I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers!
I bow to you all and take my departure.

Here I give back the keys of my door
---and I give up all claims to my house.
I only ask for last kind words from you.

We were neighbors for long,
but I received more than I could give.
Now the day has dawned
and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out.
A summons has come and I am ready for my journey.

When I go from hence
let this be my parting word,
that what I have seen is unsurpassable.

I have tasted of the hidden honey of this lotus
that expands on the ocean of light,
and thus am I blessed
---let this be my parting word.

In this playhouse of infinite forms
I have had my play
and here have I caught sight of him that is formless.

My whole body and my limbs
have thrilled with his touch who is beyond touch;
and if the end comes here, let it come
---let this be my parting word.

Lover's Gifts Xliii: Dying, You Have Left Behind

Dying, you have left behind you the great sadness of the Eternal
in my life. You have painted my thought's horizon with the sunset
colours of your departure, leaving a track of tears across the
earth to love's heaven. Clasped in your dear arms, life and death
united in me in a marriage bond.
I think I can see you watching there in the balcony with your
lamp lighted, where the end and the beginning of all things meet.
My world went hence through the doors that you opened-you holding
the cup of death to my lips, filling it with life from your own.

No more noisy, loud words from me---such is my master's will.
Henceforth I deal in whispers.
The speech of my heart will be carried on in murmurings of a song.

Men hasten to the King's market. All the buyers and sellers are there.
But I have my untimely leave in the middle of the day, in the thick of work.

Let then the flowers come out in my garden, though it is not their time;
and let the midday bees strike up their lazy hum.

Full many an hour have I spent in the strife of the good and the evil,
but now it is the pleasure of my playmate of the empty days to draw my heart on to him;
and I know not why is this sudden call to what useless inconsequence!

Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads!
Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut?
Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!

He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground
and where the pathmaker is breaking stones.
He is with them in sun and in shower,
and his garment is covered with dust.
Put off thy holy mantle and even like him come down on the dusty soil!

Deliverance?
Where is this deliverance to be found?
Our master himself has joyfully taken upon him the bonds of creation;
he is bound with us all for ever.

Come out of thy meditations and leave aside thy flowers and incense!
What harm is there if thy clothes become tattered and stained?
Meet him and stand by him in toil and in sweat of thy brow.

The Gardener Xlvi: You Left Me

You left me and went on your way.
I thought I should mourn for you
and set your solitary image in my
heart wrought in a golden song.
But ah, my evil fortune, time is
short.
Youth wanes year after year; the
spring days are fugitive; the frail
flowers die for nothing, and the wise
man warns me that life is but a
dewdrop on the lotus leaf.
Should I neglect all this to gaze after
one who has turned her back on me?
That would be rude and foolish,
for time is short.
Then, come, my rainy nights with
pattering feet; smile, my golden
autumn; come, careless April, scatter-
ing your kisses abroad.
You come, and you, and you also!
My loves, you know we are mortals.
Is it wise to break one's heart for the
one who takes her heart away? For
time is short.
It is sweet to sit in a corner to muse
and write in rhymes that you are all
my world.
It is heroic to hug one's sorrow and
determine not to be consoled.
But a fresh face peeps across my
door and raise its eyes to my eyes.
I cannot but wipe away my tears
and change the tune of my song.
For time is short.

At The Last Watch

Pity, in place of love,
That pettiest of gifts,
Is but a sugar-coating over neglect.
Any passerby can make a gift of it
To a street beggar,
Only to forget the moment the first corner is turned.
I had not hoped for anything more that day.

You left during the last watch of night.
I had hoped you would say goodbye,
Just say 'Adieu' before going away,
What you had said another day,
What I shall never hear again.
In their place, just that one word,
Bound by the thin fabric of a little compassion
Would even that have been too much for you to bear?

When I first awoke from sleep
My heart fluttered with fear
Lest the time had been over.
I rushed out of bed.
The distant church clock chimed half past twelve
I sat waiting near the door of my room
Resting my head against it,
Facing the porch through which you would come out.

Even that tiniest of chances
Was snatched away by fate from hapless me;
I fell asleep
Shortly before you left.
Perhaps you cast a sidelong glance
At my reclining body
Like a broken boat left high and dry.
Perhaps you walked away with care
Lest you wake me up.
Awaking with a start I knew at once
That my vigil had been wasted
I realised, what was to go went away in a moment,
What was to stay behind stayed on
For all time.

Silence everywhere
Like that of a birds' nest bereft of birds
On the bough of a songless tree.
With the lifeless light of the waning moon was now blended
The pallor of dawn
Spreading itself over the greyness of my empty life.
I walked towards your bedroom
For no reason.
Outside the door
Burnt a smoky lantern covered with soot,
The porch smelt of the smouldering wick.
Over the abandoned bed the flaps of the rolled-up mosquito-net
Fluttered a little in the breeze.
Seen in the sky outside through the window
Was the morning star,
Witness of all sleepless people
Bereft of hope.

Suddenly I found you had left behind by mistake
Your gold-mounted ivory walking stick.
If there were time, I thought,
You might come back from the station to look for it,
But not because
You had not seen me before going away.

The Land Of The Exile

Mother, the light has grown grey in the sky; I do not know what
the time is.
There is no fun in my play, so I have come to you. It is
Saturday, our holiday.
Leave off your work, mother; sit here by the window and tell
me where the desert of Tepantar in the fairy tale is.
The shadow of the rains has covered the day from end to end.
The fierce lightning is scratching the sky with its nails.
When the clouds rumble and it thunders, I love to be afraid
in my heart and cling to you.
When the heavy rain patters for hours on the bamboo leaves,
and our windows shake and rattle at the gusts of wind, I like to
sit alone in the room, mother, with you, and hear you talk about
the desert of Tepantar in the fairy tale.
Where is it, mother, on the shore of what sea, at the foot of
what hills, in the kingdom of what king?
There are no hedges there to mark the fields, no footpath
across it by which the villagers reach their village in the
evening, or the woman who gathers dry sticks in the forest can
bring her load to the market. With patches of yellow grass in the
sand and only one tree where the pair of wise old birds have their
nest, lies the desert of Tepantar.
I can imagine how, on just such a cloudy day, the young son
of the king is riding alone on a grey horse through the desert, in
search of the princess who lies imprisoned in the giant's palace
across that unknown water.
When the haze of the rain comes down in the distant sky, and
lightning starts up like a sudden fit of pain, does he remember his
unhappy mother, abandoned by the king, sweeping the cow-stall and
wiping her eyes, while he rides through the desert of Tepantar in
the fairy tale?
See, mother, it is almost dark before the day is over, and
thee are no travellers yonder on the village road.
The shepherd boy has gone home early from the pasture, and men
have left their fields to sit on mats under the eaves of their
huts, watching the scowling clouds.
Mother, I have left all my books on the shelf-do not ask me
to do my lessons now.
When I grow up and am bid like my father, I shall learn all
that must be learnt.
But just for today, tell me, mother, where the desert of
Tepantar in the fairy tale is.

Kasinath the new young singer fills the hall with sound:
The seven notes dance in his throat like seven tame birds.
His voice is a sharp sword slicing and thrusting everywhere,
It darts like lightening - no knowing where it will go when.
He sets deadly traps for himself, then cuts them away:
The courtiers listen in amazement, give frequent gasps of praise.
Only the old king Pratap Ray sits like wood, unmoved.
Haraj Lal is the only singer he likes, all others leave him cold.
From childhood he has spent so long listening to him sing -
Rag Kafi during holi, cloud-songs during the rains,
Songs for Durga at dawn in autumn, songs to bid her farewell -
His heart swelled when he heard them and his eyes swam with tears.
And on days when friends gathered and filled the hall
There were cowherds' songs of Krsna, in raags Bhupali and Multan.

So many nights of wedding-festivity have passed in that royal house:
Servants dressed in red, hundreds of lamps alight:
The bridegroom sitting shyly in his finery and jewels,
Young friends teasing him and whispering in his ear:
Before him, singing raag Sahana, sits Baraj Lal.
The king's heart is full of all those days and songs.
When he hears some other singer, he feels no chord inside,
No sudden magical awakening of memories of the past.
When Pratap Ray watches Kasinath he just sees his wagging head:
Tune after tune after tune, bu none with any echo in the heart.

Kasinath asks for a rest and the singing stops for a space.
Pratap Ray smilingly turns his eyes to Baraj Lal.
He puts his mouth to his ear and says, 'Dear ustad,
Give us a song as songs ought to be, this is no song at all.
It's all tricks and games, like a cat hunting a bird.
We used to hear songs in the old days, today they have no idea.'

Old Baraj Lal, white-haired, white turban on his head,
Bows to the assembled courtiers and slowly takes his seat.
He takes the tanpura in his wasted, heavily veined hand
And with lowered head and closed eyes begins raag Yaman-kalyap.
His quavering voice is swallowed by the enormous hall,
Is like a tiny bird in a storm, unable to fly for all it tries.
Pratap Ray, sitting to the left, encourages him again and again:
'Superb, bravo!' he says in his ear, 'sing out loud.'

The courtiers are inattentive, some whisper amongst themselves,
Some of them yawn, some doze, some go off to their rooms;
Some of them call to servants, 'Bring the bookah, bring some pan.'
Some fan themselves furiously and complain of the heat.
They cannot keep still for a minute, they shuffle or walk about -
The hall was quiet before, but every sort of noise has grown.
The old man's singing is swamped, like a frail boat in a typhoon:
Only his shaky fingering of the tanpura shows it is there.

Music that should rise on its own joy from the depths of the heart
Is crushed by heedless clamour, like a fountain under a stone.
The song and Baraj Lal's feelings go separate ways,
But he sings for all he is worth, to keep up the honour of his king.

