I cannot find a bridge
Between your birthday and my own days
Looking back from the verge of the approaching night
‘May you be happy’ this I wish.
Like the setting sun at the end of the day
Touches the earth’s forehead with its dying rays
Before leaving it pauses for a moment and says,
‘May you be happy’ this I bless.
The last hours of my life
Are like cattle grazing on the meadows
They are now tired under the twilight shadows
Only waiting to meet the evening stars.
At the eventide
If for a moment you stand facing the western sky
You will hear the last note of this cowherd’s flute
In that note you will hear the song
Coming from beyond the distant seas
It brings the tiding the fruit is ripe
And breaking all bonds
It is ready to fall from the branches of the tree.
From the passing night
You will also hear in that note
An ovation to the triumph of life’s journey
And a welcome to the morning light.
Translation of the poem Janmadine from the collection Bithika by Rabindranath Tagore. It was written at Santiniketan on 24th October, 1935 when the poet was 74.