Great Poems

41 - The Gardener

by Rabindranath Tagore


I long to speak the deepest words I have to say to you; but I
dare not, for fear you should laugh.
That is why I laugh at myself and shatter my secret in jest.
I make light of my pain, afraid you should do so.

I long to tell you the truest words I have to say to you; but I
dare not, being afraid that you would not believe them.
That is why I disguise them in untruth, saying the contrary of
what I mean.
I make my pain appear absurd, afraid that you should do so.

I long to use the most precious words I have for you; but I dare
not, fearing I should not be paid with like value.
That is why I gave you hard names and boast of my callous
strength.
I hurt you, for fear you should never know any pain.

I long to sit silent by you; but I dare not lest my heart come
out at my lips.
That is why I prattle and chatter lightly and hide my heart
behind words.
I rudely handle my pain, for fear you should do so.

I long to go away from your side; but I dare not, for fear my
cowardice should become known to you.
That is why I hold my head high and carelessly come into your
presence.
Constant thrusts from your eyes keep my pain fresh for ever.


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