Early in the day it was whispered that we should sail in a boat,
only thou and I, and never a soul in the world would know of this
our pilgrimage to no country and to no end.
In that shoreless ocean, at thy silently listening smile my songs
would swell in melodies, free as waves, free from all bondage of
Is the time not come yet? Are there works still to do? Lo, the
evening has come down upon the shore and in the fading light the
seabirds come flying to their nests.
Who knows when the chains will be off, and the boat, like the
last glimmer of sunset, vanish into the night?
The day was when I did not keep myself in readiness for thee; and
entering my heart unbidden even as one of the common crowd,
unknown to me, my king, thou didst press the signet of eternity
upon many a fleeting moment of my life.
And today when by chance I light upon them and see thy signature,
I find they have lain scattered in the dust mixed with the memory
of joys and sorrows of my trivial days forgotten.
Thou didst not turn in contempt from my childish play among dust,
and the steps that I heard in my playroom are the same that are
echoing from star to star.
This is my delight, thus to wait and watch at the wayside where
shadow chases light and the rain comes in the wake of the summer.
Messengers, with tidings from unknown skies, greet me and speed
along the road. My heart is glad within, and the breath of the
passing breeze is sweet.
From dawn till dusk I sit here before my door, and I know that of
a sudden the happy moment will arrive when I shall see.
In the meanwhile I smile and I sing all alone. In the meanwhile
the air is filling with the perfume of promise.
From: GITANJALI – ‘Song Offerings’
Tagore Short Poems
Tagore Stray Birds