Page 26

You came down from your throne and stood at my cottage door.

I was singing all alone in a corner, and the melody caught your

ear.  You came down and stood at my cottage door.

Masters are many in your hall, and songs are sung there at all

hours.  But the simple carol of this novice struck at your love.

One plaintive little strain mingled with the great music of the

world, and with a flower for a prize you came down and stopped at

my cottage door.

I had gone a-begging from door to door in the village path, when

thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream

and I wondered who was this King of all kings!

My hopes rose high and methought my evil days were at an end, and

I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth

scattered on all sides in the dust.

The chariot stopped where I stood.  Thy glance fell on me and

thou camest down with a smile.  I felt that the luck of my life

had come at last.  Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right

hand and say ‘What hast thou to give to me?’

Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to

beg!  I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet

I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave it to


But how great my surprise when at the day’s end I emptied my bag

on the floor to find a least little gram of gold among the poor

heap.  I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to

give thee my all.

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From: GITANJALI – ‘Song Offerings’



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