My days pass one by one
In silence I think sitting alone –
After the last reckoning of my losses and gains
How much of what I got from life remains?
What have I lost through neglect
Did I get what was my due
Have I paid what I owed
Have I enough for my remaining way?
Some came near, some went far
In which of my songs they have left their touch?
Through absence of mind
A few of them I may not have recognized
Now their parting footsteps
Fruitlessly echo in my mind
I couldn’t know who left saying nothing
Forgiving me in silence
When I shall be no longer here
Will they still feel hurt
Remembering the wrongs I may have done?
In the design life weaves
Who knows how many threads have snapped
But to repair them now I have no time
If I have hurt those who still love me
Let my death heal their wounds
At the fag end of my life
This with all my heart I wish.
Translation of poem 16 from the collection Arogya (Convalescence) by Rabindranath Tagore. Written at Udayan, Santiniketan, in the afternoon of 13th February, 1941. The original of this very moving poem may be read at http://www.rabindra-rachanabali.nltr.org/node/13678