One of the verses of the song has somehow slipped from his mind.
He quickly goes back, tries to get it right this time.
Again he forgets, it is lost, he shakes his head at the shame;
He starts the song at the beginning - again he has to stop.
His hand trembles doubly as he prays to his teachers name.
His voice quakes with distress, like a lamp guttering in a breeze.
He abandons the words of the song and tries to salvage the tune,
But suddenly his wide-mouthed singing breaks into loud cries.
The intricate melody goes to the winds, the rhythm is swept away -
Tears snap the thread of the song, cascade like pearls.
In shame he rests his head on the old tanpura in his lap -
He has failed to remember a song: he weeps as he did as a child.
With brimming eyes king Pratap Ray tenderly touches his friend:
'Come, let us go from here,' he says with kindness and love.
They leave that festive hall with its hundreds of blinding lights.
The two old friends go outside, holding each other's hands.

Baraj says with hands clasped, 'Master, our days are gone.
New men have come now, new styles and customs in the world.
The court we kept is deserted - only the two of us are left.
Don't ask anyone to listen to me now, I beg you at your feet, my lord.
The singer along does not make a song, there has to be someone who hears:
One man opens his throat to sing, the other sings in his mind.
Only when waves fall on the shore do they make a harmonious sound;
Only when breezes shake the woods do we hear a rustling in the leaves.
Only from a marriage of two forces does music arise in the world.
Where there is no love, where listeners are dumb, there never can be song.'

My fancies are fireflies, —
Specks of living light
twinkling in the dark.

The voice of wayside pansies,
that do not attract the careless glance,
murmurs in these desultory lines.

In the drowsy dark caves of the mind
dreams build their nest with fragments
dropped from day's caravan.

Spring scatters the petals of flowers
that are not for the fruits of the future,
but for the moment's whim.

Joy freed from the bond of earth's slumber
rushes into numberless leaves,
and dances in the air for a day.

My words that are slight
may lightly dance upon time's waves
when my works heavy with import have gone down.

Mind's underground moths
grow filmy wings
and take a farewell flight
in the sunset sky.

The butterfly counts not months but moments,
and has time enough.

My thoughts, like spark, ride on winged surprises,
carrying a single laughter.
The tree gazes in love at its own beautiful shadow
which yet it never can grasp.

Let my love, like sunlight, surround you
and yet give you illumined freedom.

Days are coloured bubbles
that float upon the surface of fathomless night.

My offerings are too timid to claim your remembrance,
and therefore you may remember them.

Leave out my name from the gift
if it be a burden,
but keep my song.

April, like a child,
writes hieroglyphs on dust with flowers,
wipes them away and forgets.

Memory, the priestess,
kills the present
and offers its heart to the shrine of the dead past.

From the solemn gloom of the temple
children run out to sit in the dust,
God watches them play
and forgets the priest.

My mind starts up at some flash
on the flow of its thoughts
like a brook at a sudden liquid note of its own
that is never repeated.

In the mountain, stillness surges up
to explore its own height;
in the lake, movement stands still
to contemplate its own depth.

The departing night's one kiss
on the closed eyes of morning
glows in the star of dawn.

Maiden, thy beauty is like a fruit
which is yet to mature,
tense with an unyielding secret.

Sorrow that has lost its memory
is like the dumb dark hours
that have no bird songs
but only the cricket's chirp.

Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand
with a grip that kills it.
Wishing to hearten a timid lamp
great night lights all her stars.

Though he holds in his arms the earth-bride,
the sky is ever immensely away.

God seeks comrades and claims love,
the Devil seeks slaves and claims obedience.

The soil in return for her service
keeps the tree tied to her,
the sky asks nothing and leaves it free.

Jewel-like immortal
does not boast of its length of years
but of the scintillating point of its moment.

The child ever dwells in the mystery of ageless time,
unobscured by the dust of history.

Alight laughter in the steps of creation
carries it swiftly across time.

One who was distant came near to me in the morning,
and still nearer when taken away by night.

White and pink oleanders meet
and make merry in different dialects.

When peace is active sweeping its dirt, it is storm.

The lake lies low by the hill,
a tearful entreaty of love
at the foot of the inflexible.

There smiles the Divine Child
among his playthings of unmeaning clouds
and ephemeral lights and shadows.

The breeze whispers to the lotus,
'What is thy secret? '
'It is myself,' says the lotus,
'Steal it and I disappear! '

The freedom of the storm and the bondage of the stem
join hands in the dance of swaying branches.

The jasmine's lisping of love to the sun is her flowers.

The tyrant claims freedom to kill freedom
and yet to keep it for himself.

Gods, tired of their paradise, envy man.

Clouds are hills in vapour,
hills are clouds in stone, —
a phantasy in time's dream.

While God waits for His temple to be built of love,
men bring stones.

I touch God in my song
as the hill touches the far-away sea
with its waterfall.

Light finds her treasure of colours
through the antagonism of clouds.

My heart to-day smiles at its past night of tears
like a wet tree glistening in the sun
after the rain is over.

I have thanked the trees that have made my life fruitful,
but have failed to remember the grass
that has ever kept it green.

The one without second is emptiness,
the other one makes it true.

Life's errors cry for the merciful beauty
that can modulate their isolation
into a harmony with the whole.

They expect thanks for the banished nest
because their cage is shapely and secure.

In love I pay my endless debt to thee
for what thou art.

The pond sends up its lyrics from its dark in lilies,
and the sun says, they are good.

Your calumny against the great is impious,
it hurts yourself;
against the small it is mean,
for it hurts the victim.

The first flower that blossomed on this earth
was an invitation to the unborn song.

Dawn—the many-coloured flower—fades,
and then the simple light-fruit,
the sun appears.

The muscle that has a doubt if its wisdom
throttles the voice that would cry.

The wind tries to take the flame by storm
only to blow it out.

Life's play is swift,
Life's playthings fall behind one by one
and are forgotten.

My flower, seek not thy paradise
in a fool's buttonhole.

Thou hast risen late, my crescent moon,
but my night bird is still awake to greet thee.

Darkness is the veiled bride
silently waiting for the errant light
to return to her bosom.

Trees are the earth's endless effort to
speak to the listening heaven.

The burden of self is lightened
when I laugh at myself.

The weak can be terrible
because they try furiously to appear strong.

The wind of heaven blows,
The anchor desperately clutches the mud,
and my boat is beating its breast against the chain.

The spirit of death is one,
the spirit of life is many,
When God is dead religion becomes one.

The blue of the sky longs for the earth's green,
the wind between them sighs, 'Alas.'
Day's pain muffled by its own glare,
burns among stars in the night.

The stars crowd round the virgin night
in silent awe at her loneliness
that can never be touched.

The cloud gives all its gold
to the departing sun
and greets the rising moon
with only a pale smile.

He who does good comes to the temple gate,
he who loves reaches the shrine.

Flower, have pity for the worm,
it is not a bee,
its love is a blunder and a burden.

With the ruins of terror's triumph
children build their doll's house.

The lamp waits through the long day of neglect
for the flame's kiss in the night.

Feathers in the dust lying lazily content
have forgotten their sky.

The flowers which is single
need not envy the thorns
that are numerous.

The world suffers most from the disinterested tyranny
of its well-wisher.

We gain freedom when we have paid the full price
for our right to live.

Your careless gifts of a moment,
like the meteors of an autumn night,
catch fire in the depth of my being.

The faith waiting in the heart of a seed
promises a miracle of life
which it cannot prove at once.

Spring hesitates at winter's door,
but the mango blossom rashly runs out to him
before her time and meets her doom.

The world is the ever-changing foam
that floats on the surface of a sea of silence.

The two separated shores mingle their voices
in a song of unfathomed tears.

As a river in the sea,
work finds its fulfilment
in the depth of leisure.

I lingered on my way till thy cherry tree lost its blossom,
but the azalea brings to me, my love, thy forgiveness.

Thy shy little pomegranate bud,
blushing to-day behind her veil,
will burst into a passionate flower
to-morrow when I am away.

The clumsiness of power spoils the key,
and uses the pickaxe.

Birth is from the mystery of night
into the greater mystery of day.

These paper boats of mine are meant to dance
on the ripples of hours,
and not to reach any destination.

Migratory songs wing from my heart
and seek their nests in your voice of love.

The sea of danger, doubt and denial
around man's little island of certainty
challenges him to dare the unknown.

Love punishes when it forgives,
and injured beauty by its awful silence.

You live alone and unrecompensed
because they are afraid of your great worth.

The same sun is newly born in new lands
in a ring of endless dawns.

God is world is ever renewed by death,
a Titan's ever crushed by its own existence.

The glow-worm while exploring the dust
never knows that stars are in the sky.

The tree is of to-day, the flower is old,
it brings with it the message
of the immemorial seed.

Each rose that comes brings me greetings
from the Rose of an eternal spring.
God honours me when I work,
He loves me when I sing.

My love of to-day finds no home
in the nest deserted by yesterday's love.

The fire of pain traces for my soul
a luminous path across her sorrow.

The grass survives the hill
through its resurrections from countless deaths.

Thou hast vanished from my reach
leaving an impalpable touch in the blue of the sky,
an invisible image in the wind moving
among the shadows.

In pity for the desolate branch
spring leaves to it a kiss that fluttered in a lonely leaf.

The shy shadow in the garden
loves the sun in silence,
Flowers guess the secret, and smile,
while the leaves whisper.

I leave no trace of wings in the air,
but I am glad I have had my flight.

The fireflies, twinkling among leaves,
make the stars wonder.

The mountain remains unmoved
at its seeming defeat by the mist.

While the rose said to the sun,
'I shall ever remember thee,'
her petals fell to the dust.

Hills are the earth's gesture of despair
for the unreachable.

Though the thorn in thy flower pricked me,
O Beauty,
I am grateful.

The world knows that the few
are more than the many.

Let not my love be a burden on you, my friend,
know that it pays itself.

