I asked nothing from thee; I uttered not my name to thine ear.
When thou took’st thy leave I stood silent. I was alone by the
well where the shadow of the tree fell aslant, and the women had
gone home with their brown earthen pitchers full to the brim.
They called me and shouted, ‘Come with us, the morning is wearing
on to noon.’ But I languidly lingered awhile lost in the midst
of vague musings.
I heard not thy steps as thou camest. Thine eyes were sad when
they fell on me; thy voice was tired as thou spokest low–‘Ah, I
am a thirsty traveller.’ I started up from my day-dreams and
poured water from my jar on thy joined palms. The leaves rustled
overhead; the cuckoo sang from the unseen dark, and perfume of
‘babla’ flowers came from the bend of the road.
I stood speechless with shame when my name thou didst ask.
Indeed, what had I done for thee to keep me in remembrance? But
the memory that I could give water to thee to allay thy thirst
will cling to my heart and enfold it in sweetness. The morning
hour is late, the bird sings in weary notes, _neem_ leaves
rustle overhead and I sit and think and think.
From: GITANJALI – ‘Song Offerings’
Tagore Short Poems
Tagore Stray Birds