Fireflies 7


Poems of Rabindranath Tagore

who does good
comes to the temple gate;
who loves
reaches the shrine

flower!
have pity for the worm—
it is not a bee;
its love is a blunder and a burden

with the ruins of terror’s triumph
children build their doll’s house

the lamp waits through the long day of neglect
for the flame’s kiss in the night;
feathers in the dust lazily content
have forgotten the sky;
the flower which is single
need not envy thorns
which are numerous

the world suffers most
from the disinterested tyranny
of a well-wisher

we gain freedom
when we have paid the full price
for a right to live

your careless gifts of a moment—
meteors of an autumn night—
catch fire in the depth of my being

the faith waiting in the heart of a seed
promises a miracle of life
which it cannot prove at once

spring hesitates at winter’s door
but the mango blossom rashly runs out to him
before her time and meets her doom

the world is the ever-changing foam
that floats on the surface of a sea of silence

Rabindranath Tagore (1928)

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