THE CHILD - Rabindranath Tagore Poems

 
 

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THE CHILD

The first flush of dawn glistens on the dew-dripping leaves of the forest.
The man who reads the sky cries:
    "Friends, we have come!"
They stop and look around.
    On both sides of the road the corn is ripe to the horizon,
    -- the glad golden answer of the earth to the morning light.
The current of daily life moves slowly
    between the village near the hill and the one by the river bank.
The potter's wheel goes round, the woodcutter brings fuel to the market,
    the cow-herd takes his cattle to the pasture,
    and the woman with the pitcher on her head walks to the well.
But where is the King's castle, the mine of gold,
    the secret book of magic,
    the sage who knows love's utter wisdom?
"The stars cannot be wrong," assures the reader of the sky.
"Their signal points to that spot."
And reverently he walks to a wayside spring
from which wells up a stream of water, a liquid light, like the morning melting into a chorus of tears and laughter
Near it in a palm grove surrounded by a strange hush stands a leaf-thatched hut
at whose portal sits the poet of the unknown shore, and sings:
       "Mother, open the gate!"
A ray of morning sun strikes aslant at the door.
The assembled crowd feel in their blood the primaeval chant of creation:
       "Mother, open the gate!"
The gate opens.
The mother is seated on a straw bed with the babe on her lap,
    Like the dawn with the morning star.
The sun's ray that was waiting at the door outside falls on the head of the child.
The poet strikes his lute and sings out:
    "Victory to Man, the new-born, the ever-living!"
They kneel down, -- the king and the beggar, the saint and the sinner,
    the wise and the fool, -- and cry:
    "Victory to Man, the new-born, the ever-living!"
The old man from the East murmurs to himself:
        "I have seen!"