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Best Famous Rabindranath Tagore Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Rabindranath Tagore poems. This is a select list of the best famous Rabindranath Tagore poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Rabindranath Tagore poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Rabindranath Tagore poems.

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by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Recall

 The night was dark when she went away, and the slept.
The night is dark now, and I call for her, "Come back, my darling; the world is asleep; and no one would know, if you came for a moment while stars are gazing at stars.
" She went away when the trees were in bud and the spring was young.
Now the flowers are in high bloom and I call, "Come back, my darling.
The children gather and scatter flowers in reckless sport.
And if you come and take one little blossom no one will miss it.
" Those that used to play are playing still, so spendthrift is life.
I listen to their chatter and call, "Come back, my darling, for mother's heart is full to the brim with love, and if you come to snatch only one little kiss from her no one will grudge it.
"


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

Lovers Gifts VIII: There Is Room for You

 There is room for you.
You are alone with your few sheaves of rice.
My boat is crowded, it is heavily laden, but how can I turn you away? Your young body is slim and swaying; there is a twinkling smile in the edge of your eyes, and your robe is coloured like the rain cloud.
The travellers will land for different roads and homes.
You will sit for a while on the prow of my boat, and at the journey's end none will keep you back.
Where do you go, and to what home, to garner your sheaves? I will not question you, but when I fold my sails and moor my boat I shall sit and wonder in the evening, -Where do you go, and to what home, to garner your sheaves?


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

O Fool

 O Fool, try to carry thyself upon thy own shoulders! 
O beggar, to come beg at thy own door! 

Leave all thy burdens on his hands who can bear all, 
and never look behind in regret.
Thy desire at once puts out the light from the lamp it touches with its breath.
It is unholy---take not thy gifts through its unclean hands.
Accept only what is offered by sacred love.


More great poems below...

by Rabindranath Tagore | |

Ocean of Forms

 I dive down into the depth of the ocean of forms, 
hoping to gain the perfect pearl of the formless.
No more sailing from harbor to harbor with this my weather-beaten boat.
The days are long passed when my sport was to be tossed on waves.
And now I am eager to die into the deathless.
Into the audience hall by the fathomless abyss where swells up the music of toneless strings I shall take this harp of my life.
I shall tune it to the notes of forever, and when it has sobbed out its last utterance, lay down my silent harp at the feet of the silent.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

Innermost One

 He it is, the innermost one, 
who awakens my being with his deep hidden touches.
He it is who puts his enchantment upon these eyes and joyfully plays on the chords of my heart in varied cadence of pleasure and pain.
He it is who weaves the web of this maya in evanescent hues of gold and silver, blue and green, and lets peep out through the folds his feet, at whose touch I forget myself.
Days come and ages pass, and it is ever he who moves my heart in many a name, in many a guise, in many a rapture of joy and of sorrow.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

Journey Home

 The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.
I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.
It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself, and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.
The traveler has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.
My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said `Here art thou!' The question and the cry `Oh, where?' melt into tears of a thousand streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance `I am!'


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Journey

 Anghiari is medieval, a sleeve sloping down
A steep hill, suddenly sweeping out
To the edge of a cliff, and dwindling.
But far up the mountain, behind the town, We too were swept out, out by the wind, Alone with the Tuscan grass.
Wind had been blowing across the hills For days, and everything now was graying gold With dust, everything we saw, even Some small children scampering along a road, Twittering Italian to a small caged bird.
We sat beside them to rest in some brushwood, And I leaned down to rinse the dust from my face.
I found the spider web there, whose hinges Reeled heavily and crazily with the dust, Whole mounds and cemeteries of it, sagging And scattering shadows among shells and wings.
And then she stepped into the center of air Slender and fastidious, the golden hair Of daylight along her shoulders, she poised there, While ruins crumbled on every side of her.
Free of the dust, as though a moment before She had stepped inside the earth, to bathe herself.
I gazed, close to her, till at last she stepped Away in her own good time.
Many men Have searched all over Tuscany and never found What I found there, the heart of the light Itself shelled and leaved, balancing On filaments themselves falling.
The secret Of this journey is to let the wind Blow its dust all over your body, To let it go on blowing, to step lightly, lightly All the way through your ruins, and not to lose Any sleep over the dead, who surely Will bury their own, don't worry.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

