Skip to content

At the fair.

By Rabindranath Tagore.

THE SELLING HAS been done and the buying. All the dues from both sides have been gathered, and it is time for me to go home. But, gatekeeper, dost thou ask for thy toll? Fear not, I have something left to my share. My fate has not cheated me of my all.

The lull in the wind threatens storm, and the lowering clouds in the west bode no good. The hushed water waits for a fray. I hurry to cross the river before the night overtakes me. O ferryman, thou wantest thy fee! Yes, brother, I have still something left to my share. My fate has not cheated me of my all.

The night grows dark and the road lonely. Fireflies gleam among the leaves. Who art thou that followest me with stealthy silent steps? Ah, I know; it is thy desire to relieve me of all my gains. I will not disappoint thee! For I still have something to my share and my fate has not cheated me of my all.

It was midnight when I reached home. My hands were empty. Thou wast alone with anxious eyes at my door, sleepless and silent. Like a timorous bird thou didst fly to my breast with eager love. Ay, ay, my God, much remains still to my share. My fate has not cheated me of my all.

Translated by the author from his original poem in Bengali.


A TAGORE DOSSIER. Published on the centenary of Tagore’s 1913 Nobel Prize. Ezra Pound: Rabindranath Tagore | W. B. Yeats: Introduction to Gitanjali | William Rothenstein: Tagore in London | Harold M. Hurwitz: Ezra Pound and Rabindranath Tagore | Tagore: At the Fair.

This poem, published in the March 1913 Fortnightly Review, is an earlier version of poem 71 in The Gardener (1915). Tagore’s second volume in English was dedicated to Yeats and contains a prefatory remark:

Most of the lyrics of love and life, the translations of which from Bengali are published in this book, were written much earlier than the series of religious poems contained in the book named Gitanjali. The translations are not always literal– the originals being sometimes abridged and sometimes paraphrased.

– Rabindranath Tagore.
 

The published version (with linebreaks from the 1915 edition):

71

The day is not yet done, the fair is not over, the fair on the river-bank. I had feared that my time had been squandered and my last penny lost.
But no, my brother, I have still something left. My fate has not
xxxxcheated me of everything.

The selling and buying are over. All the dues on both sides have been gathered in, and it is time for me to go home.
But, gatekeeper, do you ask for your toll?
Do not fear, I have still something left. My fate has not
xxxxcheated me of everything.

The lull in the wind threatens storm, and the lowering clouds in the west bode no good.
The hushed water waits for the wind.
I hurry to cross the river before the night overtakes me.
O ferryman, you want your fee!
Yes, brother, I have still something left. My fate has not
xxxxcheated me of everything.

In the wayside under the tree sits the beggar. Alas, he looks at my face with a timid hope!
He thinks I am rich with the day’s profit.
Yes, brother, I have still something left. My fate has not
xxxxcheated me of everything.

The night grows dark and the road lonely. Fireflies gleam among the leaves.
Who are you that follow me with stealthy silent steps?
Ah, I know, it is your desire to rob me of all my gains. I will not disappoint you!
For I still have something left, and my fate has not
xxxxcheated me of everything.

At midnight I reach home. My hands are empty. You are waiting with anxious eyes at my door, sleepless and silent.
Like a timorous bird you fly to my breast with eager love.
Ay, ay, my God, much remains still. My fate has not
xxxxcheated me of everything.

 

 

Google BookmarksGoogle GmailPrintPrintFriendlyYahoo MailTwitterKindle ItReddit

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *
*
*

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.