Translation of poem by Rabindranath Tagore

— by Anjana Basu

(Reading Time: 2 min Approx)

 I was returning from begging along the village roads

You were driving by in your chariot of gold

Like some splendid dream at least so to me it seemed

What varied beauty your attire amazing

I thought in my mind this some great king

Tonight, passed in pleasant dreams, and I thought then

Surely, I wouldn’t have to go from door to door again

Thinking as outdoors I strode a chance meeting on the road

The moving chariot will scatter grain upon the land

Fist by fist I’ll gather it up in either hand.

Say the chariot draw near and then stop suddenly

You stepped down laughing looking at me

Seeing you so satisfied all sorrow left my side

Then struck by a whim you, all unplanned

Said, “alms for me” stretched out your hand

But what is this oh king of kings. “Something for me”, you said

For a moment I stood with lowered head

Is there anything you lack to beg from a beggar’s pack?

It was amazement that caused my slow reply

Then I gave from my bag a small morsel set by

Back home I turned out my bowl and there oho!

A morsel of gold amongst the chaff did glow

The King beggar’s alms was gold in my palms

Then I wept aloud, shedding tears at such plenty

by hadn’t I given you all leaving my bag empty.

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