Thy gifts to us mortals fulfil all our needs and yet run back to
The river has its everyday work to do and hastens through fields
and hamlets; yet its incessant stream winds towards the washing
of thy feet.
The flower sweetens the air with its perfume; yet its last
service is to offer itself to thee.
Thy worship does not impoverish the world.
From the words of the poet men take what meanings please them;
yet their last meaning points to thee.
Day after day, O lord of my life, shall I stand before thee face
to face. With folded hands, O lord of all worlds, shall I stand
before thee face to face.
Under thy great sky in solitude and silence, with humble heart
shall I stand before thee face to face.
In this laborious world of thine, tumultuous with toil and with
struggle, among hurrying crowds shall I stand before thee face to
And when my work shall be done in this world, O King of kings,
alone and speechless shall I stand before thee face to face.
I know thee as my God and stand apart–I do not know thee as my
own and come closer. I know thee as my father and bow before thy
feet–I do not grasp thy hand as my friend’s.
I stand not where thou comest down and ownest thyself as mine,
there to clasp thee to my heart and take thee as my comrade.
Thou art the Brother amongst my brothers, but I heed them not, I
divide not my earnings with them, thus sharing my all with thee.
In pleasure and in pain I stand not by the side of men, and thus
stand by thee. I shrink to give up my life, and thus do not
plunge into the great waters of life.
From: GITANJALI – ‘Song Offerings’
Tagore Short Poems
Tagore Stray Birds