Stray Birds

1

STRAY birds of summer come to my window
to sing and fly away.
And yellow leaves of autumn,
which have no songs,
flutter and fall there with a sigh.

2

O TROUPE of little vagrants of the world,
leave your footprints in my words. 

3

THE world puts off its mask of vastness to its lover.
It becomes small as one song,
as one kiss of the eternal.

4

IT is the tears of the earth
that keep her smiles in bloom.

5

THE mighty desert is burning
for the love of a blade of grass
who shakes her head and laughs
and flies
away.

6

IF you shed tears when you miss the sun,
you also miss the stars.

7

THE sands in your way beg for your song
and your movement,
dancing water.
Will you carry the burden of their lameness?

8

HER wistful face haunts my dreams
like the rain at night. 

9

ONCE we dreamt that we were strangers.
We wake up to find that we were dear to each other. 

10

SORROW is hushed into peace in my heart
like the evening among the silent trees. SOME unseen fingers, like idle breeze,
are playing upon my heart the music of the ripples.

12

"WHAT language is thine, O sea?"
  "The language of eternal question."
"What language is thy answer, O sky?
  "The language of eternal silence."

13

LISTEN,
my heart,
to the whispers of the world
with which it makes love to you.

14

THE mystery of creation
is like the darkness of night--
it is great.

Delusions of knowledge are like
the fog of the morning.

15

DO not seat your love upon a precipice because it is high. 

16

I SIT at my window this morning
where the world like a passer-by stops for a moment,
nods to me and goes. 

17

THESE little thoughts are the rustle of leaves;
they have their whisper of
joy in my mind. 

18

WHAT you are you do not see,
what you see is your shadow.

19

MY wishes are fools, they shout across thy songs, my Master.
Let me but listen. 

20

I CANNOT choose the best.
The best chooses me.

21

THEY throw their shadows before them
who carry their lantern on their back.

22

THAT I exist
is a perpetual surprise
which is life.

23

"WE, the rustling leaves,
have a voice that answers the storms,
but who are you so silent?"
"I am a mere flower."

24

REST belongs to the work
as the eyelids to the eyes.

25

MAN is a born child,
his power is the power of growth.

26

GOD expects answers for the flowers he sends us,
not for the sun
and the earth.

27

THE light that plays, like a naked child,
among the green leaves happily knows not
that man can lie.

28

O BEAUTY,
find thyself in love,
not in the flattery of thy mirror. 

29

MY heart beats her waves at the shore of the world
and writes upon it her signature in tears with the words,
"I love thee."

30

"MOON,
for what do you wait?"
"To salute the sun for whom I must make way."

31

THE trees come up to my window
like the yearning voice of the dumb earth. 

32

HIS own mornings are new surprises to God. 

33

LIFE finds its wealth by the claims of the world,
and its worth by the claims of love. 

34

THE dry river-bed finds no thanks for its past. 

35

THE bird wishes it were a cloud.
The cloud wishes it were a bird.

36

THE waterfall sings,
"I find my song,
when I find my freedom." 

37

I CANNOT tell why this heart languishes in silence.
It is for small needs it never asks,
or knows or remembers. 

38

WOMAN,
when you move about in your household service
your limbs sing like a hill stream among its pebbles.

39

THE sun goes to cross the Western sea,
leaving its last salutation to the East.

40

DO not blame your food because you have no appetite.

41

THE trees,
like the longings of the earth,
stand a-tiptoe to peep at the heaven.

42

YOU smiled and talked to me of nothing
and I felt that for this I had been waiting long.

43

THE fish in the water is silent,
the animal on the earth is noisy,
the bird in the air is singing,
But Man has in him
the silence of the sea,
the noise of the earth
and the music of the air. 

44

THE world rushes on
over the strings of the lingering heart
making the music of sadness. 

45

HE has made his weapons his gods.
When his weapons win he is defeated himself.

46

GOD finds himself by creating.

47

SHADOW,
with her veil drawn,
follows Light in secret meekness,
with her silent steps of
love.

48

THE stars
are not afraid to appear like fireflies. 

49

I THANK thee that I am none of the wheels of power
but I am one with the living creatures
that are crushed by it. 

50

THE mind,
sharp but not broad,
sticks at every point
but does not move.

