I paced alone on the road across the field while the sunset was
hiding its last gold like a miser.
The daylight sank deeper and deeper into the darkness, and the
widowed land, whose harvest had been reaped, lay silent.
Suddenly a boy’s shrill voice rose into the sky. He traversed
the dark unseen, leaving the track of his song across the hush of
His village home lay there at the end of the waste land, beyond
the sugar-cane field, hidden among the shadows of the banana and
the slender areca palm, the cocoa-nut and the dark green
I stopped for a moment in my lonely way under the starlight, and
saw spread before me the darkened earth surrounding with her arms
countless homes furnished with cradles and beds, mothers’ hearts
and evening lamps, and young lives glad with a gladness that
knows nothing of its value for the world.
From: The Crescent Moon by Rabindranath Tagore
Translated from the original Bengali by the author
First published 1913