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GITANJALI

Gitanjali,whichmeans'OfferingofSongs',isacollectionof103englishpoemsby
RabindranathTagore.Gitanjaliistranslatedintomanylanguagesandiswidelypopularin
theWest.Itisforthisinspiringcollectionofpoemsthattheauthor,RabingranathTogore,
wonthecovetedNobelPrize.

GITANJALI

Thouhastmademeendless,suchisthypleasure.Thisfrailvesselthouemptiestagainand
again,andfillestiteverwithfreshlife.
Thislittlefluteofareedthouhastcarriedoverhillsanddales,andhastbreathedthroughit
melodieseternallynew.
Attheimmortaltouchofthyhandsmylittleheartlosesitslimitsinjoyandgivesbirthto
utteranceineffable.
Thyinfinitegiftscometomeonlyontheseverysmallhandsofmine.Agespass,andstill
thoupourest,andstillthereisroomtofill.

Whenthoucommandestmetosingitseemsthatmyheartwouldbreakwithpride;andI
looktothyface,andtearscometomyeyes.
Allthatisharshanddissonantinmylifemeltsintoonesweetharmonyandmyadoration
spreadswingslikeagladbirdonitsflightacrossthesea.
Iknowthoutakestpleasureinmysinging.IknowthatonlyasasingerIcomebeforethy
presence.
ItouchbytheedgeofthefarspreadingwingofmysongthyfeetwhichIcouldneveraspire
toreach.
DrunkwiththejoyofsingingIforgetmyselfandcalltheefriendwhoartmylord.

Iknownothowthousingest,mymaster!Ieverlisteninsilentamazement.
Thelightofthymusicilluminestheworld.Thelifebreathofthymusicrunsfromskytosky.
Theholystreamofthymusicbreaksthroughallstonyobstaclesandrusheson.

Myheartlongstojoininthysong,butvainlystrugglesforavoice.Iwouldspeak,butspeech
breaksnotintosong,andIcryoutbaffled.Ah,thouhastmademyheartcaptiveinthe
endlessmeshesofthymusic,mymaster!

Lifeofmylife,Ishallevertrytokeepmybodypure,knowingthatthylivingtouchisuponall
mylimbs.
Ishallevertrytokeepalluntruthsoutfrommythoughts,knowingthatthouartthattruth
whichhaskindledthelightofreasoninmymind.
Ishallevertrytodriveallevilsawayfrommyheartandkeepmyloveinflower,knowing
thatthouhastthyseatintheinmostshrineofmyheart.
Anditshallbemyendeavourtorevealtheeinmyactions,knowingitisthypowergivesme
strengthtoact.

Iaskforamoment'sindulgencetositbythyside.TheworksthatIhaveinhandIwillfinish
afterwards.
Awayfromthesightofthyfacemyheartknowsnorestnorrespite,andmyworkbecomes
anendlesstoilinashorelessseaoftoil.
Todaythesummerhascomeatmywindowwithitssighsandmurmurs;andthebeesare
plyingtheirminstrelsyatthecourtofthefloweringgrove.
Nowitistimetositquite,facetofacewiththee,andtosingdedicationofliveinthissilent
andoverflowingleisure.

Pluckthislittleflowerandtakeit,delaynot!Ifearlestitdroopanddropintothedust.
Imaynotfindaplaceinthygarland,buthonouritwithatouchofpainfromthyhandand
pluckit.IfearlestthedayendbeforeIamaware,andthetimeofofferinggoby.
Thoughitscolourbenotdeepanditssmellbefaint,usethisflowerinthyserviceandpluck
itwhilethereistime.

Mysonghasputoffheradornments.Shehasnoprideofdressanddecoration.Ornaments
wouldmarourunion;theywouldcomebetweentheeandme;theirjinglingwoulddrown
thywhispers.

Mypoet'svanitydiesinshamebeforethysight.Omasterpoet,Ihavesatdownatthyfeet.
Onlyletmemakemylifesimpleandstraight,likeafluteofreedfortheetofillwithmusic.

Thechildwhoisdeckedwithprince'srobesandwhohasjewelledchainsroundhisneck
losesallpleasureinhisplay;hisdresshampershimateverystep.
Infearthatitmaybefrayed,orstainedwithdusthekeepshimselffromtheworld,andis
afraideventomove.
Mother,itisnogain,thybondageoffinery,ifitkeeponeshutofffromthehealthfuldustof
theearth,ifitroboneoftherightofentrancetothegreatfairofcommonhumanlife.

OFool,trytocarrythyselfuponthyownshoulders!Obeggar,tocomebegatthyowndoor!
Leaveallthyburdensonhishandswhocanbearall,andneverlookbehindinregret.
Thydesireatonceputsoutthelightfromthelampittoucheswithitsbreath.Itisunholy
takenotthygiftsthroughitsuncleanhands.Acceptonlywhatisofferedbysacredlove.

Hereisthyfootstoolandthererestthyfeetwherelivethepoorest,andlowliest,andlost.
WhenItrytobowtothee,myobeisancecannotreachdowntothedepthwherethyfeet
restamongthepoorest,andlowliest,andlost.
Pridecanneverapproachtowherethouwalkestintheclothesofthehumbleamongthe
poorest,andlowliest,andlost.
Myheartcanneverfinditswaytowherethoukeepestcompanywiththecompanionless
amongthepoorest,thelowliest,andthelost.

Leavethischantingandsingingandtellingofbeads!Whomdostthouworshipinthislonely
darkcornerofatemplewithdoorsallshut?OpenthineeyesandseethyGodisnotbefore
thee!
Heistherewherethetilleristillingthehardgroundandwherethepathmakerisbreaking
stones.Heiswiththeminsunandinshower,andhisgarmentiscoveredwithdust.Putof
thyholymantleandevenlikehimcomedownonthedustysoil!
Deliverance?Whereisthisdeliverancetobefound?Ourmasterhimselfhasjoyfullytaken
uponhimthebondsofcreation;heisboundwithusallforever.

Comeoutofthymeditationsandleaveasidethyflowersandincense!Whatharmisthereif
thyclothesbecometatteredandstained?Meethimandstandbyhimintoilandinsweatof
thybrow.

Thetimethatmyjourneytakesislongandthewayofitlong.
Icameoutonthechariotofthefirstgleamoflight,andpursuedmyvoyagethroughthe
wildernessesofworldsleavingmytrackonmanyastarandplanet.
Itisthemostdistantcoursethatcomesnearesttothyself,andthattrainingisthemost
intricatewhichleadstotheuttersimplicityofatune.
Thetravellerhastoknockateveryaliendoortocometohisown,andonehastowander
throughalltheouterworldstoreachtheinnermostshrineattheend.
MyeyesstrayedfarandwidebeforeIshutthemandsaid`Hereartthou!'
Thequestionandthecry`Oh,where?'meltintotearsofathousandstreamsanddelugethe
worldwiththefloodoftheassurance`Iam!'

ThesongthatIcametosingremainsunsungtothisday.
Ihavespentmydaysinstringingandinunstringingmyinstrument.
Thetimehasnotcometrue,thewordshavenotbeenrightlyset;onlythereistheagonyof
wishinginmyheart.
Theblossomhasnotopened;onlythewindissighingby.
Ihavenotseenhisface,norhaveIlistenedtohisvoice;onlyIhaveheardhisgentle
footstepsfromtheroadbeforemyhouse.
Thelivelongdayhaspassedinspreadinghisseatonthefloor;butthelamphasnotbeenlit
andIcannotaskhimintomyhouse.
Iliveinthehopeofmeetingwithhim;butthismeetingisnotyet.

Mydesiresaremanyandmycryispitiful,buteverdidstthousavemebyhardrefusals;and
thisstrongmercyhasbeenwroughtintomylifethroughandthrough.

Daybydaythouartmakingmeworthyofthesimple,greatgiftsthatthougavesttome
unaskedthisskyandthelight,thisbodyandthelifeandthemindsavingmefromperils
ofovermuchdesire.
TherearetimeswhenIlanguidlylingerandtimeswhenIawakenandhurryinsearchofmy
goal;butcruellythouhidestthyselffrombeforeme.
Daybydaythouartmakingmeworthyofthyfullacceptancebyrefusingmeeverandanon,
savingmefromperilsofweak,uncertaindesire.

