104


ENTANGLED IN the meshes woven by countless gazing eyes,

he is drawn into a whirl of noise,

the man of fame.

Alas, he has lost his rank among those

who are privileged to remain unaware of the date of their birth,

whose recognition in the world is slight,

even as the leaves are that lightly swing on the branches

and drop on the dust unnoticed.

He lives in his solitary cell among the crowd

with a chain of honour ever jangling round his limbs.

Take pity and free him

in the world of cool light, green shade and sweet reticence,

in the unbounded dust,

the primeval playground of the eternal child.

When the ferry boat from the dark

brought him to the landing on the shore of fresh knowledge,

he had nothing to cover him from the light

that touched his nakedness

as it touches the sail unfurled in the air.

In the simple freedom-of that morning

flowers without fame bloomed in the grass,

and the spring hour spread its golden wings,

in an immensity of leisure.

In that holiday's solitude

his name received its infinite worth from a sweet voice

whose far-away music makes him wistful

in the languorous afternoon of March

and whose date is lettered today

in this glistening quiver of asath leaves.

He had his poet's welcome from the river Padma

and the morning star through the intervals of bamboo leaves on her bank.

The dark masses of cloud had spread before him

a purple shadow on the distant rain-dimmed forest;

his eyes had followed the track of noisy girls to the river

along the shady village lane

and enjoyed the duet of colours under the sunset sky

in the blossoming field of mustard and linseed sown together.

He gazed and said, 'I love it',

and wished that this love of his remained behind him,

even when his big endeavours had come to nothing,

and that his salutation carrying his life-long wonder

should leave a lasting memory of his touch

on the dust of his earth.

 

 

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