Dawn plays her lute before the gate of darkness,
and is content to vanish when the sun comes out.

Beauty is truth's smile
when she beholds her own face
in a perfect mirror.

The dew-drop knows the sun
only within its own tiny orb.

Forlorn thoughts from the forsaken lives of all ages,
swarming in the air, hum round my heart
and seek my voice.

The desert is imprisoned in the wall
of its unbounded barrenness.

In the thrill of little leaves
I see the air's invisible dance,
and in their glimmering
the secret heart-beats of the sky.

You are like a flowering tree,
amazed when I praise you for your gifts.

The earth's sacrificial fire
flames up in her trees,
scattering sparks in flowers.

Forests, the clouds of earth,
hold up to the sky their silence,
and clouds from above come down
in resonant showers.

The world speaks to me in pictures,
my soul answers in music.

The sky tells its beads all night
on the countless stars
in memory of the sun.

The darkness of night, like pain, is dumb,
the darkness of dawn, like peace, is silent.

Pride engraves his frowns in stones,
love offers her surrender in flowers.

The obsequious brush curtails truth
in deference to the canvas which is narrow.

The hill in its longing for the far-away sky
wishes to be like the cloud
with its endless urge of seeking.

To justify their own spilling of ink
they spell the day as night.

Profit smiles on goodness
when the good is profitable.

In its swelling pride
the bubble doubts the truth of the sea,
and laughs and bursts into emptiness.

Love is an endless mystery,
for it has nothing else to explain it.

My clouds, sorrowing in the dark,
forget that they themselves
have hidden the sun.

Man discovers his own wealth
when God comes to ask gifts of him.

You leave your memory as a flame
to my lonely lamp of separation.

I came to offer thee a flower,
but thou must have all my garden,—
It is thine.

The picture—a memory of light
treasured by the shadow.

It is easy to make faces at the sun,
He is exposed by his own light in all
directions.

History slowly smothers its truth,
but hastily struggles to revive it
in the terrible penance of pain.

My work is rewarded in daily wages,
I wait for my final value in love.

Beauty knows to say, 'Enough,'
barbarism clamours for still more.

God loves to see in me, not his servant,
but himself who serves all.

The darkness of night is in harmony with day,
the morning of mist is discordant.

In the bounteous time of roses love is wine,—
it is food in the famished hour
when their petals are shed.

An unknown flower in a strange land
speaks to the poet:
'Are we not of the same soil, my lover? '

I am able to love my God
because He gives me freedom to deny Him.

My untuned strings beg for music
in their anguished cry of shame.

The worm thinks it strange and foolish
that man does not eat his books.

The clouded sky to-day bears the visior
of the shadow of a divine sadness
on the forehead of brooding eternity.

The shade of my tree is for passers-by,
its fruit for the one for whom I wait.

Flushed with the glow of sunset
earth seems like a ripe fruit
ready to be harvested by night.

Light accepts darkness for his spouse
for the sake of creation.

The reed waits for his master's breath,
the Master goes seeking for his reed.

To the blind pen the hand that writes is unreal,
its writing unmeaning.

The sea smites his own barren breast
because he has no flowers to offer to the moon.

The greed for fruit misses the flower.

God in His temple of stars
waits for man to bring him his lamp.

The fire restrained in the tree fashions flowers.
Released from bonds, the shameless flame
dies in barren ashes.

The sky sets no snare to capture the moon,
it is her own freedom which binds her.
The light that fills the sky
seeks its limit in a dew-drop on the grass.

Wealth is the burden of bigness,
Welfare the fulness of being.

The razor-blade is proud of its keenness
when it sneers at the sun.

The butterfly has leisure to love the lotus,
not the bee busily storing honey.

Child, thou bringest to my heart
the babble of the wind and the water,
the flower's speechless secrets, the clouds' dreams,
the mute gaze of wonder of the morning sky.

The rainbow among the clouds may be great
but the little butterfly among the bushes is greater.

The mist weaves her net round the morning,
captivates him, and makes him blind.

The Morning Star whispers to Dawn,
'Tell me that you are only for me.'
'Yes,' she answers,
'And also only for that nameless flower.'

The sky remains infinitely vacant
for earth there to build its heaven with dreams.

Perhaps the crescent moon smiles in doubt
at being told that it is a fragment
awaiting perfection.

Let the evening forgive the mistakes of the day
and thus win peace for herself.

Beauty smiles in the confinement of the bud,
in the heart of a sweet incompleteness.

Your flitting love lightly brushed with its wings
my sun-flower
and never asked if it was ready to surrender its honey.

Leaves are silences
around flowers which are their words.

The tree bears its thousand years
as one large majestic moment.

My offerings are not for the temple at the end of the road,
but for the wayside shrines
that surprise me at every bend.

Hour smile, my love, like the smell of a strange flower,
is simple and inexplicable.

Death laughs when the merit of the dead is exaggerated
for it swells his store with more than he can claim.

The sigh of the shore follows in vain
the breeze that hastens the ship across the sea.

Truth loves its limits,
for there it meets the beautiful.

Between the shores of Me and Thee
there is the loud ocean, my own surging self,
which I long to cross.

The right to possess boasts foolishly
of its right to enjoy.

The rose is a great deal more
than a blushing apology for the thorn.

Day offers to the silence of stars
his golden lute to be tuned
for the endless life.

The wise know how to teach,
the fool how to smite.

The centre is still and silent in the heart
of an eternal dance of circles.

The judge thinks that he is just when he compares
The oil of another's lamp
with the light of his own.

The captive flower in the King's wreath
smiles bitterly when the meadow-flower envies her.

Its store of snow is the hill's own burden,
its outpouring of streams is borne by all the world.

Listen to the prayer of the forest
for its freedom in flowers.

Let your love see me
even through the barrier of nearness.

The spirit of work in creation is there
to carry and help the spirit of play.

To carry the burden of the instrument,
count the cost of its material,
and never to know that it is for music,
is the tragedy of deaf life.

Faith is the bird that feels the light
and sings when the dawn is still dark.

I bring to thee, night, my day's empty cup,
to be cleansed with thy cool darkness
for a new morning's festival.

The mountain fir, in its rustling,
modulates the memory of its fights with the storm
into a hymn of peace.

God honoured me with his fight
when I was rebellious,
He ignored me when I was languid.

The sectarian thinks
that he has the sea
ladled into his private pond.

In the shady depth of life
are the lonely nests of memories
that shrink from words.

Let my love find its strength
in the service of day,
its peace in the union of night.

Life sends up in blades of grass
its silent hymn of praise
to the unnamed Light.

The stars of night are to me
the memorials of my day's faded flowers.

Open thy door to that which must go,
for the loss becomes unseemly when obstructed.

True end is not in the reaching of the limit,
but in a completion which is limitless.

The shore whispers to the sea:
'Write to me what thy waves struggle to say.'
The sea writes in foam again and again
and wipes off the lines in a boisterous despair.

Let the touch of thy finger thrill my life's strings
and make the music thine and mine.

The inner world rounded in my life like a fruit,
matured in joy and sorrow,
will drop into the darkness of the original soil
for some further course of creation.

Form is in Matter, rhythm in Force,
meaning in the Person.

There are seekers of wisdom and seekers of wealth,
I seek thy company so that I may sing.

As the tree its leaves, I shed my words on the earth,
let my thoughts unuttered flower in thy silence.

My faith in truth, my vision of the perfect,
help thee, Master, in thy creation.

All the delights that I have felt
in life's fruits and flowers
let me offer to thee at the end of the feast,
in a perfect union of love.

Some have thought deeply and explored the
meaning of thy truth,
and they are great;
I have listened to catch the music of thy play,
and I am glad.

The tree is a winged spirit
released from the bondage of seed,
pursuing its adventure of life
across the unknown.

The lotus offers its beauty to the heaven,
the grass its service to the earth.

The sun's kiss mellows into abandonment
the miserliness of the green fruit clinging to its stem.

The flame met the earthen lamp in me,
and what a great marvel of light!

Mistakes live in the neighbourhood of truth
and therefore delude us.

The cloud laughed at the rainbow
saying that it was an upstart
gaudy in its emptiness.
The rainbow calmly answered,
'I am as inevitably real as the sun himself.'

Let me not grope in vain in the dark
but keep my mind still in the faith
that the day will break
and truth will appear
in its simplicity.

Through the silent night
I hear the returning vagrant hopes of the morning
knock at my heart.

My new love comes
bringing to me the eternal wealth of the old.

The earth gazes at the moon and wonders
that she should have all her music in her smile.

Day with its glare of curiosity
puts the stars to flight.

My mind has its true union with thee, O sky,
at the window which is mine own,
and not in the open
where thou hast thy sole kingdom.

Man claims God's flowers as his own
when he weaves them in a garland.

The buried city, laid bare to the sun of a new age,
is ashamed that is has lost all its song.

Like my heart's pain that has long missed its meaning,
the sun's rays robed in dark
hide themselves under the ground.
Like my heart's pain at love's sudden touch,
they change their veil at the spring's call
and come out in the carnival of colours,
in flowers and leaves.

My life's empty flute
waits for its final music
like the primal darkness
before the stars came out.

Emancipation from the bondage of the soil
is no freedom for the tree.

The tapestry of life's story is woven
with the threads of life's ties
ever joining and breaking.

Those thoughts of mine that are never captured by words
perch upon my song and dance.

My soul to-night loses itself
in the silent heart of a tree
standing alone among the whispers of immensity.

Pearl shells cast up by the sea
on death's barren beach,—
a magnificent wastefulness of creative life.

The sunlight opens for me the word's gate,
love's light its treasure.

My life like the reed with its stops,
has its play of colours
through the gaps in its hopes and gains.

Let not my thanks to thee
rob my silence of its fuller homage.

Life's aspirations come
in the guise of children.

The faded flower sighs
that the spring has vanished forever.