Iamheretosingtheesongs.InthishallofthineIhaveacornerseat.
InthyworldIhavenoworktodo;myuselesslifecanonlybreakoutintuneswithouta
purpose.
Whenthehourstrikesforthysilentworshipatthedarktempleofmidnight,commandme,
mymaster,tostandbeforetheetosing.
Wheninthemorningairthegoldenharpistuned,honourme,commandingmypresence.

Ihavehadmyinvitationtothisworld'sfestival,andthusmylifehasbeenblessed.Myeyes
haveseenandmyearshaveheard.
Itwasmypartatthisfeasttoplayuponmyinstrument,andIhavedoneallIcould.
Now,Iask,hasthetimecomeatlastwhenImaygoinandseethyfaceandoffertheemy
silentsalutation?

Iamonlywaitingforlovetogivemyselfupatlastintohishands.Thatiswhyitissolateand
whyIhavebeenguiltyofsuchomissions.
Theycomewiththeirlawsandtheircodestobindmefast;butIevadethemever,forIam
onlywaitingforlovetogivemyselfupatlastintohishands.
Peopleblamemeandcallmeheedless;Idoubtnottheyarerightintheirblame.
Themarketdayisoverandworkisalldoneforthebusy.Thosewhocametocallmeinvain
havegonebackinanger.Iamonlywaitingforlovetogivemyselfupatlastintohishands.

Cloudsheapuponcloudsanditdarkens.Ah,love,whydostthouletmewaitoutsideatthe
doorallalone?
InthebusymomentsofthenoontideworkIamwiththecrowd,butonthisdarklonelyday
itisonlyfortheethatIhope.
Ifthoushowestmenotthyface,ifthouleavestmewhollyaside,IknownothowIamto
passtheselong,rainyhours.
Ikeepgazingonthefarawaygloomofthesky,andmyheartwanderswailingwiththe
restlesswind.

IfthouspeakestnotIwillfillmyheartwiththysilenceandendureit.Iwillkeepstillandwait
likethenightwithstarryvigilanditsheadbentlowwithpatience.
Themorningwillsurelycome,thedarknesswillvanish,andthyvoicepourdowningolden
streamsbreakingthroughthesky.
Thenthywordswilltakewinginsongsfromeveryoneofmybirds'nests,andthymelodies
willbreakforthinflowersinallmyforestgroves.

Onthedaywhenthelotusbloomed,alas,mymindwasstraying,andIknewitnot.My
basketwasemptyandtheflowerremainedunheeded.
Onlynowandagainasadnessfelluponme,andIstartedupfrommydreamandfelta
sweettraceofastrangefragranceinthesouthwind.
Thatvaguesweetnessmademyheartachewithlonginganditseemedtomethatiswasthe
eagerbreathofthesummerseekingforitscompletion.
Iknewnotthenthatitwassonear,thatitwasmine,andthatthisperfectsweetnesshad
blossomedinthedepthofmyownheart.

Imustlaunchoutmyboat.ThelanguidhourspassbyontheshoreAlasforme!
Thespringhasdoneitsfloweringandtakenleave.Andnowwiththeburdenoffadedfutile
flowersIwaitandlinger.
Thewaveshavebecomeclamorous,anduponthebankintheshadylanetheyellowleaves
flutterandfall.

Whatemptinessdoyougazeupon!Doyounotfeelathrillpassingthroughtheairwiththe
notesofthefarawaysongfloatingfromtheothershore?

InthedeepshadowsoftherainyJuly,withsecretsteps,thouwalkest,silentasnight,
eludingallwatchers.
Todaythemorninghascloseditseyes,heedlessoftheinsistentcallsoftheloudeastwind,
andathickveilhasbeendrawnovertheeverwakefulbluesky.
Thewoodlandshavehushedtheirsongs,anddoorsareallshutateveryhouse.Thouartthe
solitarywayfarerinthisdesertedstreet.Ohmyonlyfriend,mybestbeloved,thegatesare
openinmyhousedonotpassbylikeadream.

Artthouabroadonthisstormynightonthyjourneyoflove,myfriend?Theskygroanslike
oneindespair.
Ihavenosleeptonight.EverandagainIopenmydoorandlookoutonthedarkness,my
friend!
Icanseenothingbeforeme.Iwonderwhereliesthypath!
Bywhatdimshoreoftheinkblackriver,bywhatfaredgeofthefrowningforest,through
whatmazydepthofgloomartthouthreadingthycoursetocometome,myfriend?

Ifthedayisdone,ifbirdssingnomore,ifthewindhasflaggedtired,thendrawtheveilof
darknessthickuponme,evenasthouhastwrapttheearthwiththecoverletofsleepand
tenderlyclosedthepetalsofthedroopinglotusatdusk.
Fromthetraveller,whosesackofprovisionsisemptybeforethevoyageisended,whose
garmentistornanddustladen,whosestrengthisexhausted,removeshameandpoverty,
andrenewhislifelikeaflowerunderthecoverofthykindlynight.

Inthenightofwearinessletmegivemyselfuptosleepwithoutstruggle,restingmytrust
uponthee.
Letmenotforcemyflaggingspiritintoapoorpreparationforthyworship.
Itisthouwhodrawesttheveilofnightuponthetiredeyesofthedaytorenewitssightina
freshergladnessofawakening.


HecameandsatbymysidebutIwokenot.Whatacursedsleepitwas,Omiserableme!
Hecamewhenthenightwasstill;hehadhisharpinhishands,andmydreamsbecame
resonantwithitsmelodies.
Alas,whyaremynightsallthuslost?Ah,whydoIevermisshissightwhosebreathtouches
mysleep?

Light,ohwhereisthelight?Kindleitwiththeburningfireofdesire!
Thereisthelampbutneveraflickerofaflameissuchthyfate,myheart?Ah,deathwere
betterbyfarforthee!
Miseryknocksatthydoor,andhermessageisthatthylordiswakeful,andhecallstheeto
thelovetrystthroughthedarknessofnight.
Theskyisovercastwithcloudsandtherainisceaseless.Iknownotwhatthisisthatstirsin
meIknownotitsmeaning.
Amoment'sflashoflightningdragsdownadeepergloomonmysight,andmyheartgropes
forthepathtowherethemusicofthenightcallsme.
Light,ohwhereisthelight!Kindleitwiththeburningfireofdesire!Itthundersandthewind
rushesscreamingthroughthevoid.Thenightisblackasablackstone.Letnotthehours
passbyinthedark.Kindlethelampoflovewiththylife.

Obstinatearethetrammels,butmyheartacheswhenItrytobreakthem.
FreedomisallIwant,buttohopeforitIfeelashamed.
Iamcertainthatpricelesswealthisinthee,andthatthouartmybestfriend,butIhavenot
thehearttosweepawaythetinselthatfillsmyroom
Theshroudthatcoversmeisashroudofdustanddeath;Ihateit,yethugitinlove.
Mydebtsarelarge,myfailuresgreat,myshamesecretandheavy;yetwhenIcometoask
formygood,Iquakeinfearlestmyprayerbegranted.

HewhomIenclosewithmynameisweepinginthisdungeon.Iameverbusybuildingthis
wallallaround;andasthiswallgoesupintotheskydaybydayIlosesightofmytruebeing
initsdarkshadow.
Itakeprideinthisgreatwall,andIplasteritwithdustandsandlestaleastholeshouldbe
leftinthisname;andforallthecareItakeIlosesightofmytruebeing.

Icameoutaloneonmywaytomytryst.Butwhoisthisthatfollowsmeinthesilentdark?
ImoveasidetoavoidhispresencebutIescapehimnot.
Hemakesthedustrisefromtheearthwithhisswagger;headdshisloudvoicetoevery
wordthatIutter.
Heismyownlittleself,mylord,heknowsnoshame;butIamashamedtocometothydoor
inhiscompany.

`Prisoner,tellme,whowasitthatboundyou?'
`Itwasmymaster,'saidtheprisoner.`IthoughtIcouldoutdoeverybodyintheworldin
wealthandpower,andIamassedinmyowntreasurehousethemoneyduetomyking.
WhensleepovercamemeIlayuponthebedthatwasformylord,andonwakingupIfound
Iwasaprisonerinmyowntreasurehouse.'
`Prisoner,tellme,whowasitthatwroughtthisunbreakablechain?'
`ItwasI,'saidtheprisoner,`whoforgedthischainverycarefully.Ithoughtmyinvincible
powerwouldholdtheworldcaptiveleavingmeinafreedomundisturbed.Thusnightand
dayIworkedatthechainwithhugefiresandcruelhardstrokes.Whenatlasttheworkwas
doneandthelinkswerecompleteandunbreakable,Ifoundthatitheldmeinitsgrip.'

