Rabindranath Tagore

The Gardener 63: Traveller, must you go

Traveller, must you go? The night is still and the darkness swoons upon the forest. The lamps are bright in our balcony, the flowers all fresh, and the youthful eyes still awake. Is the time for your parting come? Traveller, must you go? We have not bound your feet with our entreating arms. Your doors are open. Your horse stands saddled at the gate. If we have tried to bar your passage it was but with our songs. Did we ever try to hold you back it was but with our eyes. Traveller, we are helpless to keep you. We have only our tears. What quenchless fire glows in your eyes? What restless fever runs in your blood? What call from the dark urges you? What awful incantation have you read among the stars in the sky, that with a sealed secret message the night entered your heart, silent and strange? If you do not care for merry meetings, if you must have peace, weary heart, we shall put our lamps out and silence our harps. We shall sit still in the dark in the rustle of leaves, and the tired moon will shed pale rays on your window. O traveller, what sleepless spirit has touched you from the heart of the mid-night?