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Gift
by
Rabindranath Tagore


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O my love, what gift of mine
Shall I give you this dawn?
A morning song?
But morning does not last long—
The heat of the sun
Wilts like a flower
And songs that tire
Are done.

O friend, when you come to my gate.
At dusk
What is it you ask?
What shall I bring you?
A light?

A lamp from a secret corner of my silent house?
But will you want to take it with you
Down the crowded street?
Alas,
The wind will blow it out.

Whatever gifts are in my power to give you,
Be they flowers,
Be they gems for your neck
How can they please you
If in time they must surely wither,
Crack,
Lose lustre?
All that my hands can place in yours
Will slip through your fingers
And fall forgotten to the dust
To turn into dust.

Rather,
When you have leisure,
Wander idly through my garden in spring
And let an unknown, hidden flower’s scent startle you
Into sudden wondering—
Let that displaced moment
Be my gift.
Or if, as you peer your way down a shady avenue,
Suddenly, spilled
From the thick gathered tresses of evening
A single shivering fleck of sunset-light stops you,
Turns your daydreams to gold,
Let that light be an innocent
Gift.

Truest treasure is fleeting;
It sparkles for a moment, then goes.
It does not tell its name; its tune
Stops us in our tracks, its dance disappears
At the toss of an anklet
I know no way to it—
No hand, nor word can reach it.
Friend, whatever you take of it,
On your own,
Without asking, without knowing, let that
Be yours.
Anything I can give you is trifling—
Be it a flower, or a song.


This poem is in the public domain.

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Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was an Indian writer, musician, and artist. Born to a wealthy family in Calcutta, he wrote in many genres, but claimed poetry as his true love. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, the first Asian to receive that honor, Rabindranath is beloved in India as the composer of its national anthem. A respected teacher, philosopher, and social reformer, his success as a writer allowed him to travel the world speaking and sharing Indian culture.

 

 


Post New Comment:
lisa honecker:
Editor, with Valentine's Day approaching, looking forward to read different love poems. This one is exquisite and unique. Lisa Honecker
Posted 02/09/2013 02:56 PM
Dorcas:
I am left with feeling on my own to feel your presence.
Posted 02/09/2013 06:18 AM


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