“Stray Birds” By Rabindranath Tagore
LISTEN, my heart, to the whispers of the world with which it makes love to you.
THE mystery of creation is like the darkness of night–it is great. Delusions of knowledge are like the fog of the morning.
DO not seat your love upon a precipice because it is high.
I SIT at my window this morning where the world like a passer-by stops for a moment, nods to me and goes.
THESE little thoughts are the rustle of leaves; they have their whisper of joy in my mind.
WHAT you are you do not see, what you see is your shadow.
MY wishes are fools, they shout across thy songs, my Master.
Let me but listen.
I CANNOT choose the best.
The best chooses me.
THEY throw their shadows before them who carry their lantern on their back.
THAT I exist is a perpetual surprise which is life.
“WE, the rustling leaves, have a voice that answers the storms, but who are you so silent?”
“I am a mere flower.”
[translated from Bengali to English by the author]
New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916
[Frontispiece in color by Willy Pogány]