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THE great earth makes herself hospitable

 with the help of the grass.


THE birth and death of the leaves

 are the rapid whirls of the eddy

whose wider circles

move slowly among stars.


POWER said to the world, “You are mine.

The world kept it prisoner on her throne.

Love said to the world, “I am thine.”

The world gave it the freedom of her house.


THE mist is like the earth’s desire.

It hides the sun for whom she cries.


BE still,

 my heart,

these great trees are prayers.


THE noise of the moment

scoffs at the music of the Eternal.


I THINK of other ages

that floated upon the stream of life

and love and death and are forgotten,

and I feel the freedom of passing away.


THE sadness of my soul is her bride’s veil.

It waits to be lifted in the night.


DEATH’S stamp gives value to the coin of life;

making it possible to buy with life what is truly precious.

From: Stray Birds

By Rabindranath Tagore

[translated from Bengali to English by the author]

New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916