The failures and frustrations of my past
My unquenched thirst
My constant companions
Like ghosts risen from the dead
You always shadow me from behind;
Your ceaseless call casts a spell
Like some soft music
Like bees humming in the woods
Devoid of color and sound.
On my path ahead
You spread a lengthening shadow
Of the sunset hills -
An endless twilight, grey and pale.
But my inveterate friends
Please break those bonds of dreams
Don’t retain the treasures of my pains
My futile desires full of color -
Leave them to death
To whom they rightfully belong.
In this cloudless autumn sky
Spreading beyond the horizon
Echoes the flute of the timeless traveler
Let me be his companion
Freed from all my burdens and bonds.
Translation of poem 5 - (Paschater nityasahachar, akritartha he atit,/atripta trishnar jato chhayamurti pretbhumi hote/niyechho amar sanga) - from the collection Prantik by Rabindranath Tagore. Written on 4th October, 1937, four years before his death, it is one of his most intense poems. Here metaphors crowd upon metaphors making a literal translation well nigh impossible. The original poem in Bengali script may be viewed at