Fireflies 12


Poems of Rabindranath Tagore


pride engraves frowns in stones—
love offers surrender in flowers;
the obsequious brush curtails truth
in deference to the canvas which is narrow

the hill in its longing for the faraway sky
wishes to be like the cloud
with its endless urge of seeking

to justify their own spilling of ink
they spell the day as night;
profit smiles on goodness
when the good is profitable

in its swelling pride
the bubble doubts the truth of the sea
and laughs and bursts into emptiness

love is an endless mystery—
there is nothing else to explain it;
my clouds sorrowing in the dark
forget that they themselves
have hidden the sun


we discover our own wealth
when others ask gifts of us;
you leave your memory as a flame
to my lonely lamp of separation

I came to offer you a flower
but you must have all my garden—
it is yours

the picture—a memory of light
treasured by shadow

it is easy to make faces at the sun;
he is exposed by his own light
in all directions

Rabindranath Tagore (1928)

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