In my life's garden
my wealth has been of the shadows and lights
that are never gathered and stored.

The fruit that I Have gained forever
is that which thou hast accepted.

The jasmine knows the sun to be her brother
in the heaven.

Light is young, the ancient light;
shadows are of the moment, they are born old.

I feel that the ferry of my songs at the day's end
will bring me across to the other shore
from where I shall see.

The butterfly flitting from flower to flower
ever remains mine,
I lose the one that is netted by me.

Your voice, free bird, reaches my sleeping nest,
and my drowsy wings dream
of a voyage to the light
above the clouds.

I miss the meaning of my own part
in the play of life
because I know not of the parts
that others play.

The flower sheds all its petals
and finds the fruit.

I leave my songs behind me
to the bloom of the ever-returning honeysuckles
and the joy of the wind from the south.

Dead leaves when they lose themselves in soil
take part in the life of the forest.

The mind ever seeks its words
from its sounds and silence
as the sky from its darkness and light.

The unseen dark plays on his flute
and the rhythm of light
eddies into stars and suns,
into thoughts and dreams.

My songs are to sing
that I have loved Thy singing.

When the voice of the Silent touches my words
I know him and therefore I know myself.

My last salutations are to them
who knew me imperfect and loved me.

Love's gift cannot be given,
it waits to be accepted.

When death comes and whispers to me,
'Thy days are ended,'
let me say to him, 'I have lived in love
and not in mere time.'
He will ask, 'Will thy songs remain? '
I shall say, 'I know not, but this I know
that often when I sang I found my eternity.'

'Let me light my lamp,'
say the star,
'and never debate
if it will help to remove the darkness.'

Before the end of my journey
may I reach within myself
the one which is the all,
leaving the outer shell
to float away with the drifting multitude
upon the current of chance and change.

1.

Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.

This little flute of a reed thou hast carried over hills and dales, and hast breathed through it melodies eternally new.

At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable.

Thy infinite gifts come to me only on these very small hands of mine. Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and still there is room to fill.


2.

When thou commandest me to sing it seems that my heart would break with pride; and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.

All that is harsh and dissonant in my life melts into one sweet harmony - and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird on its flight across the sea.

I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. I know that only as a singer I come before thy presence.

I touch by the edge of the far-spreading wing of my song thy feet which I could never aspire to reach.

Drunk with the joy of singing I forget myself and call thee friend who art my lord.


3.

I know not how thou singest, my master! I ever listen in silent amazement.

The light of thy music illumines the world. The life breath of thy music runs from sky to sky. The holy stream of thy music breaks through all stony obstacles and rushes on.

My heart longs to join in thy song, but vainly struggles for a voice. I would speak, but speech breaks not into song, and I cry out baffled. Ah, thou hast made my heart captive in the endless meshes of thy music, my master!


4.

Life of my life, I shall ever try to keep my body pure, knowing that thy living touch is upon all my limbs.

I shall ever try to keep all untruths out from my thoughts, knowing that thou art that truth which has kindled the light of reason in my mind.

I shall ever try to drive all evils away from my heart and keep my love in flower, knowing that thou hast thy seat in the inmost shrine of my heart.

And it shall be my endeavour to reveal thee in my actions, knowing it is thy power gives me strength to act.


5.

I ask for a moment's indulgence to sit by thy side. The works that I have in hand I will finish afterwards.

Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows no rest nor respite, and my work becomes an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil.

Today the summer has come at my window with its sighs and murmurs; and the bees are plying their minstrelsy at the court of the flowering grove.

Now it is time to sit quite, face to face with thee, and to sing dedication of life in this silent and overflowing leisure.


6.

Pluck this little flower and take it, delay not! I fear lest it droop and drop into the dust.

I may not find a place in thy garland, but honour it with a touch of pain from thy hand and pluck it. I fear lest the day end before I am aware, and the time of offering go by.

Though its colour be not deep and its smell be faint, use this flower in thy service and pluck it while there is time.

7.

My song has put off her adornments. She has no pride of dress and decoration. Ornaments would mar our union; they would come between thee and me; their jingling would drown thy whispers.

My poet's vanity dies in shame before thy sight. O master poet, I have sat down at thy feet. Only let me make my life simple and straight, like a flute of reed for thee to fill with music.


8.

The child who is decked with prince's robes and who has jewelled chains round his neck loses all pleasure in his play; his dress hampers him at every step.

In fear that it may be frayed, or stained with dust he keeps himself from the world, and is afraid even to move.

Mother, it is no gain, thy bondage of finery, if it keeps one shut off from the healthful dust of the earth, if it rob one of the right of entrance to the great fair of common human life.


9.

O Fool, try to carry thyself upon thy own shoulders! O beggar, to come beg at thy own door!

Leave all thy burdens on his hands who can bear all, and never look behind in regret.

Thy desire at once puts out the light from the lamp it touches with its breath. It is unholy - take not thy gifts through its unclean hands. Accept only what is offered by sacred love.


10.

Here is thy footstool and there rest thy feet where live the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.

When I try to bow to thee, my obeisance cannot reach down to the depth where thy feet rest among the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.

Pride can never approach to where thou walkest in the clothes of the humble among the poorest, and lowliest, and lost.

My heart can never find its way to where thou keepest company with the companionless among the poorest, the lowliest, and the lost.


11.

Leave this chanting and singing and telling of beads! Whom dost thou worship in this lonely dark corner of a temple with doors all shut? Open thine eyes and see thy God is not before thee!

He is there where the tiller is tilling the hard ground and where the pathmaker is breaking stones. He is with them in sun and in shower, and his garment is covered with dust. Put of thy holy mantle and even like him come down on the dusty soil!

Deliverance? Where is this deliverance to be found? Our master himself has joyfully taken upon him the bonds of creation; he is bound with us all for ever.

Come out of thy meditations and leave aside thy flowers and incense! What harm is there if thy clothes become tattered and stained? Meet him and stand by him in toil and in sweat of thy brow.


12.

The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.

I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.

It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself, and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.

The traveller has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.

My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said 'Here art thou!'

The question and the cry 'Oh, where?' melt into tears of a thousand streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance 'I am!'


13.

The song that I came to sing remains unsung to this day. I have spent my days in stringing and in unstringing my instrument.

The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set; only there is the agony of wishing in my heart.

The blossom has not opened; only the wind is sighing by. I have not seen his face, nor have I listened to his voice; only I have heard his gentle footsteps from the road before my house.

The livelong day has passed in spreading his seat on the floor; but the lamp has not been lit and I cannot ask him into my house.

I live in the hope of meeting with him; but this meeting is not yet.


14.

My desires are many and my cry is pitiful, but ever didst thou save me by hard refusals; and this strong mercy has been wrought into my life through and through.

Day by day thou art making me worthy of the simple, great gifts that thou gavest to me unasked - this sky and the light, this body and the life and the mind - saving me from perils of overmuch desire.

There are times when I languidly linger and times when I awaken and hurry in search of my goal; but cruelly thou hidest thyself from before me.

Day by day thou art making me worthy of thy full acceptance by refusing me ever and anon, saving me from perils of weak, uncertain desire.


15.

I am here to sing thee songs. In this hall of thine I have a corner seat.

In thy world I have no work to do; my useless life can only break out in tunes without a purpose.

When the hour strikes for thy silent worship at the dark temple of midnight, command me, my master, to stand before thee to sing.

When in the morning air the golden harp is tuned, honour me, commanding my presence.


16.

I have had my invitation to this world's festival, and thus my life has been blessed. My eyes have seen and my ears have heard.

It was my part at this feast to play upon my instrument, and I have done all I could.

Now, I ask, has the time come at last when I may go in and see thy face and offer thee my silent salutation?


17.

I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands. That is why it is so late and why I have been guilty of such omissions.

They come with their laws and their codes to bind me fast; but I evade them ever, for I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands.

People blame me and call me heedless; I doubt not they are right in their blame.

The market day is over and work is all done for the busy. Those who came to call me in vain have gone back in anger. I am only waiting for love to give myself up at last into his hands.


18.

Clouds heap upon clouds and it darkens. Ah, love, why dost thou let me wait outside at the door all alone?

In the busy moments of the noontide work I am with the crowd, but on this dark lonely day it is only for thee that I hope.

If thou showest me not thy face, if thou leavest me wholly aside, I know not how I am to pass these long, rainy hours.

I keep gazing on the far-away gloom of the sky, and my heart wanders wailing with the restless wind.


19.

If thou speakest not I will fill my heart with thy silence and endure it. I will keep still and wait like the night with starry vigil and its head bent low with patience.

The morning will surely come, the darkness will vanish, and thy voice pour down in golden streams breaking through the sky.

Then thy words will take wing in songs from every one of my birds' nests, and thy melodies will break forth in flowers in all my forest groves.


20.

On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying, and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.

Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.

That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.

I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.


21.

I must launch out my boat. The languid hours pass by on the shore - Alas for me!

The spring has done its flowering and taken leave. And now with the burden of faded futile flowers I wait and linger.

The waves have become clamorous, and upon the bank in the shady lane the yellow leaves flutter and fall.

What emptiness do you gaze upon! Do you not feel a thrill passing through the air with the notes of the far-away song floating from the other shore?


22.

In the deep shadows of the rainy July, with secret steps, thou walkest, silent as night, eluding all watchers.

Today the morning has closed its eyes, heedless of the insistent calls of the loud east wind, and a thick veil has been drawn over the ever-wakeful blue sky.

The woodlands have hushed their songs, and doors are all shut at every house. Thou art the solitary wayfarer in this deserted street. Oh my only friend, my best beloved, the gates are open in my house - do not pass by like a dream.


23.

Art thou abroad on this stormy night on thy journey of love, my friend? The sky groans like one in despair.

I have no sleep tonight. Ever and again I open my door and look out on the darkness, my friend!

