WHAT is this unseen flame of darkness
whose sparks are the stars?
LET life be beautiful like summer flowers
and death like autumn leaves.
HE who wants to do good knocks at the gate;
he who loves
finds the gate open.
IN death the many becomes one;
in life the one becomes many.
Religion will be one
when God is dead.
THE artist is the lover of Nature,
therefore he is her slave
and her master.
“HOW far are you from me, O Fruit?”
“I am hidden in your heart, O Flower.”
THIS longing is for the one who is felt in the dark,
but not seen in the day.
“YOU are the big drop of dew under the lotus leaf,
I am the smaller one on its upper side,
” said the dewdrop to the lake.
THE scabbard is content to be dull
when it protects the keenness of the sword.
the One appears as uniform;
in the light
the One appears as manifold.
From: Stray Birds
By Rabindranath Tagore
[translated from Bengali to English by the author]
New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916