The morning sea of silence broke into ripples of bird songs; and
the flowers were all merry by the roadside; and the wealth of
gold was scattered through the rift of the clouds while we busily
went on our way and paid no heed.
We sang no glad songs nor played; we went not to the village for
barter; we spoke not a word nor smiled; we lingered not on the
way. We quickened our pace more and more as the time sped by.
The sun rose to the mid sky and doves cooed in the shade.
Withered leaves danced and whirled in the hot air of noon. The
shepherd boy drowsed and dreamed in the shadow of the banyan
tree, and I laid myself down by the water and stretched my tired
limbs on the grass.
My companions laughed at me in scorn; they held their heads high
and hurried on; they never looked back nor rested; they vanished
in the distant blue haze. They crossed many meadows and hills,
and passed through strange, far-away countries. All honour to
you, heroic host of the interminable path! Mockery and reproach
pricked me to rise, but found no response in me. I gave myself
up for lost in the depth of a glad humiliation–in the shadow of
a dim delight.
The repose of the sun-embroidered green gloom slowly spread over
my heart. I forgot for what I had travelled, and I surrendered
my mind without struggle to the maze of shadows and songs.
At last, when I woke from my slumber and opened my eyes, I saw
thee standing by me, flooding my sleep with thy smile. How I had
feared that the path was long and wearisome, and the struggle to
reach thee was hard!
From: GITANJALI – ‘Song Offerings’
Tagore Short Poems
Tagore Stray Birds