Obstinate are the trammels, but my heart aches when I try to
Freedom is all I want, but to hope for it I feel ashamed.
I am certain that priceless wealth is in thee, and that thou art
my best friend, but I have not the heart to sweep away the tinsel
that fills my room
The shroud that covers me is a shroud of dust and death; I hate
it, yet hug it in love.
My debts are large, my failures great, my shame secret and heavy;
yet when I come to ask for my good, I quake in fear lest my
prayer be granted.
He whom I enclose with my name is weeping in this dungeon. I am
ever busy building this wall all around; and as this wall goes up
into the sky day by day I lose sight of my true being in its dark
I take pride in this great wall, and I plaster it with dust and
sand lest a least hole should be left in this name; and for all
the care I take I lose sight of my true being.
From: GITANJALI – ‘Song Offerings’
Tagore Short Poems
Tagore Stray Birds