• Parabaas
    Parabaas : পরবাস : বাংলা ভাষা, সাহিত্য ও সংস্কৃতি
  • পরবাস | Translations | Poem
  • Grateful: Rabindranath Tagore [Parabaas Translation] : Rabindranath Tagore
    translated from Bengali to English by Nandini Gupta


    Rabindranath Tagore

    Translated from Bengali by Nandini Gupta

    “I shall not forget”, I said, when you turned
    your misty eyes silently to me. Forgive me
    if I have forgotten. It has been long. Many spring-blossoms
    have dried and fallen in heaps over that ancient kiss;
    how often the mid-day chirping
    of pigeons have come and gone spreading over it
    a blanket of weary sleep! Blushing, timorous, the glance
    of your coal-black eyes wrote on my mind’s page
    that first love-letter. There your heart etched
    its signature; down the ages hour after hour
    the shifting light and shade has painted it over,
    so many dusks have brushed over it golden
    amnesia, so many nights have enveloped it
    with a faint filigree of their own dream-images.
    Every minute, every moment sketches its own memoirs
    on the palette of my mind, broken crude images like the doodles
    of an unwitting child they engulf each other
    weaving a web of forgetfulness. If in this falgun
    I have forgotten words belonging to that distant
    day, if the fire has (silently?) burnt out from the pain,
    forgive me then.

    Yet I know because one day you came to me, my life
    is full with the rich harvest of my songs,
    even today. The light in your eyes one day
    sounded the deepest words, brought forth the music
    from within the sun’s rays. Your touch is gone.
    But this touchstone you’ve left behind in my mind
    so that even today I see, ever and ever again
    this world’s deathless image---it brings to my lips
    my glass brimful with the nectar of unreasoning
    joy. Forgive me if I have forgotten. Yet I know
    one day you beckoned me into your heart. Therefore,
    I forgive Fate. I forget all sorrow all grief she has filled
    my days with. From my parched lips, she has snatched water,
    mirthfully deceived, broken faith, abruptly sunk the laden boat
    as it neared shore. All this I forgive her.
    Today you are gone. Far, far away. The dusk
    is grey with the missing sindoor in your hair.
    This companionless life is ugly
    in its vacuity. All that I know, but this above all---
    One day you were here.

    The Andes

    2 November, 1924

    Published in Parabaas May 25, 2003

    The original poem [kR^itaGYa*] by Rabindranath Tagore appeared in the collection of poems pUrabI*.
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