In a crowded courtyard of fame full of clamour
You were once offered a seat among the famous
Leave that seat now, O poet,
Offer your last tribute to the crowd
To please it like a deity with your flattering words.
All day long
The noises rising from thousand sources
Are now gradually fading
The time that yielded you melodious rewards
Has now anchored its boat
At evening’s lone disembarkation point.
The vast expanse of the sky
No longer echoes with songs of birds
It is now bathing in a golden glow
Cast by the colourful scarf
Of a heavenly dancing maid
The artist sun with his beautiful gifts
Has filled this empty evening sky
He too touched my body and soul
And filled them with his artistic gifts
With each stroke of his brush
He gave me glimpses of the beautiful and sublime.
All my stray thoughts that aimlessly drift like watery weeds
Will now find their form like neglected bunches of flowers
Deposited by the ebbing tide
At the farthest end of the river bank–
None will ask their name
Their ownership none will proudly claim
None will feel jealous
They will remain fameless and nameless
Like some tokens of forgotten memories.
Translation of poem 11 from the collection Prantik (Borderland) by Rabindranath Tagore. It was written at Santiniketan on 18th December, 1937 when the poet was 76.