Fireflies (for Priyanka & Nikita!) 3

Poems of Rabindranath Tagore 3

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;
God seeks comrades and claims love;
the Devil seeks slaves and claims obedience

in return for her service
the soil keeps the tree tied to her;
sky asks nothing and leaves it free

jewel-like the immortal
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

a light 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 sweeping its dirt
it is storm

the lake lies low by the hill
a tearful entreaty of love
at the foot of the inflexible

Rabindranath Tagore (1928)

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