Byallmeanstheytrytoholdmesecurewholovemeinthisworld.Butitisotherwisewith
thylovewhichisgreaterthantheirs,andthoukeepestmefree.
LestIforgetthemtheyneverventuretoleavemealone.Butdaypassesbyafterdayand
thouartnotseen.
IfIcallnottheeinmyprayers,ifIkeepnottheeinmyheart,thyloveformestillwaitsfor
mylove.

Whenitwasdaytheycameintomyhouseandsaid,`Weshallonlytakethesmallestroom
here.'
Theysaid,`WeshallhelpyouintheworshipofyourGodandhumblyacceptonlyourown
shareinhisgrace';andthentheytooktheirseatinacornerandtheysatquietandmeek.
ButinthedarknessofnightIfindtheybreakintomysacredshrine,strongandturbulent,
andsnatchwithunholygreedtheofferingsfromGod'saltar.

LetonlythatlittlebeleftofmewherebyImaynametheemyall.
LetonlythatlittlebeleftofmywillwherebyImayfeeltheeoneveryside,andcometothee
ineverything,andoffertotheemyloveeverymoment.
LetonlythatlittlebeleftofmewherebyImayneverhidethee.
LetonlythatlittleofmyfettersbeleftwherebyIamboundwiththywill,andthypurposeis
carriedoutinmylifeandthatisthefetterofthylove.

Wherethemindiswithoutfearandtheheadisheldhigh;
Whereknowledgeisfree;
Wheretheworldhasnotbeenbrokenupintofragmentsbynarrowdomesticwalls;
Wherewordscomeoutfromthedepthoftruth;
Wheretirelessstrivingstretchesitsarmstowardsperfection;
Wheretheclearstreamofreasonhasnotlostitswayintothedrearydesertsandofdead
habit;
Wherethemindisledforwardbytheeintoeverwideningthoughtandaction
Intothatheavenoffreedom,myFather,letmycountryawake.

Thisismyprayertothee,mylordstrike,strikeattherootofpenuryinmyheart.
Givemethestrengthlightlytobearmyjoysandsorrows.
Givemethestrengthtomakemylovefruitfulinservice.

Givemethestrengthnevertodisownthepoororbendmykneesbeforeinsolentmight.
Givemethestrengthtoraisemymindhighabovedailytrifles.
Andgivemethestrengthtosurrendermystrengthtothywillwithlove.

Ithoughtthatmyvoyagehadcometoitsendatthelastlimitofmypower,thatthepath
beforemewasclosed,thatprovisionswereexhaustedandthetimecometotakeshelterin
asilentobscurity.
ButIfindthatthywillknowsnoendinme.Andwhenoldwordsdieoutonthetongue,new
melodiesbreakforthfromtheheart;andwheretheoldtracksarelost,newcountryis
revealedwithitswonders.

ThatIwantthee,onlytheeletmyheartrepeatwithoutend.Alldesiresthatdistractme,
dayandnight,arefalseandemptytothecore.
Asthenightkeepshiddeninitsgloomthepetitionforlight,eventhusinthedepthofmy
unconsciousnessringsthecry`Iwantthee,onlythee'.
Asthestormstillseeksitsendinpeacewhenitstrikesagainstpeacewithallitsmight,even
thusmyrebellionstrikesagainstthyloveandstillitscryis`Iwantthee,onlythee'.

Whentheheartishardandparchedup,comeuponmewithashowerofmercy.
Whengraceislostfromlife,comewithaburstofsong.
Whentumultuousworkraisesitsdinonallsidesshuttingmeoutfrombeyond,cometome,
mylordofsilence,withthypeaceandrest.
Whenmybeggarlyheartsitscrouched,shutupinacorner,breakopenthedoor,myking,
andcomewiththeceremonyofaking.
Whendesireblindsthemindwithdelusionanddust,Othouholyone,thouwakeful,come
withthylightandthythunder.

Therainhasheldbackfordaysanddays,myGod,inmyaridheart.Thehorizonisfiercely
nakednotthethinnestcoverofasoftcloud,notthevaguesthintofadistantcoolshower.

Sendthyangrystorm,darkwithdeath,ifitisthywish,andwithlashesoflightningstartle
theskyfromendtoend.
Butcallback,mylord,callbackthispervadingsilentheat,stillandkeenandcruel,burning
theheartwithdiredespair.
Letthecloudofgracebendlowfromabovelikethetearfullookofthemotheronthedayof
thefather'swrath.

Wheredostthoustandbehindthemall,mylover,hidingthyselfintheshadows?Theypush
theeandpasstheebyonthedustyroad,takingtheefornaught.Iwaitherewearyhours
spreadingmyofferingsforthee,whilepassersbycomeandtakemyflowers,onebyone,
andmybasketisnearlyempty.
Themorningtimeispast,andthenoon.Intheshadeofeveningmyeyesaredrowsywith
sleep.Mengoinghomeglanceatmeandsmileandfillmewithshame.Isitlikeabeggar
maid,drawingmyskirtovermyface,andwhentheyaskme,whatitisIwant,Idropmy
eyesandanswerthemnot.
Oh,how,indeed,couldItellthemthatfortheeIwait,andthatthouhastpromisedtocome.
HowcouldIutterforshamethatIkeepformydowrythispoverty.Ah,Ihugthisprideinthe
secretofmyheart.
Isitonthegrassandgazeupontheskyanddreamofthesuddensplendourofthycoming
allthelightsablaze,goldenpennonsflyingoverthycar,andtheyattheroadsidestanding
agape,whentheyseetheecomedownfromthyseattoraisemefromthedust,andsetat
thysidethisraggedbeggargirlatremblewithshameandpride,likeacreeperinasummer
breeze.
Buttimeglidesonandstillnosoundofthewheelsofthychariot.Manyaprocessionpasses
bywithnoiseandshoutsandglamourofglory.Isitonlythouwhowouldststandinthe
shadowsilentandbehindthemall?AndonlyIwhowouldwaitandweepandwearoutmy
heartinvainlonging?

Earlyinthedayitwaswhisperedthatweshouldsailinaboat,onlythouandI,andnevera
soulintheworldwouldknowofthisourpilgrimagetonocountryandtonoend.
Inthatshorelessocean,atthysilentlylisteningsmilemysongswouldswellinmelodies,free
aswaves,freefromallbondageofwords.
Isthetimenotcomeyet?Arethereworksstilltodo?Lo,theeveninghascomedownupon
theshoreandinthefadinglighttheseabirdscomeflyingtotheirnests.

Whoknowswhenthechainswillbeoff,andtheboat,likethelastglimmerofsunset,vanish
intothenight?

ThedaywaswhenIdidnotkeepmyselfinreadinessforthee;andenteringmyheart
unbiddenevenasoneofthecommoncrowd,unknowntome,myking,thoudidstpressthe
signetofeternityuponmanyafleetingmomentofmylife.
AndtodaywhenbychanceIlightuponthemandseethysignature,Ifindtheyhavelain
scatteredinthedustmixedwiththememoryofjoysandsorrowsofmytrivialdays
forgotten.
Thoudidstnotturnincontemptfrommychildishplayamongdust,andthestepsthatI
heardinmyplayroomarethesamethatareechoingfromstartostar.

Thisismydelight,thustowaitandwatchatthewaysidewhereshadowchaseslightandthe
raincomesinthewakeofthesummer.
Messengers,withtidingsfromunknownskies,greetmeandspeedalongtheroad.Myheart
isgladwithin,andthebreathofthepassingbreezeissweet.
FromdawntillduskIsitherebeforemydoor,andIknowthatofasuddenthehappy
momentwillarrivewhenIshallsee.
InthemeanwhileIsmileandIsingallalone.Inthemeanwhiletheairisfillingwiththe
perfumeofpromise.

