The child cries out when from the right breast the mother takes
it away, in the very next moment to find in the left one its
When I go from hence let this be my parting word, that what I
have seen is unsurpassable.
I have tasted of the hidden honey of this lotus that expands on
the ocean of light, and thus am I blessed–let this be my parting
In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play and here
have I caught sight of him that is formless.
My whole body and my limbs have thrilled with his touch who is
beyond touch; and if the end comes here, let it come–let this be
my parting word.
When my play was with thee I never questioned who thou wert. I
knew nor shyness nor fear, my life was boisterous.
In the early morning thou wouldst call me from my sleep like my
own comrade and lead me running from glade to glade.
On those days I never cared to know the meaning of songs thou
sangest to me. Only my voice took up the tunes, and my heart
danced in their cadence.
Now, when the playtime is over, what is this sudden sight that is
come upon me? The world with eyes bent upon thy feet stands in
awe with all its silent stars.
I will deck thee with trophies, garlands of my defeat. It is
never in my power to escape unconquered.
I surely know my pride will go to the wall, my life will burst
its bonds in exceeding pain, and my empty heart will sob out in
music like a hollow reed, and the stone will melt in tears.
I surely know the hundred petals of a lotus will not remain
closed for ever and the secret recess of its honey will be bared.
From the blue sky an eye shall gaze upon me and summon me in
silence. Nothing will be left for me, nothing whatever, and
utter death shall I receive at thy feet.
From: GITANJALI – ‘Song Offerings’
Tagore Short Poems
Tagore Stray Birds