51

YOUR idol is shattered in the dust
to prove that God's dust is greater than
your idol. 

52

MAN does not reveal himself in his history,
he struggles up through it.

53

WHILE the glass lamp rebukes the earthen for calling it cousin,
the moon rises, and the glass lamp,
with a bland smile, calls her,
"My dear, dear sister."

54

LIKE the meeting of the seagulls
and the waves we meet and come near.
The seagulls fly off,
the waves roll away and we depart.

55

MY day is done,
and I am like a boat drawn on the beach,
listening to the dance-music of t
he tide in the evening. 

56

LIFE is given to us,
we earn it by giving it. 

57

WE come nearest to the great
when we are great in humility. 

58

THE sparrow is sorry for the peacock
at the burden of its tail. 

59

NEVER be afraid of the moments--
thus sings the voice of the everlasting. 

60

THE hurricane seeks the shortest road
by the no-road,
and suddenly ends its search in the Nowhere.

61

TAKE my wine in my own cup, friend.
It loses its wreath of foam
when poured into that of others. 

62

THE Perfect decks itself in beauty
for the love of the Imperfect.

63

GOD says to man,
"I heal you therefore I hurt,
love you therefore punish." 

64

THANK the flame for its light,
but do not forget the lampholder
standing in the shade with constancy of patience.

65

TINY grass,
your steps are small,
but you possess the earth under your tread. 

66

THE infant flower opens its bud and cries,
"Dear World, please do not fade."

67

GOD grows weary of great kingdoms,
but never of little flowers. 

68

WRONG cannot afford defeat
but Right can.

69

"I GIVE my whole water in joy,
" sings the waterfall,
"though little of it is enough for the thirsty." 

70

WHERE is the fountain
that throws up these flowers
in a ceaseless outbreak of ecstasy?

71

THE woodcutter's axe begged for its handle from the tree.
The tree gave it. 

72

IN my solitude of heart
I feel the sigh of this widowed evening
veiled with mist and rain. 

73

CHASTITY
is a wealth that comes from
abundance of love. 

74

THE mist,
like love,
plays upon the heart of the hills
and brings out surprises of beauty. 

75

WE read the world wrong
and say that it deceives us. 

76

THE poet wind is out over the sea
and the forest to seek his own voice. 

77

EVERY child
comes with the message
that God is not yet discouraged
of man. 

78

THE grass seeks her crowd in the earth.
The tree seeks his solitude of the sky. 

79

MAN barricades against himself. 

80

YOUR voice, my friend,
wanders in my heart,
like the muffled sound of the sea
among these listening pines.

81

WHAT is this unseen flame of darkness
whose sparks are the stars?

82

LET life be beautiful like summer flowers
and death like autumn leaves.

83

HE who wants to do good knocks at the gate;
he who loves
finds the gate open.

84

IN death the many becomes one;
in life the one becomes many.
Religion will be one
when God is dead. 

85

THE artist is the lover of Nature,
therefore he is her slave
and her master.

86

"HOW far are you from me, O Fruit?"
"I am hidden in your heart, O Flower." 

87

THIS longing is for the one who is felt in the dark,
but not seen in the day. 

88

"YOU are the big drop of dew under the lotus leaf,
I am the smaller one on its upper side,
" said the dewdrop to the lake.

89

THE scabbard is content to be dull
when it protects the keenness of the sword. 

90

IN darkness
the One appears as uniform;
in the light
the One appears as manifold.

91

THE great earth makes herself hospitable
with the help of the grass. 

92

THE birth and death of the leaves
are the rapid whirls of the eddy
whose wider circles
move slowly among stars. 

93

POWER said to the world, "You are mine.
The world kept it prisoner on her throne.
Love said to the world, "I am thine."
The world gave it the freedom of her house. 

94

THE mist is like the earth's desire.
It hides the sun for whom she cries. 

95

BE still,
my heart,
these great trees are prayers.

96

THE noise of the moment
scoffs at the music of the Eternal.

97

I THINK of other ages
that floated upon the stream of life
and love and death and are forgotten,
and I feel the freedom of passing away. 

98

THE sadness of my soul is her bride's veil.
It waits to be lifted in the night.

99

DEATH'S stamp gives value to the coin of life;
making it possible to buy with life what is truly precious.

~ A poem by Rabindranath Tagore

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