Page 40

I am like a remnant of a cloud of autumn uselessly roaming in the

sky, O my sun ever-glorious!  Thy touch has not yet melted my

vapour, making me one with thy light, and thus I count months and

years separated from thee.

If this be thy wish and if this be thy play, then take this

fleeting emptiness of mine, paint it with colours, gild it with

gold, float it on the wanton wind and spread it in varied


And again when it shall be thy wish to end this play at night, I

shall melt and vanish away in the dark, or it may be in a smile

of the white morning, in a coolness of purity transparent.

On many an idle day have I grieved over lost time.  But it is

never lost, my lord.  Thou hast taken every moment of my life in

thine own hands.

Hidden in the heart of things thou art nourishing seeds into

sprouts, buds into blossoms, and ripening flowers into


I was tired and sleeping on my idle bed and imagined all work had

ceased.  In the morning I woke up and found my garden full with

wonders of flowers.

Time is endless in thy hands, my lord.  There is none to count

thy minutes.

Days and nights pass and ages bloom and fade like flowers.  Thou

knowest how to wait.

Thy centuries follow each other perfecting a small wild flower.

We have no time to lose, and having no time we must scramble for

a chances.  We are too poor to be late.

And thus it is that time goes by while I give it to every

querulous man who claims it, and thine altar is empty of all

offerings to the last.

At the end of the day I hasten in fear lest thy gate to be shut;

but I find that yet there is time.

NEXT page

From: GITANJALI – ‘Song Offerings’



Gitanjali home

Tagore Short Poems

Tagore Stray Birds

Tagore Poems