Fireflies 5


Poems of Rabindranath Tagore 5

I have thanked the trees
that have made my life fruitful—
I must now remember the grass
that has ever kept it green

one without a second is emptiness;
the other one makes it true…
life’s errors cry for the merciful beauty
that can modulate their isolation
into a harmony with the whole

they expect thanks for the banished nest
because their cage is shapely and secure

in love I pay my endless debt to thee
for what thou art

the pond sends up lyrics from the dark in lilies
and the sun says they are good

your calumny against the great is impious
it hurts yourself;
against the small it is mean
for it hurts the victim


the first flower that blossomed on this earth
was an invitation to the unborn song

dawn the many-coloured flower fades
and then the simple light-fruit—
the sun—appears

the muscle that has a doubt of its wisdom
throttles the voice that would cry;
the wind tries to take the flame by storm
only to blow it out

life’s play is swift;
life’s playthings fall behind one by one
and are forgotten

my flower
seek not thy paradise
in a fool’s buttonhole

Rabindranath Tagore (1928)


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