TAKE my wine in my own cup, friend.
It loses its wreath of foam
when poured into that of others.
THE Perfect decks itself in
for the love of the Imperfect.
GOD says to man,
“I heal you therefore I hurt,
love you therefore punish.”
THANK the flame for its light,
but do not forget the lampholder
standing in the shade with constancy of patience.
your steps are small,
but you possess the earth under your tread.
THE infant flower opens its bud and cries,
“Dear World, please do not fade.”
GOD grows weary of great kingdoms,
but never of little flowers.
WRONG cannot afford defeat
but Right can.
“I GIVE my whole water in joy,
” sings the waterfall,
“though little of it is enough for the thirsty.”
WHERE is the fountain
that throws up these flowers
in a ceaseless outbreak of ecstasy?
From: Stray Birds
By Rabindranath Tagore
[translated from Bengali to English by the author]
New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916