Rabindranath Tagore

The Gardener 7: O mother

O mother, the young Prince is to pass by our door -- how can I attend to my work this morning? Show me how to braid up my hair; Tell me what garment to put on. Why do you look at me amazed, mother? I know well he will not glance up once at my window; I know he will pass out of my sight in the twinkling of an eye; Only the vanishing strain of the flute will come sobbing to me from afar. But the young Prince will pass by our door, and I will put on my best for the moment. O mother, the young Prince did pass by our door, and the morning sun flashed from his chariot. I swept aside the veil from my face, I tore the ruby chain from my neck and flung it in his path. Why do you look at me amazed, mother? I know well he did not pick up my chain; I know it was crushed under his wheels leaving a red stain upon the dust, and no one knows what my gift was nor to whom. But the young Prince did pass by our door, and I flung the jewel from my breast before his path.