I can see nothing before me. I wonder where lies thy path!

By what dim shore of the ink-black river, by what far edge of the frowning forest, through what mazy depth of gloom art thou threading thy course to come to me, my friend?


24.

If the day is done, if birds sing no more, if the wind has flagged tired, then draw the veil of darkness thick upon me, even as thou hast wrapt the earth with the coverlet of sleep and tenderly closed the petals of the drooping lotus at dusk.

From the traveller, whose sack of provisions is empty before the voyage is ended, whose garment is torn and dustladen, whose strength is exhausted, remove shame and poverty, and renew his life like a flower under the cover of thy kindly night.


25.

In the night of weariness let me give myself up to sleep without struggle, resting my trust upon thee.

Let me not force my flagging spirit into a poor preparation for thy worship.

It is thou who drawest the veil of night upon the tired eyes of the day to renew its sight in a fresher gladness of awakening.

26.

He came and sat by my side but I woke not. What a cursed sleep it was, O miserable me!

He came when the night was still; he had his harp in his hands, and my dreams became resonant with its melodies.

Alas, why are my nights all thus lost? Ah, why do I ever miss his sight whose breath touches my sleep?


27.

Light, oh where is the light? Kindle it with the burning fire of desire!

There is the lamp but never a flicker of a flame - is such thy fate, my heart? Ah, death were better by far for thee!

Misery knocks at thy door, and her message is that thy lord is wakeful, and he calls thee to the love-tryst through the darkness of night.

The sky is overcast with clouds and the rain is ceaseless. I know not what this is that stirs in me - I know not its meaning.

A moment's flash of lightning drags down a deeper gloom on my sight, and my heart gropes for the path to where the music of the night calls me.

Light, oh where is the light! Kindle it with the burning fire of desire! It thunders and the wind rushes screaming through the void. The night is black as a black stone. Let not the hours pass by in the dark. Kindle the lamp of love with thy life.


28.

Obstinate are the trammels, but my heart aches when I try to break them.

Freedom is all I want, but to hope for it I feel ashamed.

I am certain that priceless wealth is in thee, and that thou art my best friend, but I have not the heart to sweep away the tinsel that fills my room.

The shroud that covers me is a shroud of dust and death; I hate it, yet hug it in love.

My debts are large, my failures great, my shame secret and heavy; yet when I come to ask for my good, I quake in fear lest my prayer be granted.


29.

He whom I enclose with my name is weeping in this dungeon. I am ever busy building this wall all around; and as this wall goes up into the sky day by day I lose sight of my true being in its dark shadow.

I take pride in this great wall, and I plaster it with dust and sand lest a least hole should be left in this name; and for all the care I take I lose sight of my true being.


30.

I came out alone on my way to my tryst. But who is this that follows me in the silent dark?

I move aside to avoid his presence but I escape him not.

He makes the dust rise from the earth with his swagger; he adds his loud voice to every word that I utter.

He is my own little self, my lord, he knows no shame; but I am ashamed to come to thy door in his company.


31.

'Prisoner, tell me, who was it that bound you?'

'It was my master,' said the prisoner. 'I thought I could outdo everybody in the world in wealth and power, and I amassed in my own treasure-house the money due to my king. When sleep overcame me I lay upon the bad that was for my lord, and on waking up I found I was a prisoner in my own treasure-house.'

'Prisoner, tell me, who was it that wrought this unbreakable chain?'

'It was I,' said the prisoner, 'who forged this chain very carefully. I thought my invincible power would hold the world captive leaving me in a freedom undisturbed. Thus night and day I worked at the chain with huge fires and cruel hard strokes. When at last the work was done and the links were complete and unbreakable, I found that it held me in its grip.'


32.

By all means they try to hold me secure who love me in this world. But it is otherwise with thy love which is greater than theirs, and thou keepest me free.

Lest I forget them they never venture to leave me alone. But day passes by after day and thou art not seen.

If I call not thee in my prayers, if I keep not thee in my heart, thy love for me still waits for my love.


33.

When it was day they came into my house and said, 'We shall only take the smallest room here.'

They said, 'We shall help you in the worship of your God and humbly accept only our own share in his grace'; and then they took their seat in a corner and they sat quiet and meek.

But in the darkness of night I find they break into my sacred shrine, strong and turbulent, and snatch with unholy greed the offerings from God's altar.


34.

Let only that little be left of me whereby I may name thee my all.

Let only that little be left of my will whereby I may feel thee on every side, and come to thee in everything, and offer to thee my love every moment.

Let only that little be left of me whereby I may never hide thee.

Let only that little of my fetters be left whereby I am bound with thy will, and thy purpose is carried out in my life - and that is the fetter of thy love.


35.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action- Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.


36.

This is my prayer to thee, my lord - strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart. Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows. Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service. Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might. Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles. And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.


37.

I thought that my voyage had come to its end at the last limit of my power, - that the path before me was closed, that provisions were exhausted and the time come to take shelter in a silent obscurity.

But I find that thy will knows no end in me. And when old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders.


38.

That I want thee, only thee - let my heart repeat without end. All desires that distract me, day and night, are false and empty to the core.

As the night keeps hidden in its gloom the petition for light, even thus in the depth of my unconsciousness rings the cry - 'I want thee, only thee'.

As the storm still seeks its end in peace when it strikes against peace with all its might, even thus my rebellion strikes against thy love and still its cry is - 'I want thee, only thee'.


39.

When the heart is hard and parched up, come upon me with a shower of mercy.

When grace is lost from life, come with a burst of song.

When tumultuous work raises its din on all sides shutting me out from beyond, come to me, my lord of silence, with thy peace and rest.

When my beggarly heart sits crouched, shut up in a corner, break open the door, my king, and come with the ceremony of a king.

When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust, O thou holy one, thou wakeful, come with thy light and thy thunder.


40.

The rain has held back for days and days, my God, in my arid heart. The horizon is fiercely naked - not the thinnest cover of a soft cloud, not the vaguest hint of a distant cool shower.

Send thy angry storm, dark with death, if it is thy wish, and with lashes of lightning startle the sky from end to end.

But call back, my lord, call back this pervading silent heat, still and keen and cruel, burning the heart with dire despair.

Let the cloud of grace bend low from above like the tearful look of the mother on the day of the father's wrath.


41.

Where dost thou stand behind them all, my lover, hiding thyself in the shadows? They push thee and pass thee by on the dusty road, taking thee for naught. I wait here weary hours spreading my offerings for thee, while passers-by come and take my flowers, one by one, and my basket is nearly empty.

The morning time is past, and the noon. In the shade of evening my eyes are drowsy with sleep. Men going home glance at me and smile and fill me with shame. I sit like a beggar maid, drawing my skirt over my face, and when they ask me, what it is I want, I drop my eyes and answer them not.

Oh, how, indeed, could I tell them that for thee I wait, and that thou hast promised to come. How could I utter for shame that I keep for my dowry this poverty. Ah, I hug this pride in the secret of my heart.

I sit on the grass and gaze upon the sky and dream of the sudden splendour of thy coming - all the lights ablaze, golden pennons flying over thy car, and they at the roadside standing agape, when they see thee come down from thy seat to raise me from the dust, and set at thy side this ragged beggar girl a-tremble with shame and pride, like a creeper in a summer breeze.

But time glides on and still no sound of the wheels of thy chariot. Many a procession passes by with noise and shouts and glamour of glory. Is it only thou who wouldst stand in the shadow silent and behind them all? And only I who would wait and weep and wear out my heart in vain longing?


42.

Early in the day it was whispered that we should sail in a boat, only thou and I, and never a soul in the world would know of this our pilgrimage to no country and to no end.

In that shoreless ocean, at thy silently listening smile my songs would swell in melodies, free as waves, free from all bondage of words.

Is the time not come yet? Are there works still to do? Lo, the evening has come down upon the shore and in the fading light the seabirds come flying to their nests.

Who knows when the chains will be off, and the boat, like the last glimmer of sunset, vanish into the night?


43.

The day was when I did not keep myself in readiness for thee; and entering my heart unbidden even as one of the common crowd, unknown to me, my king, thou didst press the signet of eternity upon many a fleeting moment of my life.

And today when by chance I light upon them and see thy signature, I find they have lain scattered in the dust mixed with the memory of joys and sorrows of my trivial days forgotten.

Thou didst not turn in contempt from my childish play among dust, and the steps that I heard in my playroom are the same that are echoing from star to star.


44.

This is my delight, thus to wait and watch at the wayside where shadow chases light and the rain comes in the wake of the summer.

Messengers, with tidings from unknown skies, greet me and speed along the road. My heart is glad within, and the breath of the passing breeze is sweet.

From dawn till dusk I sit here before my door, and I know that of a sudden the happy moment will arrive when I shall see.

In the meanwhile I smile and I sing all alone. In the meanwhile the air is filling with the perfume of promise.


45.

Have you not heard his silent steps? He comes, comes, ever comes.

Every moment and every age, every day and every night he comes, comes, ever comes.

Many a song have I sung in many a mood of mind, but all their notes have always proclaimed, 'He comes, comes, ever comes.'

In the fragrant days of sunny April through the forest path he comes, comes, ever comes.

In the rainy gloom of July nights on the thundering chariot of clouds he comes, comes, ever comes.

In sorrow after sorrow it is his steps that press upon my heart, and it is the golden touch of his feet that makes my joy to shine.

------------

46.

I know not from what distant time thou art ever coming nearer to meet me. Thy sun and stars can never keep thee hidden from me for aye.

In many a morning and eve thy footsteps have been heard and thy messenger has come within my heart and called me in secret.

I know not only why today my life is all astir, and a feeling of tremulous joy is passing through my heart.

It is as if the time were come to wind up my work, and I feel in the air a faint smell of thy sweet presence.


47.