Haveyounotheardhissilentsteps?Hecomes,comes,evercomes.
Everymomentandeveryage,everydayandeverynighthecomes,comes,evercomes.
ManyasonghaveIsunginmanyamoodofmind,butalltheirnoteshavealways
proclaimed,`Hecomes,comes,evercomes.'
InthefragrantdaysofsunnyAprilthroughtheforestpathhecomes,comes,evercomes.
IntherainygloomofJulynightsonthethunderingchariotofcloudshecomes,comes,ever
comes.
Insorrowaftersorrowitishisstepsthatpressuponmyheart,anditisthegoldentouchof
hisfeetthatmakesmyjoytoshine.

Iknownotfromwhatdistanttimethouartevercomingnearertomeetme.Thysunand
starscanneverkeeptheehiddenfrommeforaye.
Inmanyamorningandevethyfootstepshavebeenheardandthymessengerhascome
withinmyheartandcalledmeinsecret.
Iknownotonlywhytodaymylifeisallastir,andafeelingoftremulousjoyispassing
throughmyheart.
Itisasifthetimewerecometowindupmywork,andIfeelintheairafaintsmellofthy
sweetpresence.

Thenightisnearlyspentwaitingforhiminvain.Ifearlestinthemorninghesuddenlycome
tomydoorwhenIhavefallenasleepweariedout.Ohfriends,leavethewayopentohim
forbidhimnot.
Ifthesoundsofhisstepsdoesnotwakeme,donottrytorouseme,Ipray.Iwishnottobe
calledfrommysleepbytheclamorouschoirofbirds,bytheriotofwindatthefestivalof
morninglight.Letmesleepundisturbedevenifmylordcomesofasuddentomydoor.
Ah,mysleep,precioussleep,whichonlywaitsforhistouchtovanish.Ah,myclosedeyes
thatwouldopentheirlidsonlytothelightofhissmilewhenhestandsbeforemelikea
dreamemergingfromdarknessofsleep.
Lethimappearbeforemysightasthefirstofalllightsandallforms.Thefirstthrillofjoyto
myawakenedsoulletitcomefromhisglance.Andletmyreturntomyselfbeimmediate
returntohim.

Themorningseaofsilencebrokeintoripplesofbirdsongs;andtheflowerswereallmerry
bytheroadside;andthewealthofgoldwasscatteredthroughtheriftofthecloudswhile
webusilywentonourwayandpaidnoheed.
Wesangnogladsongsnorplayed;wewentnottothevillageforbarter;wespokenota
wordnorsmiled;welingerednotontheway.Wequickenedourpacemoreandmoreasthe
timespedby.
Thesunrosetothemidskyanddovescooedintheshade.Witheredleavesdancedand
whirledinthehotairofnoon.Theshepherdboydrowsedanddreamedintheshadowof
thebanyantree,andIlaidmyselfdownbythewaterandstretchedmytiredlimbsonthe
grass.
Mycompanionslaughedatmeinscorn;theyheldtheirheadshighandhurriedon;they
neverlookedbacknorrested;theyvanishedinthedistantbluehaze.Theycrossedmany
meadowsandhills,andpassedthroughstrange,farawaycountries.Allhonourtoyou,

heroichostoftheinterminablepath!Mockeryandreproachprickedmetorise,butfound
noresponseinme.Igavemyselfupforlostinthedepthofagladhumiliationinthe
shadowofadimdelight.
Thereposeofthesunembroideredgreengloomslowlyspreadovermyheart.Iforgotfor
whatIhadtravelled,andIsurrenderedmymindwithoutstruggletothemazeofshadows
andsongs.
Atlast,whenIwokefrommyslumberandopenedmyeyes,Isawtheestandingbyme,
floodingmysleepwiththysmile.HowIhadfearedthatthepathwaslongandwearisome,
andthestruggletoreachtheewashard!

Youcamedownfromyourthroneandstoodatmycottagedoor.
Iwassingingallaloneinacorner,andthemelodycaughtyourear.Youcamedownand
stoodatmycottagedoor.
Mastersaremanyinyourhall,andsongsaresungthereatallhours.Butthesimplecarolof
thisnovicestruckatyourlove.Oneplaintivelittlestrainmingledwiththegreatmusicofthe
world,andwithaflowerforaprizeyoucamedownandstoppedatmycottagedoor.

Ihadgoneabeggingfromdoortodoorinthevillagepath,whenthygoldenchariot
appearedinthedistancelikeagorgeousdreamandIwonderedwhowasthisKingofall
kings!
Myhopesrosehighandmethoughtmyevildayswereatanend,andIstoodwaitingfor
almstobegivenunaskedandforwealthscatteredonallsidesinthedust.
ThechariotstoppedwhereIstood.Thyglancefellonmeandthoucamestdownwitha
smile.Ifeltthattheluckofmylifehadcomeatlast.Thenofasuddenthoudidstholdout
thyrighthandandsay`Whathastthoutogivetome?'
Ah,whatakinglyjestwasittoopenthypalmtoabeggartobeg!Iwasconfusedandstood
undecided,andthenfrommywalletIslowlytookouttheleastlittlegrainofcornandgaveit
tothee.
Buthowgreatmysurprisewhenattheday'sendIemptiedmybagonthefloortofinda
leastlittlegramofgoldamongthepoorheap.IbitterlyweptandwishedthatIhadhadthe
hearttogivetheemyall.

Thenightdarkened.Ourday'sworkshadbeendone.Wethoughtthatthelastguesthad
arrivedforthenightandthedoorsinthevillagewereallshut.Onlysomesaidthekingwas
tocome.Welaughedandsaid`No,itcannotbe!'
Itseemedtherewereknocksatthedoorandwesaiditwasnothingbutthewind.Weput
outthelampsandlaydowntosleep.Onlysomesaid,`Itisthemessenger!'Welaughedand
said`No,itmustbethewind!'
Therecameasoundinthedeadofthenight.Wesleepilythoughtitwasthedistantthunder.
Theearthshook,thewallsrocked,andittroubledusinoursleep.Onlysomesaiditwasthe
soundofwheels.Wesaidinadrowsymurmur,`No,itmustbetherumblingofclouds!'
Thenightwasstilldarkwhenthedrumsounded.Thevoicecame`Wakeup!delaynot!'We
pressedourhandsonourheartsandshudderedwithfear.Somesaid,`Lo,thereistheking's
flag!'Westooduponourfeetandcried`Thereisnotimefordelay!'
Thekinghascomebutwherearelights,wherearewreaths?Whereisthethronetoseat
him?Oh,shame!Ohuttershame!Whereisthehall,thedecorations?Someonehassaid,
`Vainisthiscry!Greethimwithemptyhands,leadhimintothyroomsallbare!'
Openthedoors,lettheconchshellsbesounded!inthedepthofthenighthascomethe
kingofourdark,drearyhouse.Thethunderroarsinthesky.Thedarknessshudderswith
lightning.Bringoutthytatteredpieceofmatandspreaditinthecourtyard.Withthestorm
hascomeofasuddenourkingofthefearfulnight.

IthoughtIshouldaskoftheebutIdarednottherosewreaththouhadstonthyneck.
ThusIwaitedforthemorning,whenthoudidstdepart,tofindafewfragmentsonthebed.
AndlikeabeggarIsearchedinthedawnonlyforastraypetalortwo.
Ahme,whatisitIfind?Whattokenleftofthylove?Itisnoflower,nospices,novaseof
perfumedwater.Itisthymightysword,flashingasaflame,heavyasaboltofthunder.The
younglightofmorningcomesthroughthewindowandspreaditselfuponthybed.The
morningbirdtwittersandasks,`Woman,whathastthougot?'No,itisnoflower,norspices,
norvaseofperfumedwateritisthydreadfulsword.
Isitandmuseinwonder,whatgiftisthisofthine.Icanfindnoplacetohideit.Iam
ashamedtowearit,frailasIam,andithurtsmewhenpressittomybosom.YetshallIbear
inmyheartthishonouroftheburdenofpain,thisgiftofthine.
Fromnowthereshallbenofearleftformeinthisworld,andthoushaltbevictoriousinall
mystrife.ThouhastleftdeathformycompanionandIshallcrownhimwithmylife.Thy
swordiswithmetocutasundermybonds,andthereshallbenofearleftformeinthe
world.

FromnowIleaveoffallpettydecorations.Lordofmyheart,nomoreshalltherebeforme
waitingandweepingincorners,nomorecoynessandsweetnessofdemeanour.Thouhast
givenmethyswordforadornment.Nomoredoll'sdecorationsforme!