Vocation

 When the gong sounds ten in the morning and I walk to school by our
lane.
Every day I meet the hawker crying, "Bangles, crystal bangles!" There is nothing to hurry him on, there is no road he must take, no place he must go to, no time when he must come home.
I wish I were a hawker, spending my day in the road, crying, "Bangles, crystal bangles!" When at four in the afternoon I come back from the school, I can see through the gate of that house the gardener digging the ground.
He does what he likes with his spade, he soils his clothes with dust, nobody takes him to task if he gets baked in the sun or gets wet.
I wish I were a gardener digging away at the garden with nobody to stop me from digging.
Just as it gets dark in the evening and my mother sends me to bed, I can see through my open window the watchman walking up and down.
The lane is dark and lonely, and the street-lamp stands like a giant with one red eye in its head.
The watchman swings his lantern and walks with his shadow at his side, and never once goes to bed in his life.
I wish I were a watchman walking the streets all night, chasing the shadows with my lantern.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

When and Why

 When I bring you coloured toys, my child, I understand why there
is such a play of colours on clouds, on water, and why flowers are
painted in tints-when I give coloured toys to you, my child.
When I sing to make you dance, I truly know why there is music in leaves, and why waves send their chorus of voices to the heart of the listening earth-when I sing to make you dance.
When I bring sweet things to your greedy hands, I know why there is honey in the cup of the flower, and why fruits are secretly filled with sweet juice-when I bring sweet things to your greedy hands.
When I kiss your face to make you smile, my darling, I surely understand what pleasure streams from the sky in morning light, and what delight the summer breeze brings to my body-when I kiss you to make you smile.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

When Day Is Done

 If the day is done, 
if birds sing no more, 
if the wind has flagged tired, 
then draw the veil of darkness thick upon me, 
even as thou hast wrapt the earth with the coverlet of sleep 
and tenderly closed the petals of the drooping lotus at dusk.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Little Big Man

 I am small because I am a little child.
I shall be big when I am as old as my father is.
My teacher will come and say, "It is late, bring your slate and your books.
" I shall tell him, " Do you not know I am as big as father? And I must not have lessons any more.
" My master will wonder and say, "He can leave his books if he likes, for he is grown up.
" I shall dress myself and walk to the fair where the crowd is thick.
My uncle will come rushing up to me and say, "You will get lost, my boy; let me carry you.
" I shall answer, "Can't you see, uncle, I am as big as father? I must go to the fair alone.
" Uncle will say, "Yes, he can go wherever he likes, for he is grown up.
" Mother will come from her bath when I am giving money to my nurse, for I shall know how to open the box with my key.
Mother will say, "What are you about, naughty child?" I shall tell her, "Mother, don't you know, I am as big as father, and I must give silver to my nurse.
" Mother will say to herself, "He can give money to whom he likes, for he is grown up.
" In the holiday time in October father will come home and, thinking that I am still a baby, will bring for me from the town little shoes and small silken frocks.
I shall say, "Father, give them to my data, for I am as big as you are.
" Father will think and say, "He can buy his own clothes if he likes, for he is grown up.
"


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Lotus

 On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying, 
and I knew it not.
My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.
Only now and again a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.
That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion.
I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Rainy Day

 Sullen clouds are gathering fast over the black fringe of the
forest.
O child, do not go out! The palm trees in a row by the lake are smiting their heads against the dismal sky; the crows with their dragged wings are silent on the tamarind branches, and the eastern bank of the river is haunted by a deepening gloom.
Our cow is lowing loud, ties at the fence.
O child, wait here till I bring her into the stall.
Men have crowded into the flooded field to catch the fishes as they escape from the overflowing ponds; the rain-water is running in rills through the narrow lanes like a laughing boy who has run away from his mother to tease her.
Listen, someone is shouting for the boatman at the ford.
O child, the daylight is dim, and the crossing at the ferry is closed.
The sky seems to ride fast upon the madly rushing rain; the water in the river is loud and impatient; women have hastened home early from the Ganges with their filled pitchers.
The evening lamps must be made ready.
O child, do not go out! The road to the market is desolate, the lane to the river is slippery.
The wind is roaring and struggling among the bamboo branches like a wild beast tangled in a net.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Sailor