The night is nearly spent waiting for him in vain. I fear lest in the morning he suddenly come to my door when I have fallen asleep wearied out. Oh friends, leave the way open to him - forbid him not.

If the sounds of his steps does not wake me, do not try to rouse me, I pray. I wish not to be called from my sleep by the clamorous choir of birds, by the riot of wind at the festival of morning light. Let me sleep undisturbed even if my lord comes of a sudden to my door.

Ah, my sleep, precious sleep, which only waits for his touch to vanish. Ah, my closed eyes that would open their lids only to the light of his smile when he stands before me like a dream emerging from darkness of sleep.

Let him appear before my sight as the first of all lights and all forms. The first thrill of joy to my awakened soul let it come from his glance. And let my return to myself be immediate return to him.


48.

The morning sea of silence broke into ripples of bird songs; and the flowers were all merry by the roadside; and the wealth of gold was scattered through the rift of the clouds while we busily went on our way and paid no heed.

We sang no glad songs nor played; we went not to the village for barter; we spoke not a word nor smiled; we lingered not on the way. We quickened our pave more and more as the time sped by.

The sun rose to the mid sky and doves cooed in the shade. Withered leaves danced and whirled in the hot air of noon. The shepherd boy drowsed and dreamed in the shadow of the banyan tree, and I laid myself down by the water and stretched my tired limbs on the grass.

My companions laughed at me in scorn; they held their heads high and hurried on; they never looked back nor rested; they vanished in the distant blue haze. They crossed many meadows and hills, and passed through strange, far-away countries. All honour to you, heroic host of the interminable path! Mockery and reproach pricked me to rise, but found no response in me. I gave myself up for lost in the depth of a glad humiliation - in the shadow of a dim delight.

The repose of the sun-embroidered green gloom slowly spread over my heart. I forgot for what I had travelled, and I surrendered my mind without struggle to the maze of shadows and songs.

At last, when I woke from my slumber and opened my eyes, I saw thee standing by me, flooding my sleep with thy smile. How I had feared that the path was long and wearisome, and the struggle to reach thee was hard!


49.

You came down from your throne and stood at my cottage door.

I was singing all alone in a corner, and the melody caught your ear. You came down and stood at my cottage door.

Masters are many in your hall, and songs are sung there at all hours. But the simple carol of this novice struck at your love. One plaintive little strain mingled with the great music of the world, and with a flower for a prize you came down and stopped at my cottage door.

50.

I had gone a-begging from door to door in the village path, when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream and I wondered who was this King of all kings!

My hopes rose high and methought my evil days were at an end, and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust.

The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and thou camest down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last. Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right hand and say 'What hast thou to give to me?'

Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave it to thee.

But how great my surprise when at the day's end I emptied my bag on the floor to find a least little gram of gold among the poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all.


51.

The night darkened. Our day's works had been done. We thought that the last guest had arrived for the night and the doors in the village were all shut. Only some said the king was to come. We laughed and said 'No, it cannot be!'

It seemed there were knocks at the door and we said it was nothing but the wind. We put out the lamps and lay down to sleep. Only some said, 'It is the messenger!' We laughed and said 'No, it must be the wind!'

There came a sound in the dead of the night. We sleepily thought it was the distant thunder. The earth shook, the walls rocked, and it troubled us in our sleep. Only some said it was the sound of wheels. We said in a drowsy murmur, 'No, it must be the rumbling of clouds!'

The night was still dark when the drum sounded. The voice came 'Wake up! delay not!' We pressed our hands on our hearts and shuddered with fear. Some said, 'Lo, there is the king's flag!' We stood up on our feet and cried 'There is no time for delay!'

The king has come - but where are lights, where are wreaths? Where is the throne to seat him? Oh, shame! Oh utter shame! Where is the hall, the decorations? Someone has said, 'Vain is this cry! Greet him with empty hands, lead him into thy rooms all bare!'

Open the doors, let the conch-shells be sounded! in the depth of the night has come the king of our dark, dreary house. The thunder roars in the sky. The darkness shudders with lightning. Bring out thy tattered piece of mat and spread it in the courtyard. With the storm has come of a sudden our king of the fearful night.


52.

I thought I should ask of thee - but I dared not - the rose wreath thou hadst on thy neck. Thus I waited for the morning, when thou didst depart, to find a few fragments on the bed. And like a beggar I searched in the dawn only for a stray petal or two.

Ah me, what is it I find? What token left of thy love? It is no flower, no spices, no vase of perfumed water. It is thy mighty sword, flashing as a flame, heavy as a bolt of thunder. The young light of morning comes through the window and spread itself upon thy bed. The morning bird twitters and asks, 'Woman, what hast thou got?' No, it is no flower, nor spices, nor vase of perfumed water - it is thy dreadful sword.

I sit and muse in wonder, what gift is this of thine. I can find no place to hide it. I am ashamed to wear it, frail as I am, and it hurts me when press it to my bosom. Yet shall I bear in my heart this honour of the burden of pain, this gift of thine.

From now there shall be no fear left for me in this world, and thou shalt be victorious in all my strife. Thou hast left death for my companion and I shall crown him with my life. Thy sword is with me to cut asunder my bonds, and there shall be no fear left for me in the world.

From now I leave off all petty decorations. Lord of my heart, no more shall there be for me waiting and weeping in corners, no more coyness and sweetness of demeanour. Thou hast given me thy sword for adornment. No more doll's decorations for me!


53.

Beautiful is thy wristlet, decked with stars and cunningly wrought in myriad-coloured jewels. But more beautiful to me thy sword with its curve of lightning like the outspread wings of the divine bird of Vishnu, perfectly poised in the angry red light of the sunset.

It quivers like the one last response of life in ecstasy of pain at the final stroke of death; it shines like the pure flame of being burning up earty sense with one fierce flash.

Beautiful is thy wristlet, decked with starry gems; but thy sword, O lord of thunder, is wrought with uttermost beauty, terrible to behold or think of.


54.

I asked nothing from thee; I uttered not my name to thine ear. When thou took'st thy leave I stood silent. I was alone by the well where the shadow of the tree fell aslant, and the women had gone home with their brown earthen pitchers full to the brim. They called me and shouted, 'Come with us, the morning is wearing on to noon.' But I languidly lingered awhile lost in the midst of vague musings.

I heard not thy steps as thou camest. Thine eyes were sad when they fell on me; thy voice was tired as thou spokest low - 'Ah, I am a thirsty traveller.' I started up from my day-dreams and poured water from my jar on thy joined palms. The leaves rustled overhead; the cuckoo sang from the unseen dark, and perfume of babla flowers came from the bend of the road.

I stood speecess with shame when my name thou didst ask. Indeed, what had I done for thee to keep me in remembrance? But the memory that I could give water to thee to allay thy thirst will cling to my heart and enfold it in sweetness. The morning hour is late, the bird sings in weary notes, neem leaves rustle overhead and I sit and think and think.

55.

Languor is upon your heart and the slumber is still on your eyes.

Has not the word come to you that the flower is reigning in splendour among thorns? Wake, oh awaken! let not the time pass in vain!

At the end of the stony path, in the country of virgin solitude, my friend is sitting all alone. Deceive him not. Wake, oh awaken!

What if the sky pants and trembles with the heat of the midday sun - what if the burning sand spreads its mantle of thirst -

Is there no joy in the deep of your heart? At every footfall of yours, will not the harp of the road break out in sweet music of pain?


56.

Thus it is that thy joy in me is so full. Thus it is that thou hast come down to me. O thou lord of all heavens, where would be thy love if I were not?

Thou hast taken me as thy partner of all this wealth. In my heart is the endless play of thy delight. In my life thy will is ever taking shape.

And for this, thou who art the King of kings hast decked thyself in beauty to captivate my heart. And for this thy love loses itself in the love of thy lover, and there art thou seen in the perfect union of two.


57.

Light, my light, the world-filling light, the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!

Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the centre of my life; the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love; the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.

The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light. Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.

The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling, and it scatters gems in profusion.

Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling, and gladness without measure. The heaven's river has drowned its banks and the flood of joy is abroad.


58.

Let all the strains of joy mingle in my last song - the joy that makes the earth flow over in the riotous excess of the grass, the joy that sets the twin brothers, life and death, dancing over the wide world, the joy that sweeps in with the tempest, shaking and waking all life with laughter, the joy that sits still with its tears on the open red lotus of pain, and the joy that throws everything it has upon the dust, and knows not a word.


59.

Yes, I know, this is nothing but thy love, O beloved of my heart - this golden light that dances upon the leaves, these idle clouds sailing across the sky, this passing breeze leaving its coolness upon my forehead.

The morning light has flooded my eyes - this is thy message to my heart. Thy face is bent from above, thy eyes look down on my eyes, and my heart has touched thy feet.


60.

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is boisterous. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances.

They build their houses with sand and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.

They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. they seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.

The sea surges up with laughter and pale gleams the smile of the sea beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children, even like a mother while rocking her baby's cradle. The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea beach.

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. Tempest roams in the patess sky, ships get wrecked in the trackless water, death is abroad and children play. On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children.


61.

The sleep that flits on baby's eyes - does anybody know from where it comes? Yes, there is a rumour that it has its dwelling where, in the fairy village among shadows of the forest dimly lit with glow-worms, there hang two timid buds of enchantment. From there it comes to kiss baby's eyes.

The smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps - does anybody know where it was born? Yes, there is a rumour that a young pale beam of a crescent moon touched the edge of a vanishing autumn cloud, and there the smile was first born in the dream of a dew-washed morning - the smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps.

The sweet, soft freshness that blooms on baby's limbs - does anybody know where it was hidden so long? Yes, when the mother was a young girl it lay pervading her heart in tender and silent mystery of love - the sweet, soft freshness that has bloomed on baby's limbs.


62.

When I bring to you coloured toys, my child, I understand why there is such a play of colours on clouds, on water, and why flowers are painted in tints - when I give coloured toys to you, my child.

