When in the theatre hall
One by one the lights went out
And the last spectator left
At the command of silence
My heart became calm like a dreamless sleep.
Since the day first the curtain was raised
I have dressed in various costumes
And have played many parts
They have become meaningless at last.
Before innumerable audience
I made up my face in myriad colours
Now they have been totally effaced
Now I am amazed at the fullness I have reached
As at the end of the day after the sunset
In those empty hours
The earth loses all its colours and aspects
And the boundless sky is amazed
Seeing itself fully in the starlit night.
Translation of poem 8 from the collection Prantik (The Borderland) by Rabindranath Tagore. Written at Santiniketan on 9th October, 1937, when the poet was 76 years of age.