 The boat of the boatman Madhu is moored at the wharf of Rajgunj.
It is uselessly laden with jute, and has been lying there idle for ever so long.
If he would only lend me his boat, I should man her with a hundred oars, and hoist sails, five or six or seven.
I should never steer her to stupid markets.
I should sail the seven seas and the thirteen rivers of fairyland.
But, mother, you won't weep for me in a corner.
I am not going into the forest like Ramachandra to come back only after fourteen years.
I shall become the prince of the story, and fill my boat with whatever I like.
I shall take my friend Ashu with me.
We shall sail merrily across the ever seas and the thirteen rivers of fairyland.
We shall set sail in the early morning light.
When at noontide you are bathing at the pond, we shall be in the land of a strange king.
We shall pass the ford of Tirpurni, and leave behind us the desert of Tepantar.
When we come back it will be getting dark, and I shall tell you of all that we have seen.
I shall cross the seven seas and the thirteen rivers of fairyland.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Unheeded Pageant

 Ah, who was it coloured that little frock, my child, and covered
your sweet limbs with that little red tunic?
You have come out in the morning to play in the courtyard,
tottering and tumbling as you run.
But who was it coloured that little frock, my child? What is it makes you laugh, my little life-bud? Mother smiles at you standing on the threshold.
She claps her hands and her bracelets jingle, and you dance with your bamboo stick in your hand like a tiny little shepherd.
But what is it makes you laugh, my little life-bud? O beggar, what do you bed for, clinging to your mother's neck with both your hands? O greedy heart, shall I pluck the world like a fruit from the sky to place it on your little rosy palm? O beggar, what are you begging for? The wind carries away in glee the tinkling of your anklet bells.
The sun smiles and watches your toilet.
The sky watches over you when you sleep in your mother's arms, and the morning comes tiptoe to your bed and kisses your eyes.
The wind carried away in glee the tinkling of your anklet bells.
The fairy mistress of dreams is coming towards you, flying through the twilight sky.
The world-mother keeps her seat by you in your mother's heart.
He who plays his music to the stars is standing at your window with his flute.
And the fairy mistress of dreams is coming towards you, flying through the twilight sky.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Wicked Postman

 Why do you sit there on the floor so quiet and silent, tell me,
mother dear?
The rain is coming in through the open window, making you all
wet, and you don't mind it.
Do you hear the gong striking four? It is time for my brother to come home from school.
What has happened to you that you look so strange? Haven't you got a letter from father today? I saw the postman bringing letters in his bag for almost everybody in the town.
Only father's letters he keeps to read himself.
I am sure the postman is a wicked man.
But don't be unhappy about that, mother dear.
Tomorrow is market day in the next village.
You ask your maid to buy some pens and papers.
I myself will write all father's letters; you will not find a single mistake.
I shall write from A right up to K.
But, mother, why do you smile? You don't believe that I can write as nicely as father does! But I shall rule my paper carefully, and write all the letters beautifully big.
When I finish my writing do you think I shall be so foolish as father and drop it into the horrid postman's bag? I shall bring it to you myself without waiting, and letter by letter help you to read my writing.
I know the postman does not like to give you the really nice letters.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Gardener XXII: When She Passed by Me

 When she passed by me with quick
steps, the end of her skirt touched
me.
From the unknown island of a heart came a sudden warm breath of spring.
A flutter of a flitting touch brushed me and vanished in a moment, like a torn flower petal blown in the breeze.
It fell upon my heart like a sigh of her body and whisper of her heart.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Gardener XXIV: Do Not Keep to Yourself

 Do not keep to yourself the secret of
your heart, my friend!
Say it to me, only to me, in secret.
You who smile so gently, softly whisper, my heart will hear it, not my ears.
The night is deep, the house is silent, the birds' nests are shrouded with sleep.
Speak to me through hesitating tears, through faltering smiles, through sweet shame and pain, the secret of your heart!


