's one kiss
on the closed eyes of morning
glows in the star of dawn.
Maiden, thy beauty is like a fruit
which is yet to mature,
tense with an unyielding secret.
Sorrow that has lost its memory
is like the dumb dark hours
that have no bird songs
but only the cricket's chirp.
Bigotry tries to keep turth safe in its hand
with a grip that kills it.
Wishing to hearten a timid lamp
great night lights all her stars.
Though he holds in his arms the earth-bride,
the sky is ever immensely away.
God seeks comrades and claims love,
the Devil seeks slaves and claims obedience.
The soil in return for her service
keeps the tree tied to her,
the sky asks nothing and leaves it free.
does not boast of its length of years
but of the scintillating point of its moment.
The child ever dwells in the mystery of ageless time,
unobscured by the dust of history.
Alight laughter in the steps of creation
carries it swiftly across time.
One who was distant came near to me in the morning,
and still nearer when taken away by night.
White and pink oleanders meet
and make merry in different dialects.
When peace is active swepping its dirt, it is storm.
The lake lies low by the hill,
a tearful entreaty of love
at the foot of the inflexible.
There smiles the Divine Child
among his playthings of unmeaning clouds
and ephemeral lights and shadows.
The breeze whispers to the lotus,
'What is thy secret?'
'It is myself,' says the lotus,
'Steal it and I disappear!'
The freedom of the storm and the bondage of the stem
join hands in the dance of swaying branches.
The jasmine's lisping of love to the sun is her flowers.
The tyrant claims freedom to kill freedom
and yet to keep it for himself.
Gods, tired of their paradise, envy man.
Clouds are hills in vapour,
hills are clouds in stone, —
a phantasy in time's dream.
While God waits for His temple to be built of love,
men bring stones.
I touch God in my song
as the hill touches the far-away sea
with its waterfall.
Light finds her treasure of colours
through the antagonism of clouds.
My heart to-day smiles at its past night of tears
like a wet tree glistening in the sun
after the rain is over.
I have thanked the trees that have made my life fruitflul,
but have failed to remember the grass
that has ever kept it green.
The one without second is emptiness,
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