My Friend – Rabindranath Tagore

Art thou abroad on this stormy night 

on thy journey of love, my friend? 

The sky groans like one in despair. 
I have no sleep tonight. 

Ever and again I open my door and look out on 

the darkness, my friend! 
I can see nothing before me. 

I wonder where lies thy path! 
By what dim shore of the ink-black river, 

by what far edge of the frowning forest, 

through what mazy depth of gloom art thou threading 

thy course to come to me, my friend?

Maya – Rabindranath Tagore

That I should make much of myself and turn it on all sides, 

thus casting colored shadows on thy radiance 

—such is thy Maya. 
Thou settest a barrier in thine own being 

and then callest thy severed self in myriad notes. 

This thy self-separation has taken body in me. 
The poignant song is echoed through all the sky in many-coloued tears 

and smiles, alarms and hopes; waves rise up and sink again, 

dreams break and form. 

In me is thy own defeat of self. 
This screen that thou hast raised is painted with innumerable figures 

with the brush of the night and the day. 

Behind it thy seat is woven in wondrous mysteries of curves, 

casting away all barren lines of straightness. 
The great pageant of thee and me has overspread the sky. 

With the tune of thee and me all the air is vibrant, 

and all ages pass with the hiding and seeking of thee and me. 

Farewell – Rabindranath Tagore

I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers! 

I bow to you all and take my departure. 
Here I give back the keys of my door 

—and I give up all claims to my house. 

I only ask for last kind words from you. 
We were neighbors for long, 

but I received more than I could give. 

Now the day has dawned 

and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out. 

A summons has come and I am ready for my journey. 

Do Not Go, My Love – Rabindranath Tagore

The Gardener XXXIV:

 Do not go, my love, without asking 

my leave. 

I have watched all night, and now 

my eyes are heavy with sleep. 

I fear lest I lose you when I’m 

sleeping. 

Do not go, my love, without asking 

my leave. 

I start up and stretch my hands to 

touch you. I ask myself, “Is it a 

dream?” 

Could I but entangle your feet with 

my heart and hold them fast to my 

breast! 

Do not go, my love, without asking 

my leave.

Speak To Me My Love – Rabindranath Tagore

The Gardener XXIX:

Speak to me, my love! Tell me in 

words what you sang. 

The night is dark. The stars are 

lost in clouds. The wind is sighing 

through the leaves. 

I will let loose my hair. My blue 

cloak will cling round me like night. I 

will clasp your head to my bosom; and 

there in the sweet loneliness murmur 

on your heart. I will shut my eyes 

and listen. I will not look in your face. 

When your words are ended, we will 

sit still and silent. Only the trees will 

whisper in the dark. 

The night will pale. The day will 

dawn. We shall look at each other’s 

eyes and go on our different paths. 

Speak to me, my love! Tell me in 

words what you sang.

The Further Bank – Rabindranath Tagore

I long to go over there to the further bank of the river. 

Where those boats are tied to the bamboo poles in a line; 

Where men cross over in their boats in the morning with 

ploughs on their shoulders to till their far-away fields; 

Where the cowherds make their lowing cattle swim across to the 

riverside pasture; 

Whence they all come back home in the evening, leaving the 

jackals to howl in the island overgrown with weeds. 

Mother, if you don’t mind, I should like to become the boatman 

of the ferry when I am grown up. 

They say there are strange pools hidden behind that high bank. 

Where flocks of wild ducks come when the rains are over, and 

thick reeds grow round the margins where water-birds lay their 

eggs; 

Where snipes with their dancing tails stamp their tiny 

footprints upon the clean soft mud; 

Where in the evening the tall grasses crested with while

flowers invite the moonbeam to float upon their waves. 

Mother, if you don’t mind, I should like to become the boatman 

of the ferryboat when I am grown up. 

I shall cross and cross back from bank to bank, and all the 

boys and girls of the village will wonder at me while they are 

bathing. 

When the sun climbs the mid sky and morning wears on to noon, 

I shall come running to you, saying, “Mother, I am hungry.” 

When the day is done and the shadows cower under the trees, 

I shall come back in the dust. 

I shall never go away from you into the town to work like 

father. 

Mother, if you don’t mind, I should like to become the boatman 

of the ferryboat when I am grown up.

Stray Birds 11- 20 – Rabindranath Tagore

11 

SOME unseen fingers, like idle breeze, 

are playing upon my heart the music of the ripples. 
12 
‘WHAT language is thine, O sea?’ 

‘The language of eternal question.’ 

‘What language is thy answer, O sky? 

‘The language of eternal silence.’ 
13 
LISTEN, 

my heart, 

to the whispers of the world 

with which it makes love to you. 
14 
THE mystery of creation 

is like the darkness of night– 

it is great. 
Delusions of knowledge are like 

the fog of the morning. 
15 
DO not seat your love upon a precipice because it is high. 

16 
I SIT at my window this morning 

where the world like a passer-by stops for a moment, 

nods to me and goes. 
17 
THESE little thoughts are the rustle of leaves; 

they have their whisper of 

joy in my mind. 
18 
WHAT you are you do not see, 

what you see is your shadow. 

19 
MY wishes are fools, they shout across thy songs, my Master. 

Let me but listen. 
20 
I CANNOT choose the best. 

The best chooses me.