When I sing to make you dance I truly now why there is music in leaves, and why waves send their chorus of voices to the heart of the listening earth - when I sing to make you dance.

When I bring sweet things to your greedy hands I know why there is honey in the cup of the flowers and why fruits are secretly filled with sweet juice - when I bring sweet things to your greedy hands.

When I kiss your face to make you smile, my darling, I surely understand what pleasure streams from the sky in morning light, and what delight that is that is which the summer breeze brings to my body - when I kiss you to make you smile.


63.

Thou hast made me known to friends whom I knew not. Thou hast given me seats in homes not my own. Thou hast brought the distant near and made a brother of the stranger.

I am uneasy at heart when I have to leave my accustomed shelter; I forget that there abides the old in the new, and that there also thou abidest.

Through birth and death, in this world or in others, wherever thou leadest me it is thou, the same, the one companion of my endless life who ever linkest my heart with bonds of joy to the unfamiliar.

When one knows thee, then alien there is none, then no door is shut. Oh, grant me my prayer that I may never lose the bliss of the touch of the one in the play of many.


64.

On the slope of the desolate river among tall grasses I asked her, 'Maiden, where do you go shading your lamp with your mantle? My house is all dark and lonesome - lend me your light!' she raised her dark eyes for a moment and looked at my face through the dusk. 'I have come to the river,' she said, 'to float my lamp on the stream when the daylight wanes in the west.' I stood alone among tall grasses and watched the timid flame of her lamp uselessly drifting in the tide.

In the silence of gathering night I asked her, 'Maiden, your lights are all lit - then where do you go with your lamp? My house is all dark and lonesome - lend me your light.' She raised her dark eyes on my face and stood for a moment doubtful. 'I have come,' she said at last, 'to dedicate my lamp to the sky.' I stood and watched her light uselessly burning in the void.

In the moonless gloom of midnight I ask her, 'Maiden, what is your quest, holding the lamp near your heart? My house is all dark and lonesome- - lend me your light.' She stopped for a minute and thought and gazed at my face in the dark. 'I have brought my light,' she said, 'to join the carnival of lamps.' I stood and watched her little lamp uselessly lost among lights.


65.

What divine drink wouldst thou have, my God, from this overflowing cup of my life?

My poet, is it thy delight to see thy creation through my eyes and to stand at the portals of my ears silently to listen to thine own eternal harmony?

Thy world is weaving words in my mind and thy joy is adding music to them. Thou givest thyself to me in love and then feelest thine own entire sweetness in me.


66.

She who ever had remained in the depth of my being, in the twilight of gleams and of glimpses; she who never opened her veils in the morning light, will be my last gift to thee, my God, folded in my final song.

Words have wooed yet failed to win her; persuasion has stretched to her its eager arms in vain.

I have roamed from country to country keeping her in the core of my heart, and around her have risen and fallen the growth and decay of my life.

Over my thoughts and actions, my slumbers and dreams, she reigned yet dwelled alone and apart.

many a man knocked at my door and asked for her and turned away in despair.

There was none in the world who ever saw her face to face, and she remained in her loneliness waiting for thy recognition.


67.

Thou art the sky and thou art the nest as well.

O thou beautiful, there in the nest is thy love that encloses the soul with colours and sounds and odours.

There comes the morning with the golden basket in her right hand bearing the wreath of beauty, silently to crown the earth.

And there comes the evening over the lonely meadows deserted by herds, through trackless paths, carrying cool draughts of peace in her golden pitcher from the western ocean of rest.

But there, where spreads the infinite sky for the soul to take her flight in, reigns the stainless white radiance. There is no day nor night, nor form nor colour, and never, never a word.


68.

Thy sunbeam comes upon this earth of mine with arms outstretched and stands at my door the livelong day to carry back to thy feet clouds made of my tears and sighs and songs.

With fond delight thou wrappest about thy starry breast that mantle of misty cloud, turning it into numberless shapes and folds and colouring it with hues everchanging.

It is so light and so fleeting, tender and tearful and dark, that is why thou lovest it, O thou spotless and serene. And that is why it may cover thy awful white light with its pathetic shadows.


69.

The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.

It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow.

I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment.


70.

Is it beyond thee to be glad with the gladness of this rhythm? to be tossed and lost and broken in the whirl of this fearful joy?

All things rush on, they stop not, they look not behind, no power can hold them back, they rush on.

Keeping steps with that restless, rapid music, seasons come dancing and pass away - colours, tunes, and perfumes pour in endless cascades in the abounding joy that scatters and gives up and dies every moment.


71.

That I should make much of myself and turn it on all sides, thus casting coloured shadows on thy radiance - such is thy maya.

Thou settest a barrier in thine own being and then callest thy severed self in myriad notes. This thy self-separation has taken body in me.

The poignant song is echoed through all the sky in many-coloured tears and smiles, alarms and hopes; waves rise up and sink again, dreams break and form. In me is thy own defeat of self.

This screen that thou hast raised is painted with innumerable figures with the brush of the night and the day. Behind it thy seat is woven in wondrous mysteries of curves, casting away all barren lines of straightness.

The great pageant of thee and me has overspread the sky. With the tune of thee and me all the air is vibrant, and all ages pass with the hiding and seeking of thee and me.


72.

He it is, the innermost one, who awakens my being with his deep hidden touches.

He it is who puts his enchantment upon these eyes and joyfully plays on the chords of my heart in varied cadence of pleasure and pain.

He it is who weaves the web of this maya in evanescent hues of gold and silver, blue and green, and lets peep out through the folds his feet, at whose touch I forget myself.

Days come and ages pass, and it is ever he who moves my heart in many a name, in many a guise, in many a rapture of joy and of sorrow.


73.

Deliverance is not for me in renunciation. I feel the embrace of freedom in a thousand bonds of delight.

Thou ever pourest for me the fresh draught of thy wine of various colours and fragrance, filling this earthen vessel to the brim.

My world will light its hundred different lamps with thy flame and place them before the altar of thy temple.

No, I will never shut the doors of my senses. The delights of sight and hearing and touch will bear thy delight.

Yes, all my illusions will burn into illumination of joy, and all my desires ripen into fruits of love.


74.

The day is no more, the shadow is upon the earth. It is time that I go to the stream to fill my pitcher.

The evening air is eager with the sad music of the water. Ah, it calls me out into the dusk. In the lonely lane there is no passer-by, the wind is up, the ripples are rampant in the river.

I know not if I shall come back home. I know not whom I shall chance to meet. There at the fording in the little boat the unknown man plays upon his lute.


75.

Thy gifts to us mortals fulfil all our needs and yet run back to thee undiminished.

The river has its everyday work to do and hastens through fields and hamlets; yet its incessant stream winds towards the washing of thy feet.

The flower sweetens the air with its perfume; yet its last service is to offer itself to thee.

Thy worship does not impoverish the world.

From the words of the poet men take what meanings please them; yet their last meaning points to thee.


76.

Day after day, O lord of my life, shall I stand before thee face to face. With folded hands, O lord of all worlds, shall I stand before thee face to face.

Under thy great sky in solitude and silence, with humble heart shall I stand before thee face to face.

In this laborious world of thine, tumultuous with toil and with struggle, among hurrying crowds shall I stand before thee face to face.

And when my work shall be done in this world, O King of kings, alone and speecess shall I stand before thee face to face.


77.

I know thee as my God and stand apart - I do not know thee as my own and come closer. I know thee as my father and bow before thy feet- I do not grasp thy hand as my friend's.

I stand not where thou comest down and ownest thyself as mine, there to clasp thee to my heart and take thee as my comrade.

Thou art the Brother amongst my brothers, but I heed them not, I divide not my earnings with them, thus sharing my all with thee.

In pleasure and in pain I stand not by the side of men, and thus stand by thee. I shrink to give up my life, and thus do not plunge into the great waters of life.


78.

When the creation was new and all the stars shone in their first splendour, the gods held their assembly in the sky and sang 'Oh, the picture of perfection! the joy unalloyed!'

But one cried of a sudden - 'It seems that somewhere there is a break in the chain of light and one of the stars has been lost.'

The golden string of their harp snapped, their song stopped, and they cried in dismay - 'Yes, that lost star was the best, she was the glory of all heavens!'

From that day the search is unceasing for her, and the cry goes on from one to the other that in her the world has lost its one joy!

Only in the deepest silence of night the stars smile and whisper among themselves - 'Vain is this seeking! unbroken perfection is over all!'


79.

If it is not my portion to meet thee in this life then let me ever feel that I have missed thy sight - let me not forget for a moment, let me carry the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and in my wakeful hours.

As my days pass in the crowded market of this world and my hands grow full with the daily profits, let me ever feel that I have gained nothing - let me not forget for a moment, let me carry the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and in my wakeful hours.

When I sit by the roadside, tired and panting, when I spread my bed low in the dust, let me ever feel that the long journey is still before me - let me not forget a moment, let me carry the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and in my wakeful hours.

When my rooms have been decked out and the flutes sound and the laughter there is loud, let me ever feel that I have not invited thee to my house - let me not forget for a moment, let me carry the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and in my wakeful hours.


80.

I am like a remnant of a cloud of autumn uselessly roaming in the sky, O my sun ever-glorious! Thy touch has not yet melted my vapour, making me one with thy light, and thus I count months and years separated from thee.

If this be thy wish and if this be thy play, then take this fleeting emptiness of mine, paint it with colours, gild it with gold, float it on the wanton wind and spread it in varied wonders.

And again when it shall be thy wish to end this play at night, I shall melt and vanish away in the dark, or it may be in a smile of the white morning, in a coolness of purity transparent.


81.

On many an idle day have I grieved over lost time. But it is never lost, my lord. Thou hast taken every moment of my life in thine own hands.

