Translation of original "Atit" in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore (1903)
Source: Sanchayita [Collected Poems]. Reprint. Calcutta: Tuli Kalam, 2002, pp. 421-22.
Speak up, you ever present past.
Why keep staring through the never ending nights?
The eons gather their lores under your seas.
Endless streams of life flow into your waters
And remain silent and still.
Whisper into my heart where you take these somber silences.
You seem quiet and stealthy but never senseless.
Why then don’t you speak?
I can feel your advent deep inside my consciousness.
Where do you store so much treasure of so many centuries?
You go on working in secret silence
Amidst the clamors of the noisy day.
You miss no stories because you collect them all.
You write about our ancestors in every page of life
With your unseen script crushed in their marrow.
You remember the lives of the forgotten and the obscure.
You are the mute carrier of the burden of their lost history.
Make them talk, and you please speak, my silent sage!