Tagore, Rabindranath - The Gardener - Ah me, why did they build my house by the road
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Ah me, why did they build my house by the road to the market
They moor their laden boats near my trees.
They come and go and wander at their will.
I sit and watch them; my time wears on.
Turn them away I cannot. And thus my days pass by.
Night and day their steps sound by my door.
Vainly I cry, "I do not know you."
Some of them are known to my fingers, some to my nostrils, the
blood in my veins seems to know them, and some are known to my
Turn them away I cannot. I call them and say, "Come to my house
whoever chooses. Yes, come."
In the morning the bell rings in the temple.
They come with their baskets in their hands.
Their feet are rosy red. The early light of dawn is on their
Turn them away I cannot. I call them and I say, "Come to my
garden to gather flowers. Come hither."
In the mid-day the gong sounds at the palace gate.
I know not why they leave their work and linger near my hedge.
The flowers in their hair are pale and faded; the notes are
languid in their flutes.
Turn them away I cannot. I call them and say, "The shade is cool
under my trees. Come, friends."
At night the crickets chirp in the woods.
Who is it that comes slowly to my door and gently knocks?
I vaguely see the face, not a word is spoken, the stillness of
the sky is all around.
Turn away my silent guest I cannot. I look at the face through
the dark, and hours of dreams pass by.