Fireflies 17


Poems of Rabindranath Tagore


the centre is still and silent
in the heart of an eternal dance of circles

the judge thinks that he is just
when he compares
the oil of another’s lamp
with the light of his own;
the captive flower in the king’s wreath
smiles bitterly
when the meadow-flower envies her

its store of snow
is the hill’s own burden;
its outpouring of streams
is borne by all the world

listen to the prayer of the forest
for its freedom in flowers


let your love see me
even through the barrier of nearness

the spirit of work in creation is there
to carry & help the spirit of play

to carry the burden of the instrument
count the cost of its material
and never to know that it is for music—
the tragedy of deaf life

faith is the bird that feels the light
and sings when the dawn is still dark

I bring to thee
night
day’s empty cup to be cleansed
with cool darkness
for the new morning’s festival

Rabindranath Tagore (1928)

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