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.