Beautifulisthywristlet,deckedwithstarsandcunninglywroughtinmyriadcolouredjewels.
Butmorebeautifultomethyswordwithitscurveoflightningliketheoutspreadwingsof
thedivinebirdofVishnu,perfectlypoisedintheangryredlightofthesunset.
Itquiversliketheonelastresponseoflifeinecstasyofpainatthefinalstrokeofdeath;it
shineslikethepureflameofbeingburningupearthlysensewithonefierceflash.
Beautifulisthywristlet,deckedwithstarrygems;butthysword,Olordofthunder,is
wroughtwithuttermostbeauty,terribletobeholdorthinkof.

Iaskednothingfromthee;Iutterednotmynametothineear.Whenthoutook'stthyleaveI
stoodsilent.Iwasalonebythewellwheretheshadowofthetreefellaslant,andthe
womenhadgonehomewiththeirbrownearthenpitchersfulltothebrim.Theycalledme
andshouted,`Comewithus,themorningiswearingontonoon.'ButIlanguidlylingered
awhilelostinthemidstofvaguemusings.
Iheardnotthystepsasthoucamest.Thineeyesweresadwhentheyfellonme;thyvoice
wastiredasthouspokestlow`Ah,Iamathirstytraveller.'Istartedupfrommyday
dreamsandpouredwaterfrommyjaronthyjoinedpalms.Theleavesrustledoverhead;the
cuckoosangfromtheunseendark,andperfumeofbablaflowerscamefromthebendof
theroad.
Istoodspeechlesswithshamewhenmynamethoudidstask.Indeed,whathadIdonefor
theetokeepmeinremembrance?ButthememorythatIcouldgivewatertotheetoallay
thythirstwillclingtomyheartandenfolditinsweetness.Themorninghourislate,thebird
singsinwearynotes,neemleavesrustleoverheadandIsitandthinkandthink.

Languorisuponyourheartandtheslumberisstillonyoureyes.
Hasnotthewordcometoyouthattheflowerisreigninginsplendouramongthorns?Wake,
ohawaken!letnotthetimepassinvain!
Attheendofthestonypath,inthecountryofvirginsolitude,myfriendissittingallalone.
Deceivehimnot.Wake,ohawaken!
Whatiftheskypantsandtrembleswiththeheatofthemiddaysunwhatiftheburning
sandspreadsitsmantleofthirst

Istherenojoyinthedeepofyourheart?Ateveryfootfallofyours,willnottheharpofthe
roadbreakoutinsweetmusicofpain?

Thusitisthatthyjoyinmeissofull.Thusitisthatthouhastcomedowntome.Othoulord
ofallheavens,wherewouldbethyloveifIwerenot?
Thouhasttakenmeasthypartnerofallthiswealth.Inmyheartistheendlessplayofthy
delight.Inmylifethywillisevertakingshape.
Andforthis,thouwhoarttheKingofkingshastdeckedthyselfinbeautytocaptivatemy
heart.Andforthisthylovelosesitselfintheloveofthylover,andthereartthouseeninthe
perfectunionoftwo.

Light,mylight,theworldfillinglight,theeyekissinglight,heartsweeteninglight!
Ah,thelightdances,mydarling,atthecentreofmylife;thelightstrikes,mydarling,the
chordsofmylove;theskyopens,thewindrunswild,laughterpassesovertheearth.
Thebutterfliesspreadtheirsailsontheseaoflight.Liliesandjasminessurgeuponthecrest
ofthewavesoflight.
Thelightisshatteredintogoldoneverycloud,mydarling,anditscattersgemsinprofusion.
Mirthspreadsfromleaftoleaf,mydarling,andgladnesswithoutmeasure.Theheaven's
riverhasdrowneditsbanksandthefloodofjoyisabroad.

Letallthestrainsofjoymingleinmylastsongthejoythatmakestheearthflowoverin
theriotousexcessofthegrass,thejoythatsetsthetwinbrothers,lifeanddeath,dancing
overthewideworld,thejoythatsweepsinwiththetempest,shakingandwakingalllife
withlaughter,thejoythatsitsstillwithitstearsontheopenredlotusofpain,andthejoy
thatthrowseverythingithasuponthedust,andknowsnotaword.

Yes,Iknow,thisisnothingbutthylove,Obelovedofmyheartthisgoldenlightthat
dancesupontheleaves,theseidlecloudssailingacrossthesky,thispassingbreezeleaving
itscoolnessuponmyforehead.
Themorninglighthasfloodedmyeyesthisisthymessagetomyheart.Thyfaceisbent
fromabove,thyeyeslookdownonmyeyes,andmyhearthastouchedthyfeet.

Ontheseashoreofendlessworldschildrenmeet.Theinfiniteskyismotionlessoverhead
andtherestlesswaterisboisterous.Ontheseashoreofendlessworldsthechildrenmeet
withshoutsanddances.
Theybuildtheirhouseswithsandandtheyplaywithemptyshells.Withwitheredleaves
theyweavetheirboatsandsmilinglyfloatthemonthevastdeep.Childrenhavetheirplay
ontheseashoreofworlds.
Theyknownothowtoswim,theyknownothowtocastnets.Pearlfishersdiveforpearls,
merchantssailintheirships,whilechildrengatherpebblesandscatterthemagain.they
seeknotforhiddentreasures,theyknownothowtocastnets.
Theseasurgesupwithlaughterandpalegleamsthesmileoftheseabeach.Deathdealing
wavessingmeaninglessballadstothechildren,evenlikeamotherwhilerockingherbaby's
cradle.Theseaplayswithchildren,andpalegleamsthesmileoftheseabeach.
Ontheseashoreofendlessworldschildrenmeet.Tempestroamsinthepathlesssky,ships
getwreckedinthetracklesswater,deathisabroadandchildrenplay.Ontheseashoreof
endlessworldsisthegreatmeetingofchildren.

Thesleepthatflitsonbaby'seyesdoesanybodyknowfromwhereitcomes?Yes,thereis
arumourthatithasitsdwellingwhere,inthefairyvillageamongshadowsoftheforest
dimlylitwithglowworms,therehangtwotimidbudsofenchantment.Fromthereitcomes
tokissbaby'seyes.
Thesmilethatflickersonbaby'slipswhenhesleepsdoesanybodyknowwhereitwas
born?Yes,thereisarumourthatayoungpalebeamofacrescentmoontouchedtheedge
ofavanishingautumncloud,andtherethesmilewasfirstborninthedreamofadew
washedmorningthesmilethatflickersonbaby'slipswhenhesleeps.
Thesweet,softfreshnessthatbloomsonbaby'slimbsdoesanybodyknowwhereitwas
hiddensolong?Yes,whenthemotherwasayounggirlitlaypervadingherheartintender
andsilentmysteryoflovethesweet,softfreshnessthathasbloomedonbaby'slimbs.

WhenIbringtoyoucolouredtoys,mychild,Iunderstandwhythereissuchaplayofcolours
onclouds,onwater,andwhyflowersarepaintedintintswhenIgivecolouredtoystoyou,
mychild.
WhenIsingtomakeyoudanceItrulynowwhythereismusicinleaves,andwhywaves
sendtheirchorusofvoicestotheheartofthelisteningearthwhenIsingtomakeyou
dance.

WhenIbringsweetthingstoyourgreedyhandsIknowwhythereishoneyinthecupofthe
flowersandwhyfruitsaresecretlyfilledwithsweetjuicewhenIbringsweetthingstoyour
greedyhands.
WhenIkissyourfacetomakeyousmile,mydarling,Isurelyunderstandwhatpleasure
streamsfromtheskyinmorninglight,andwhatdelightthatisthatiswhichthesummer
breezebringstomybodywhenIkissyoutomakeyousmile.

ThouhastmademeknowntofriendswhomIknewnot.Thouhastgivenmeseatsinhomes
notmyown.Thouhastbroughtthedistantnearandmadeabrotherofthestranger.
IamuneasyatheartwhenIhavetoleavemyaccustomedshelter;Iforgetthatthereabides
theoldinthenew,andthattherealsothouabidest.
Throughbirthanddeath,inthisworldorinothers,whereverthouleadestmeitisthou,the
same,theonecompanionofmyendlesslifewhoeverlinkestmyheartwithbondsofjoyto
theunfamiliar.
Whenoneknowsthee,thenalienthereisnone,thennodoorisshut.Oh,grantmemy
prayerthatImayneverlosetheblissofthetouchoftheoneintheplayofmany.

