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
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.
From: GITANJALI – ‘Song Offerings’
Tagore Short Poems
Tagore Stray Birds