• Parabaas
    Parabaas : পরবাস : বাংলা ভাষা, সাহিত্য ও সংস্কৃতি
  • পরবাস | Rabindranath Tagore | Poem
  • Grateful : Rabindranath Tagore
    translated from Bengali to English 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. Again
    and again, dried spring-blossoms
    have fallen in heaps over that ancient kiss;
    in the noon babbling pigeons have come
    and gone laying over it weary sleep! Blushing,
    timorous, the glance of your dark eyes wrote
    on my mind’s page a first love-letter. There,
    your heart etched its impress; over the ages
    hour after hour the shifting lights, shades
    have painted it over, dusks have brushed over it
    golden amnesia, nights have covered 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 unseen the fire has 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.
                                 No more your touch.
    But this touchstone you’ve left behind
    in my mind: even today I see, ever and ever again
    this world’s deathless image---
    it brings to my lips my glass
    brimful with nectar
    of unreasoning joy. Forgive me if I have forgotten.
                                       Yet I know
    one day you beckoned me into your heart.
    And so, I forgive Fate. I forget
    all sorrow all grief she filled my days with.
    From my parched lips, she snatched water,
    laughing she beguiled
    broke faith, sunk the laden boat abruptly
    as it neared shore. All this I forgive her.
    Today you are gone. Far, far away. The dusk
    is grey with the missing red of your hair.
    This companionless life
    is ugly in its vacuity.
               All that I know, but this above all---
                                             One day you were here.

    2 November 1924, On board The Andes       From Purabi (1925)

    Published in Parabaas December 25, 2003

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