OntheslopeofthedesolateriveramongtallgrassesIaskedher,`Maiden,wheredoyougo
shadingyourlampwithyourmantle?Myhouseisalldarkandlonesomelendmeyour
light!'sheraisedherdarkeyesforamomentandlookedatmyfacethroughthedusk.`I
havecometotheriver,'shesaid,`tofloatmylamponthestreamwhenthedaylightwanes
inthewest.'Istoodaloneamongtallgrassesandwatchedthetimidflameofherlamp
uselesslydriftinginthetide.
InthesilenceofgatheringnightIaskedher,`Maiden,yourlightsarealllitthenwheredo
yougowithyourlamp?Myhouseisalldarkandlonesomelendmeyourlight.'Sheraised
herdarkeyesonmyfaceandstoodforamomentdoubtful.`Ihavecome,'shesaidatlast,
`todedicatemylamptothesky.'Istoodandwatchedherlightuselesslyburninginthevoid.
InthemoonlessgloomofmidnightIaskher,`Maiden,whatisyourquest,holdingthelamp
nearyourheart?Myhouseisalldarkandlonesomelendmeyourlight.'Shestoppedfora
minuteandthoughtandgazedatmyfaceinthedark.`Ihavebroughtmylight,'shesaid,`to
jointhecarnivaloflamps.'Istoodandwatchedherlittlelampuselesslylostamonglights.

Whatdivinedrinkwouldstthouhave,myGod,fromthisoverflowingcupofmylife?
Mypoet,isitthydelighttoseethycreationthroughmyeyesandtostandattheportalsof
myearssilentlytolistentothineowneternalharmony?

Thyworldisweavingwordsinmymindandthyjoyisaddingmusictothem.Thougivest
thyselftomeinloveandthenfeelestthineownentiresweetnessinme.

Shewhoeverhadremainedinthedepthofmybeing,inthetwilightofgleamsandof
glimpses;shewhoneveropenedherveilsinthemorninglight,willbemylastgifttothee,
myGod,foldedinmyfinalsong.
Wordshavewooedyetfailedtowinher;persuasionhasstretchedtoheritseagerarmsin
vain.
Ihaveroamedfromcountrytocountrykeepingherinthecoreofmyheart,andaroundher
haverisenandfallenthegrowthanddecayofmylife.
Overmythoughtsandactions,myslumbersanddreams,shereignedyetdwelledaloneand
apart.
manyamanknockedatmydoorandaskedforherandturnedawayindespair.
Therewasnoneintheworldwhoeversawherfacetoface,andsheremainedinher
lonelinesswaitingforthyrecognition.

Thouarttheskyandthouartthenestaswell.
Othoubeautiful,thereinthenestisthylovethatenclosesthesoulwithcoloursandsounds
andodours.
Therecomesthemorningwiththegoldenbasketinherrighthandbearingthewreathof
beauty,silentlytocrowntheearth.
Andtherecomestheeveningoverthelonelymeadowsdesertedbyherds,throughtrackless
paths,carryingcooldraughtsofpeaceinhergoldenpitcherfromthewesternoceanofrest.
Butthere,wherespreadstheinfiniteskyforthesoultotakeherflightin,reignsthestainless
whiteradiance.Thereisnodaynornight,norformnorcolour,andnever,neveraword.

Thysunbeamcomesuponthisearthofminewitharmsoutstretchedandstandsatmydoor
thelivelongdaytocarrybacktothyfeetcloudsmadeofmytearsandsighsandsongs.
Withfonddelightthouwrappestaboutthystarrybreastthatmantleofmistycloud,turning
itintonumberlessshapesandfoldsandcolouringitwithhueseverchanging.

Itissolightandsofleeting,tenderandtearfulanddark,thatiswhythoulovestit,Othou
spotlessandserene.Andthatiswhyitmaycoverthyawfulwhitelightwithitspathetic
shadows.

Thesamestreamoflifethatrunsthroughmyveinsnightanddayrunsthroughtheworld
anddancesinrhythmicmeasures.
Itisthesamelifethatshootsinjoythroughthedustoftheearthinnumberlessbladesof
grassandbreaksintotumultuouswavesofleavesandflowers.
Itisthesamelifethatisrockedintheoceancradleofbirthandofdeath,inebbandinflow.
Ifeelmylimbsaremadegloriousbythetouchofthisworldoflife.Andmyprideisfromthe
lifethrobofagesdancinginmybloodthismoment.

Isitbeyondtheetobegladwiththegladnessofthisrhythm?tobetossedandlostand
brokeninthewhirlofthisfearfuljoy?
Allthingsrushon,theystopnot,theylooknotbehind,nopowercanholdthemback,they
rushon.
Keepingstepswiththatrestless,rapidmusic,seasonscomedancingandpassaway
colours,tunes,andperfumespourinendlesscascadesintheaboundingjoythatscatters
andgivesupanddieseverymoment.

ThatIshouldmakemuchofmyselfandturnitonallsides,thuscastingcolouredshadowson
thyradiancesuchisthymaya.
Thousettestabarrierinthineownbeingandthencallestthyseveredselfinmyriadnotes.
Thisthyselfseparationhastakenbodyinme.
Thepoignantsongisechoedthroughalltheskyinmanycolouredtearsandsmiles,alarms
andhopes;wavesriseupandsinkagain,dreamsbreakandform.Inmeisthyowndefeatof
self.
Thisscreenthatthouhastraisedispaintedwithinnumerablefigureswiththebrushofthe
nightandtheday.Behinditthyseatiswoveninwondrousmysteriesofcurves,castingaway
allbarrenlinesofstraightness.
Thegreatpageantoftheeandmehasoverspreadthesky.Withthetuneoftheeandmeall
theairisvibrant,andallagespasswiththehidingandseekingoftheeandme.


Heitis,theinnermostone,whoawakensmybeingwithhisdeephiddentouches.
Heitiswhoputshisenchantmentupontheseeyesandjoyfullyplaysonthechordsofmy
heartinvariedcadenceofpleasureandpain.
Heitiswhoweavesthewebofthismayainevanescenthuesofgoldandsilver,blueand
green,andletspeepoutthroughthefoldshisfeet,atwhosetouchIforgetmyself.
Dayscomeandagespass,anditiseverhewhomovesmyheartinmanyaname,inmanya
guise,inmanyaraptureofjoyandofsorrow.

Deliveranceisnotformeinrenunciation.Ifeeltheembraceoffreedominathousand
bondsofdelight.
Thoueverpourestformethefreshdraughtofthywineofvariouscoloursandfragrance,
fillingthisearthenvesseltothebrim.
Myworldwilllightitshundreddifferentlampswiththyflameandplacethembeforethe
altarofthytemple.
No,Iwillnevershutthedoorsofmysenses.Thedelightsofsightandhearingandtouchwill
bearthydelight.
Yes,allmyillusionswillburnintoilluminationofjoy,andallmydesiresripenintofruitsof
love.

Thedayisnomore,theshadowisupontheearth.ItistimethatIgotothestreamtofillmy
pitcher.
Theeveningairiseagerwiththesadmusicofthewater.Ah,itcallsmeoutintothedusk.In
thelonelylanethereisnopasserby,thewindisup,theripplesarerampantintheriver.
IknownotifIshallcomebackhome.IknownotwhomIshallchancetomeet.Thereatthe
fordinginthelittleboattheunknownmanplaysuponhislute.

Thygiftstousmortalsfulfilallourneedsandyetrunbacktotheeundiminished.
Theriverhasitseverydayworktodoandhastensthroughfieldsandhamlets;yetits
incessantstreamwindstowardsthewashingofthyfeet.

Theflowersweetenstheairwithitsperfume;yetitslastserviceistoofferitselftothee.
Thyworshipdoesnotimpoverishtheworld.
Fromthewordsofthepoetmentakewhatmeaningspleasethem;yettheirlastmeaning
pointstothee.

