The Gardener
Rabindranath Tagore
Verse
1:30 h
Level 8
Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali polymath – poet, writer, playwright, composer, philosopher, social reformer and painter. He reshaped Bengali literature and music as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of the "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse" of Gitanjali, he became in 1913 the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Gardener is a collection of poems translated by Tagore from Bengali in 1915. Tagore's poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. He is sometimes referred to as "the Bard of Bengal".

The Gardener

by
Rabindranath Tagore

Translated by the Author from the Original Bengali

1915


To W. B. Yeats
Thanks are due to the editor of Poetry,a Magazine of Verse,
for permission to reprint eight poems inthis volume.


Preface

Most of the lyrics of love and life, the translations of which fromBengali are published in this book, were written much earlier than theseries of religious poems contained in the book named Gitanjali.The translations are not always literal — the originals beingsometimes abridged and sometimes paraphrased.

Rabindranath Tagore.


1

SERVANT. Have mercy upon your servant, my queen!

QUEEN. The assembly is over and my servants are all gone. Why
do you come at this late hour?

SERVANT. When you have finished with others, that is my time.
I come to ask what remains for your last servant to do.

QUEEN. What can you expect when it is too late?

SERVANT. Make me the gardener of your flower garden.

QUEEN. What folly is this?

SERVANT. I will give up my other work.
I will throw my swords and lances down in the dust. Do not send
me to distant courts; do not bid me undertake new conquests.
But make me the gardener of your flower garden.