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Gardener XXVI: What Comes From Your Willing Hands

 "What comes from your willing 
hands I take.
I beg for nothing more.
" "Yes, yes, I know you, modest mendicant, you ask for all that one has.
" "If there be a stray flower for me I will wear it in my heart.
" "But if there be thorns?" "I will endure them.
" "Yes, yes, I know you, modest mendicant, you ask for all that one has.
" "If but once you should raise your loving eyes to my face it would make my life sweet beyond death.
" "But if there be only cruel glances?" "I will keep them piercing my heart.
" "Yes, yes, I know you, modest mendicant, you ask for all that one has.
"


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Gardener XXVII: Trust Love

 "Trust love even if it brings sorrow.
Do not close up your heart.
" "Ah no, my friend, your words are dark, I cannot understand them.
" "Pleasure is frail like a dewdrop, while it laughs it dies.
But sorrow is strong and abiding.
Let sorrowful love wake in your eyes.
" "Ah no, my friend, your words are dark, I cannot understand them.
" "The lotus blooms in the sight of the sun, and loses all that it has.
It would not remain in bud in the eternal winter mist.
" "Ah no, my friend, your words are dark, I cannot understand them.
"


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Gardener XXVIII: Your Questioning Eyes

 Your questioning eyes are sad.
They seek to know my meaning as the moon would fathom the sea.
I have bared my life before your eyes from end to end, with nothing hidden or held back.
That is why you know me not.
If it were only a gem, I could break it into a hundred pieces and string them into a chain to put on your neck.
If it were only a flower, round and small and sweet, I could pluck it from its stem to set it in your hair.
But it is a heart, my beloved.
Where are its shores and its bottom? You know not the limits of this kingdom, still you are its queen.
If it were only a moment of pleasure it would flower in an easy smile, and you could see it and read it in a moment.
If it were merely a pain it would melt in limpid tears, reflecting its inmost secret without a word.
But it is love, my beloved.
Its pleasure and pain are boundless, and endless its wants and wealth.
It is as near to you as your life, but you can never wholly know it.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Gardener XXXIV: Do Not Go My Love

 Do not go, my love, without asking
my leave.
I have watched all night, and now my eyes are heavy with sleep.
I fear lest I lose you when I'm sleeping.
Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.
I start up and stretch my hands to touch you.
I ask myself, "Is it a dream?" Could I but entangle your feet with my heart and hold them fast to my breast! Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Gardener XXXVIII: My Love Once upon a Time

 My love, once upon a time your poet
launched a great epic in his mind.
Alas, I was not careful, and it struck your ringing anklets and came to grief.
It broke up into scraps of songs and lay scattered at your feet.
All my cargo of the stories of old wars was tossed by the laughing waves and soaked in tears and sank.
You must make this loss good to me, my love.
If my claims to immortal fame after death are scattered, make me immortal while I live.
And I will not mourn for my loss nor blame you.


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Journey

 The morning sea of silence broke into ripples of bird songs; 
and the flowers were all merry by the roadside; 
and the wealth of gold was scattered through the rift of the clouds 
while we busily went on our way and paid no heed.
We sang no glad songs nor played; we went not to the village for barter; we spoke not a word nor smiled; we lingered not on the way.
We quickened our pace more and more as the time sped by.
The sun rose to the mid sky and doves cooed in the shade.
Withered leaves danced and whirled in the hot air of noon.
The shepherd boy drowsed and dreamed in the shadow of the banyan tree, and I laid myself down by the water and stretched my tired limbs on the grass.
My companions laughed at me in scorn; they held their heads high and hurried on; they never looked back nor rested; they vanished in the distant blue haze.
They crossed many meadows and hills, and passed through strange, far-away countries.
All honor to you, heroic host of the interminable path! Mockery and reproach pricked me to rise, but found no response in me.
I gave myself up for lost in the depth of a glad humiliation ---in the shadow of a dim delight.
The repose of the sun-embroidered green gloom slowly spread over my heart.
I forgot for what I had traveled, and I surrendered my mind without struggle to the maze of shadows and songs.
At last, when I woke from my slumber and opened my eyes, I saw thee standing by me, flooding my sleep with thy smile.
How I had feared that the path was long and wearisome, and the struggle to reach thee was hard!


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

The Judge

 Say of him what you please, but I know my child's failings.
I do not love him because he is good, but because he is my little child.
How should you know how dear he can be when you try to weigh his merits against his faults? When I must punish him he becomes all the more a part of my being.
When I cause his tears to come my heart weeps with him.
I alone have a right to blame and punish, for he only may chastise who loves.