Dayafterday,Olordofmylife,shallIstandbeforetheefacetoface.Withfoldedhands,O
lordofallworlds,shallIstandbeforetheefacetoface.
Underthygreatskyinsolitudeandsilence,withhumbleheartshallIstandbeforetheeface
toface.
Inthislaboriousworldofthine,tumultuouswithtoilandwithstruggle,amonghurrying
crowdsshallIstandbeforetheefacetoface.
Andwhenmyworkshallbedoneinthisworld,OKingofkings,aloneandspeechlessshallI
standbeforetheefacetoface.

IknowtheeasmyGodandstandapartIdonotknowtheeasmyownandcomecloser.I
knowtheeasmyfatherandbowbeforethyfeetIdonotgraspthyhandasmyfriend's.
Istandnotwherethoucomestdownandownestthyselfasmine,theretoclasptheetomy
heartandtaketheeasmycomrade.
ThouarttheBrotheramongstmybrothers,butIheedthemnot,Idividenotmyearnings
withthem,thussharingmyallwiththee.
InpleasureandinpainIstandnotbythesideofmen,andthusstandbythee.Ishrinkto
giveupmylife,andthusdonotplungeintothegreatwatersoflife.

Whenthecreationwasnewandallthestarsshoneintheirfirstsplendour,thegodsheld
theirassemblyintheskyandsang`Oh,thepictureofperfection!thejoyunalloyed!'
Butonecriedofasudden`Itseemsthatsomewherethereisabreakinthechainoflight
andoneofthestarshasbeenlost.'
Thegoldenstringoftheirharpsnapped,theirsongstopped,andtheycriedindismay`Yes,
thatloststarwasthebest,shewasthegloryofallheavens!'
Fromthatdaythesearchisunceasingforher,andthecrygoesonfromonetotheother
thatinhertheworldhaslostitsonejoy!

Onlyinthedeepestsilenceofnightthestarssmileandwhisperamongthemselves`Vainis
thisseeking!unbrokenperfectionisoverall!'

IfitisnotmyportiontomeettheeinthislifethenletmeeverfeelthatIhavemissedthy
sightletmenotforgetforamoment,letmecarrythepangsofthissorrowinmydreams
andinmywakefulhours.
Asmydayspassinthecrowdedmarketofthisworldandmyhandsgrowfullwiththedaily
profits,letmeeverfeelthatIhavegainednothingletmenotforgetforamoment,letme
carrythepangsofthissorrowinmydreamsandinmywakefulhours.
WhenIsitbytheroadside,tiredandpanting,whenIspreadmybedlowinthedust,letme
everfeelthatthelongjourneyisstillbeforemeletmenotforgetamoment,letmecarry
thepangsofthissorrowinmydreamsandinmywakefulhours.
Whenmyroomshavebeendeckedoutandtheflutessoundandthelaughterthereisloud,
letmeeverfeelthatIhavenotinvitedtheetomyhouseletmenotforgetforamoment,
letmecarrythepangsofthissorrowinmydreamsandinmywakefulhours.

Iamlikearemnantofacloudofautumnuselesslyroaminginthesky,Omysunever
glorious!Thytouchhasnotyetmeltedmyvapour,makingmeonewiththylight,andthusI
countmonthsandyearsseparatedfromthee.
Ifthisbethywishandifthisbethyplay,thentakethisfleetingemptinessofmine,paintit
withcolours,gilditwithgold,floatitonthewantonwindandspreaditinvariedwonders.
Andagainwhenitshallbethywishtoendthisplayatnight,Ishallmeltandvanishawayin
thedark,oritmaybeinasmileofthewhitemorning,inacoolnessofpuritytransparent.

OnmanyanidledayhaveIgrievedoverlosttime.Butitisneverlost,mylord.Thouhast
takeneverymomentofmylifeinthineownhands.
Hiddenintheheartofthingsthouartnourishingseedsintosprouts,budsintoblossoms,
andripeningflowersintofruitfulness.
Iwastiredandsleepingonmyidlebedandimaginedallworkhadceased.InthemorningI
wokeupandfoundmygardenfullwithwondersofflowers.

Timeisendlessinthyhands,mylord.Thereisnonetocountthyminutes.

Daysandnightspassandagesbloomandfadelikeflowers.Thouknowesthowtowait.
Thycenturiesfolloweachotherperfectingasmallwildflower.
Wehavenotimetolose,andhavingnotimewemustscrambleforachances.Wearetoo
poortobelate.
AndthusitisthattimegoesbywhileIgiveittoeveryquerulousmanwhoclaimsit,and
thinealtarisemptyofallofferingstothelast.
AttheendofthedayIhasteninfearlestthygatetobeshut;butIfindthatyetthereis
time.

Mother,Ishallweaveachainofpearlsforthyneckwithmytearsofsorrow.
Thestarshavewroughttheirankletsoflighttodeckthyfeet,butminewillhanguponthy
breast.
Wealthandfamecomefromtheeanditisfortheetogiveortowithholdthem.Butthismy
sorrowisabsolutelymineown,andwhenIbringittotheeasmyofferingthourewardest
mewiththygrace.

Itisthepangofseparationthatspreadsthroughouttheworldandgivesbirthtoshapes
innumerableintheinfinitesky.
Itisthissorrowofseparationthatgazesinsilenceallnightsfromstartostarandbecomes
lyricamongrustlingleavesinrainydarknessofJuly.
Itisthisoverspreadingpainthatdeepensintolovesanddesires,intosufferingsandjoyin
humanhomes;andthisitisthatevermeltsandflowsinsongsthroughmypoet'sheart.

Whenthewarriorscameoutfirstfromtheirmaster'shall,wherehadtheyhidtheirpower?
Whereweretheirarmourandtheirarms?
Theylookedpoorandhelpless,andthearrowswereshowereduponthemonthedaythey
cameoutfromtheirmaster'shall.
Whenthewarriorsmarchedbackagaintotheirmaster'shallwheredidtheyhidetheir
power?

Theyhaddroppedtheswordanddroppedthebowandthearrow;peacewasontheir
foreheads,andtheyhadleftthefruitsoftheirlifebehindthemonthedaytheymarched
backagaintotheirmaster'shall.

Death,thyservant,isatmydoor.Hehascrossedtheunknownseaandbroughtthycallto
myhome.
ThenightisdarkandmyheartisfearfulyetIwilltakeupthelamp,openmygatesand
bowtohimmywelcome.Itisthymessengerwhostandsatmydoor.
Iwillworshiphimplacingathisfeetthetreasureofmyheart.
Hewillgobackwithhiserranddone,leavingadarkshadowonmymorning;andinmy
desolatehomeonlymyforlornselfwillremainasmylastofferingtothee.

IndesperatehopeIgoandsearchforherinallthecornersofmyroom;Ifindhernot.
Myhouseissmallandwhatoncehasgonefromitcanneverberegained.
Butinfiniteisthymansion,mylord,andseekingherIhavetocometothydoor.
IstandunderthegoldencanopyofthineeveningskyandIliftmyeagereyestothyface.
Ihavecometothebrinkofeternityfromwhichnothingcanvanishnohope,nohappiness,
novisionofafaceseenthroughtears.
Oh,dipmyemptiedlifeintothatocean,plungeitintothedeepestfullness.Letmeforonce
feelthatlostsweettouchintheallnessoftheuniverse.

Deityoftheruinedtemple!ThebrokenstringsofVinasingnomoreyourpraise.Thebellsin
theeveningproclaimnotyourtimeofworship.Theairisstillandsilentaboutyou.
Inyourdesolatedwellingcomesthevagrantspringbreeze.Itbringsthetidingsofflowers
theflowersthatforyourworshipareofferednomore.
Yourworshipperofoldwanderseverlongingforfavourstillrefused.Intheeventide,when
firesandshadowsminglewiththegloomofdust,hewearilycomesbacktotheruined
templewithhungerinhisheart.
Manyafestivaldaycomestoyouinsilence,deityoftheruinedtemple.Manyanightof
worshipgoesawaywithlampunlit.

Manynewimagesarebuiltbymastersofcunningartandcarriedtotheholystreamof
oblivionwhentheirtimeiscome.
Onlythedeityoftheruinedtempleremainsunworshippedindeathlessneglect.

