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I have got my leave.  Bid me farewell, my brothers!  I bow to you

all and take my departure.

Here I give back the keys of my door–and I give up all claims to

my house.  I only ask for last kind words from you.

We were neighbours for long, but I received more than I could

give.  Now the day has dawned and the lamp that lit my dark

corner is out.  A summons has come and I am ready for my journey.

At this time of my parting, wish me good luck, my friends!  The

sky is flushed with the dawn and my path lies beautiful.

Ask not what I have with me to take there.  I start on my journey

with empty hands and expectant heart.

I shall put on my wedding garland.  Mine is not the red-brown

dress of the traveller, and though there are dangers on the way I

have no fear in mind.

The evening star will come out when my voyage is done and the

plaintive notes of the twilight melodies be struck up from the

King’s gateway.

I was not aware of the moment when I first crossed the threshold

of this life.

What was the power that made me open out into this vast mystery

like a bud in the forest at midnight!

When in the morning I looked upon the light I felt in a moment

that I was no stranger in this world, that the inscrutable

without name and form had taken me in its arms in the form of my

own mother.

Even so, in death the same unknown will appear as ever known to

me.  And because I love this life, I know I shall love death as


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From: GITANJALI – ‘Song Offerings’



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