Hidden in the heart of things thou art nourishing seeds into sprouts, buds into blossoms, and ripening flowers into fruitfulness.

I was tired and sleeping on my idle bed and imagined all work had ceased. In the morning I woke up and found my garden full with wonders of flowers.


82.

Time is endless in thy hands, my lord. There is none to count thy minutes.

Days and nights pass and ages bloom and fade like flowers. Thou knowest how to wait.

Thy centuries follow each other perfecting a small wild flower.

We have no time to lose, and having no time we must scramble for a chances. We are too poor to be late.

And thus it is that time goes by while I give it to every querulous man who claims it, and thine altar is empty of all offerings to the last.

At the end of the day I hasten in fear lest thy gate to be shut; but I find that yet there is time.


83.

Mother, I shall weave a chain of pearls for thy neck with my tears of sorrow.

The stars have wrought their anklets of light to deck thy feet, but mine will hang upon thy breast.

Wealth and fame come from thee and it is for thee to give or to withhold them. But this my sorrow is absolutely mine own, and when I bring it to thee as my offering thou rewardest me with thy grace.


84.

It is the pang of separation that spreads throughout the world and gives birth to shapes innumerable in the infinite sky.

It is this sorrow of separation that gazes in silence all nights from star to star and becomes lyric among rustling leaves in rainy darkness of July.

It is this overspreading pain that deepens into loves and desires, into sufferings and joy in human homes; and this it is that ever melts and flows in songs through my poet's heart.


85.

When the warriors came out first from their master's hall, where had they hid their power? Where were their armour and their arms?

They looked poor and helpless, and the arrows were showered upon them on the day they came out from their master's hall.

When the warriors marched back again to their master's hall where did they hide their power?

They had dropped the sword and dropped the bow and the arrow; peace was on their foreheads, and they had left the fruits of their life behind them on the day they marched back again to their master's hall.


86.

Death, thy servant, is at my door. He has crossed the unknown sea and brought thy call to my home.

The night is dark and my heart is fearful - yet I will take up the lamp, open my gates and bow to him my welcome. It is thy messenger who stands at my door.

I will worship him placing at his feet the treasure of my heart.

He will go back with his errand done, leaving a dark shadow on my morning; and in my desolate home only my forlorn self will remain as my last offering to thee.

87.

In desperate hope I go and search for her in all the corners of my room; I find her not.

My house is small and what once has gone from it can never be regained.

But infinite is thy mansion, my lord, and seeking her I have to come to thy door.

I stand under the golden canopy of thine evening sky and I lift my eager eyes to thy face.

I have come to the brink of eternity from which nothing can vanish - no hope, no happiness, no vision of a face seen through tears.

Oh, dip my emptied life into that ocean, plunge it into the deepest fullness. Let me for once feel that lost sweet touch in the allness of the universe.


88.

Deity of the ruined temple! The broken strings of Vina sing no more your praise. The bells in the evening proclaim not your time of worship. The air is still and silent about you.

In your desolate dwelling comes the vagrant spring breeze. It brings the tidings of flowers - the flowers that for your worship are offered no more.

Your worshipper of old wanders ever longing for favour still refused. In the eventide, when fires and shadows mingle with the gloom of dust, he wearily comes back to the ruined temple with hunger in his heart.

Many a festival day comes to you in silence, deity of the ruined temple. Many a night of worship goes away with lamp unlit.

Many new images are built by masters of cunning art and carried to the holy stream of oblivion when their time is come.

Only the deity of the ruined temple remains unworshipped in deatess neglect.

89.

No more noisy, loud words from me - such is my master's will. Henceforth I deal in whispers. The speech of my heart will be carried on in murmurings of a song.

Men hasten to the King's market. All the buyers and sellers are there. But I have my untimely leave in the middle of the day, in the thick of work.

Let then the flowers come out in my garden, though it is not their time; and let the midday bees strike up their lazy hum.

Full many an hour have I spent in the strife of the good and the evil, but now it is the pleasure of my playmate of the empty days to draw my heart on to him; and I know not why is this sudden call to what useless inconsequence!


90.

On the day when death will knock at thy door what wilt thou offer to him?

Oh, I will set before my guest the full vessel of my life - I will never let him go with empty hands.

All the sweet vintage of all my autumn days and summer nights, all the earnings and gleanings of my busy life will I place before him at the close of my days when death will knock at my door.


91.

O thou the last fulfilment of life, Death, my death, come and whisper to me!

Day after day I have kept watch for thee; for thee have I borne the joys and pangs of life.

All that I am, that I have, that I hope and all my love have ever flowed towards thee in depth of secrecy. One final glance from thine eyes and my life will be ever thine own.

The flowers have been woven and the garland is ready for the bridegroom. After the wedding the bride shall leave her home and meet her lord alone in the solitude of night.


92.

I know that the day will come when my sight of this earth shall be lost, and life will take its leave in silence, drawing the last curtain over my eyes.

Yet stars will watch at night, and morning rise as before, and hours heave like sea waves casting up pleasures and pains.

When I think of this end of my moments, the barrier of the moments breaks and I see by the light of death thy world with its careless treasures. Rare is its lowliest seat, rare is its meanest of lives.

Things that I longed for in vain and things that I got - let them pass. Let me but truly possess the things that I ever spurned and overlooked.


93.

I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers! I bow to you all and take my departure.

Here I give back the keys of my door - and I give up all claims to my house. I only ask for last kind words from you.

We were neighbours for long, but I received more than I could give. Now the day has dawned and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out. A summons has come and I am ready for my journey.


94.

At this time of my parting, wish me good luck, my friends! The sky is flushed with the dawn and my path lies beautiful.

Ask not what I have with me to take there. I start on my journey with empty hands and expectant heart.

I shall put on my wedding garland. Mine is not the red-brown dress of the traveller, and though there are dangers on the way I have no fear in mind.

The evening star will come out when my voyage is done and the plaintive notes of the twilight melodies be struck up from the King's gateway.

95.

I was not aware of the moment when I first crossed the threshold of this life.

What was the power that made me open out into this vast mystery like a bud in the forest at midnight!

When in the morning I looked upon the light I felt in a moment that I was no stranger in this world, that the inscrutable without name and form had taken me in its arms in the form of my own mother.

Even so, in death the same unknown will appear as ever known to me. And because I love this life, I know I shall love death as well.

The child cries out when from the right breast the mother takes it away, in the very next moment to find in the left one its consolation.


96.

When I go from hence let this be my parting word, that what I have seen is unsurpassable.

I have tasted of the hidden honey of this lotus that expands on the ocean of light, and thus am I blessed - let this be my parting word.

In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play and here have I caught sight of him that is formless.

My whole body and my limbs have thrilled with his touch who is beyond touch; and if the end comes here, let it come - let this be my parting word.


97.

When my play was with thee I never questioned who thou wert. I knew nor shyness nor fear, my life was boisterous.

In the early morning thou wouldst call me from my sleep like my own comrade and lead me running from glade to glade.

On those days I never cared to know the meaning of songs thou sangest to me. Only my voice took up the tunes, and my heart danced in their cadence.

Now, when the playtime is over, what is this sudden sight that is come upon me? The world with eyes bent upon thy feet stands in awe with all its silent stars.


98.

I will deck thee with trophies, garlands of my defeat. It is never in my power to escape unconquered.

I surely know my pride will go to the wall, my life will burst its bonds in exceeding pain, and my empty heart will sob out in music like a hollow reed, and the stone will melt in tears.

I surely know the hundred petals of a lotus will not remain closed for ever and the secret recess of its honey will be bared.

From the blue sky an eye shall gaze upon me and summon me in silence. Nothing will be left for me, nothing whatever, and utter death shall I receive at thy feet.


99.

When I give up the helm I know that the time has come for thee to take it. What there is to do will be instantly done. Vain is this struggle.

Then take away your hands and silently put up with your defeat, my heart, and think it your good fortune to sit perfectly still where you are placed.

These my lamps are blown out at every little puff of wind, and trying to light them I forget all else again and again.

But I shall be wise this time and wait in the dark, spreading my mat on the floor; and whenever it is thy pleasure, my lord, come silently and take thy seat here.


100.

I dive down into the depth of the ocean of forms, hoping to gain the perfect pearl of the formless.

No more sailing from harbour to harbour with this my weather-beaten boat. The days are long passed when my sport was to be tossed on waves.

And now I am eager to die into the deatess.

Into the audience hall by the fathomless abyss where swells up the music of toneless strings I shall take this harp of my life.

I shall tune it to the notes of forever, and when it has sobbed out its last utterance, lay down my silent harp at the feet of the silent.


101.

Ever in my life have I sought thee with my songs. It was they who led me from door to door, and with them have I felt about me, searching and touching my world.

It was my songs that taught me all the lessons I ever learnt; they showed me secret paths, they brought before my sight many a star on the horizon of my heart.

They guided me all the day long to the mysteries of the country of pleasure and pain, and, at last, to what palace gate have the brought me in the evening at the end of my journey?


102.

I boasted among men that I had known you. They see your pictures in all works of mine. They come and ask me, 'Who is he?' I know not how to answer them. I say, 'Indeed, I cannot tell.' They blame me and they go away in scorn. And you sit there smiling.

I put my tales of you into lasting songs. The secret gushes out from my heart. They come and ask me, 'Tell me all your meanings.' I know not how to answer them. I say, 'Ah, who knows what they mean!' They smile and go away in utter scorn. And you sit there smiling.


103.

In one salutation to thee, my God, let all my senses spread out and touch this world at thy feet.

Like a rain-cloud of July hung low with its burden of unshed showers let all my mind bend down at thy door in one salutation to thee.

Let all my songs gather together their diverse strains into a single current and flow to a sea of silence in one salutation to thee.

Like a flock of homesick cranes flying night and day back to their mountain nests let all my life take its voyage to its eternal home in one salutation to thee.