Nomorenoisy,loudwordsfrommesuchismymaster'swill.HenceforthIdealin
whispers.Thespeechofmyheartwillbecarriedoninmurmuringsofasong.
MenhastentotheKing'smarket.Allthebuyersandsellersarethere.ButIhavemy
untimelyleaveinthemiddleoftheday,inthethickofwork.
Letthentheflowerscomeoutinmygarden,thoughitisnottheirtime;andletthemidday
beesstrikeuptheirlazyhum.
FullmanyanhourhaveIspentinthestrifeofthegoodandtheevil,butnowitisthe
pleasureofmyplaymateoftheemptydaystodrawmyheartontohim;andIknownotwhy
isthissuddencalltowhatuselessinconsequence!

Onthedaywhendeathwillknockatthydoorwhatwiltthouoffertohim?
Oh,IwillsetbeforemyguestthefullvesselofmylifeIwillneverlethimgowithempty
hands.
Allthesweetvintageofallmyautumndaysandsummernights,alltheearningsand
gleaningsofmybusylifewillIplacebeforehimatthecloseofmydayswhendeathwill
knockatmydoor.

Othouthelastfulfilmentoflife,Death,mydeath,comeandwhispertome!
DayafterdayIhavekeptwatchforthee;fortheehaveIbornethejoysandpangsoflife.
AllthatIam,thatIhave,thatIhopeandallmylovehaveeverflowedtowardstheeindepth
ofsecrecy.Onefinalglancefromthineeyesandmylifewillbeeverthineown.
Theflowershavebeenwovenandthegarlandisreadyforthebridegroom.Afterthe
weddingthebrideshallleaveherhomeandmeetherlordaloneinthesolitudeofnight.

Iknowthatthedaywillcomewhenmysightofthisearthshallbelost,andlifewilltakeits
leaveinsilence,drawingthelastcurtainovermyeyes.

Yetstarswillwatchatnight,andmorningriseasbefore,andhoursheavelikeseawaves
castinguppleasuresandpains.
WhenIthinkofthisendofmymoments,thebarrierofthemomentsbreaksandIseebythe
lightofdeaththyworldwithitscarelesstreasures.Rareisitslowliestseat,rareisits
meanestoflives.
ThingsthatIlongedforinvainandthingsthatIgotletthempass.Letmebuttrulypossess
thethingsthatIeverspurnedandoverlooked.

Ihavegotmyleave.Bidmefarewell,mybrothers!Ibowtoyouallandtakemydeparture.
HereIgivebackthekeysofmydoorandIgiveupallclaimstomyhouse.Ionlyaskforlast
kindwordsfromyou.
Wewereneighboursforlong,butIreceivedmorethanIcouldgive.Nowthedayhas
dawnedandthelampthatlitmydarkcornerisout.AsummonshascomeandIamready
formyjourney.

Atthistimeofmyparting,wishmegoodluck,myfriends!Theskyisflushedwiththedawn
andmypathliesbeautiful.
AsknotwhatIhavewithmetotakethere.Istartonmyjourneywithemptyhandsand
expectantheart.
Ishallputonmyweddinggarland.Mineisnottheredbrowndressofthetraveller,and
thoughtherearedangersonthewayIhavenofearinmind.
Theeveningstarwillcomeoutwhenmyvoyageisdoneandtheplaintivenotesofthe
twilightmelodiesbestruckupfromtheKing'sgateway.

IwasnotawareofthemomentwhenIfirstcrossedthethresholdofthislife.
Whatwasthepowerthatmademeopenoutintothisvastmysterylikeabudintheforest
atmidnight!
WheninthemorningIlookeduponthelightIfeltinamomentthatIwasnostrangerinthis
world,thattheinscrutablewithoutnameandformhadtakenmeinitsarmsintheformof
myownmother.
Evenso,indeaththesameunknownwillappearaseverknowntome.AndbecauseIlove
thislife,IknowIshalllovedeathaswell.

Thechildcriesoutwhenfromtherightbreastthemothertakesitaway,intheverynext
momenttofindintheleftoneitsconsolation.

WhenIgofromhenceletthisbemypartingword,thatwhatIhaveseenisunsurpassable.
Ihavetastedofthehiddenhoneyofthislotusthatexpandsontheoceanoflight,andthus
amIblessedletthisbemypartingword.
InthisplayhouseofinfiniteformsIhavehadmyplayandherehaveIcaughtsightofhim
thatisformless.
Mywholebodyandmylimbshavethrilledwithhistouchwhoisbeyondtouch;andifthe
endcomeshere,letitcomeletthisbemypartingword.

WhenmyplaywaswiththeeIneverquestionedwhothouwert.Iknewnorshynessnor
fear,mylifewasboisterous.
Intheearlymorningthouwouldstcallmefrommysleeplikemyowncomradeandleadme
runningfromgladetoglade.
OnthosedaysInevercaredtoknowthemeaningofsongsthousangesttome.Onlymy
voicetookupthetunes,andmyheartdancedintheircadence.
Now,whentheplaytimeisover,whatisthissuddensightthatiscomeuponme?Theworld
witheyesbentuponthyfeetstandsinawewithallitssilentstars.

Iwilldecktheewithtrophies,garlandsofmydefeat.Itisneverinmypowertoescape
unconquered.
Isurelyknowmypridewillgotothewall,mylifewillburstitsbondsinexceedingpain,and
myemptyheartwillsoboutinmusiclikeahollowreed,andthestonewillmeltintears.
Isurelyknowthehundredpetalsofalotuswillnotremainclosedforeverandthesecret
recessofitshoneywillbebared.
Fromtheblueskyaneyeshallgazeuponmeandsummonmeinsilence.Nothingwillbeleft
forme,nothingwhatever,andutterdeathshallIreceiveatthyfeet.

WhenIgiveupthehelmIknowthatthetimehascomefortheetotakeit.Whatthereisto
dowillbeinstantlydone.Vainisthisstruggle.

Thentakeawayyourhandsandsilentlyputupwithyourdefeat,myheart,andthinkityour
goodfortunetositperfectlystillwhereyouareplaced.
Thesemylampsareblownoutateverylittlepuffofwind,andtryingtolightthemIforget
allelseagainandagain.
ButIshallbewisethistimeandwaitinthedark,spreadingmymatonthefloor;and
wheneveritisthypleasure,mylord,comesilentlyandtakethyseathere.

Idivedownintothedepthoftheoceanofforms,hopingtogaintheperfectpearlofthe
formless.
Nomoresailingfromharbourtoharbourwiththismyweatherbeatenboat.Thedaysare
longpassedwhenmysportwastobetossedonwaves.
AndnowIameagertodieintothedeathless.
Intotheaudiencehallbythefathomlessabysswhereswellsupthemusicoftonelessstrings
Ishalltakethisharpofmylife.
Ishalltuneittothenotesofforever,andwhenithassobbedoutitslastutterance,laydown
mysilentharpatthefeetofthesilent.

EverinmylifehaveIsoughttheewithmysongs.Itwastheywholedmefromdoortodoor,
andwiththemhaveIfeltaboutme,searchingandtouchingmyworld.
ItwasmysongsthattaughtmeallthelessonsIeverlearnt;theyshowedmesecretpaths,
theybroughtbeforemysightmanyastaronthehorizonofmyheart.
Theyguidedmeallthedaylongtothemysteriesofthecountryofpleasureandpain,and,at
last,towhatpalacegatehavethebroughtmeintheeveningattheendofmyjourney?

IboastedamongmenthatIhadknownyou.Theyseeyourpicturesinallworksofmine.
Theycomeandaskme,`Whoishe?'Iknownothowtoanswerthem.Isay,`Indeed,Icannot
tell.'Theyblamemeandtheygoawayinscorn.Andyousittheresmiling.
Iputmytalesofyouintolastingsongs.Thesecretgushesoutfrommyheart.Theycome
andaskme,`Tellmeallyourmeanings.'Iknownothowtoanswerthem.Isay,`Ah,who
knowswhattheymean!'Theysmileandgoawayinutterscorn.Andyousittheresmiling.

Inonesalutationtothee,myGod,letallmysensesspreadoutandtouchthisworldatthy
feet.
LikearaincloudofJulyhunglowwithitsburdenofunshedshowersletallmymindbend
downatthydoorinonesalutationtothee.
Letallmysongsgathertogethertheirdiversestrainsintoasinglecurrentandflowtoasea
ofsilenceinonesalutationtothee.
Likeaflockofhomesickcranesflyingnightanddaybacktotheirmountainnestsletallmy
lifetakeitsvoyagetoitseternalhomeinonesalutationtothee.